Skip to content

Mother Nature gives us the cold shoulder

Beware of farmers who have brilliant ideas.

I remember a brilliant idea my father had years ago. It was on a hot summer day, unlike what we’ve encountered here lately. We were about to harvest the hay on our lower fields a couple of kilometres and across the highway from the house. We used to have an old barn there that had a bit of lean and was built out of slabs. We dug deep and called it the Old Slab Barn.

My father’s brilliant idea was since we had a barn there, why don’t fill it with hay and winter the heifers there rather than at the homestead. We wouldn’t have to haul the hay very far and it would easier to keep the nosy bull away from the heifers if he couldn’t see them.

It worked fine until about this time of year when Old Man Winter raised his cranky head and dispatched some winter weather not unlike what we’ve had recently.

I’m not sure if we were snowed in, which often happened, or we couldn’t the truck started because of the cold, which also often happened, or a combination of the two.

What I do remember is that for about a week, in a cold, cold January blizzard we had to walk the mile or so down to the Old Slab Barn, break the ice on the small creek there and feed the heifers. Then we had to walk back, face to the howling north wind.

That’s when my father had the brilliant idea to never winter the heifers down at the Old Slab Barn, opting for the barnyard just a stone’s throw from the house.

There was a meme circulating on social media last week that read:

“BREAKING NEWS – Due to the cold weather and snow there be NO farms closed. Each and every farmer will be out in the blistering cold, blowing wind, tending to their livestock. They will be praying for machinery to work, non-frozen waterers and warm healthy animals.”

True story.

The Cold Snap of 2024 has been an interesting one. Cold weather temperatures were set in many places around B.C., so you call out the old timers who always talk about how it was colder back in the day. What is true, however, is that cold snaps used to last longer … back in the day, said the old timer.

Another true story.

Cold snaps of -30 degrees Celsius, or more, would often last a couple of weeks. This recent one was, really, only a few days. But it definitely was more severe, not only here but around the province and across the country. Just like in the summer when we saw more extreme high temperatures, we are now seeing more extreme low temperatures in the winter.

Our friendly neighbourhood climate change hard at work.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *