Several of you in BC asked how we did during the big ice storm of the past weekend. It was a wicked three days of weather with high temperatures staying well below freezing the whole time (this is mid April!), high winds, freezing rain and plenty of ice pellets.
In preparation for the storm I went into town to fill up our gas containers for the generator in case the power went out. The storm lived up to its billing and half a million in Ontario lost power but we were relieved that we did not lose power.
A young doeling chose Saturday night, when the storm was at its worst, to give birth to her twins. When I found her and her wet little newborns huddled in a corner, the wind was roaring around the hoop house and the wind-driven ice pellets were making a tremendous din against the hoop house. Every once in a while an especially big gust of wind shattered the sheets of ice deposited on the plastic by the freezing rain and the resulting racket as it crashed to the ground was ear-splitting.
Young doelings are usually nervous the first time they give birth but this little one was especially jumpy because of the noise of the storm. In addition, our little herd’s “queen” nanny showed unusually intense interest in the newborns, making the young mother even more nervous and causing her to run away from the “boss.” However, I was able to get her and her little ones into our nursery pen, gave her a special pan of grain and she soon calmed down and began looking after her babies like a pro.
Another young doeling (our last of this season) chose Sunday night to give birth to her twins. The wind was a little bit calmer than the night before but the freezing rain was worse and the ice so bad that I could hardly walk the short distance from the house to the barn. Getting back up the slight incline to the house was even worse and I found myself sliding back down several times before making it. Fortunately, that doeling had no difficulties and I didn’t need to spend much time that evening going back and forth to the hoop house.
The weather remained chilly all week but the ice has mostly melted. Despite the cold and the ice, we were pleased to see some encouraging signs of spring.
The weather is starting to warm up today and we are looking forward to a sunny and almost warm weekend. Other flowers should not be far behind!