Meteorological winter ended on the last day of February
leaving us with the second-coldest winter on record
According to the Duluth News Tribune,
“The average daily temperature from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 will be about 3.85 degrees at the end of today [Feb 28], warmer only than 3.7 degrees set in 1874-75.
Duluth continues to smash the old record for the number of days where the thermometer dropped below zero. We’re at 65 and counting, way past the old record of 59 set in 1959. Duluth will hit at least 70 days with below-zero temperatures if the forecast into next week holds true, with highs barely above zero and lows below zero each morning.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources publishes a “Misery Index” for the Twin Cities; it’s just as well that there’s nothing similar for our even colder area.
Meteorological “spring” began with a high of 0 and low of -15. The polar vortex stuck around, dropping us to -26 on March 3.
But then one week later we shot up to 54, our warmest day in 3 months. Melted snow began to puddle in front of the goat barn,
freezing into a skating pond by night.
Despite the melting, drifts on nearby Pioneer Road are still over 6 feet high.
Our friends and neighbors Tom & Gretchen (owners of the photogenic barn across the pond ) spend the winter poring over seed catalogs and planning their fabulous gardens. Barb spends her free time searching goat websites and plotting to increase the herd.
She located a very promising newborn buck and made a down payment on
Regal Kattan Farm Charmer Mojo.
In late April she’ll drive the Goatmobile down to Ohio to pick him up and then install him in the Gentleman’s Club. (Photos courtesy of Regal Kattan Farm)
Dustin has been with us for over a month now, and has completely taken over the house.
He’s earned a couple of nicknames:
“Al” – short for Allergen, since he’s aggravating Barb’s allergies
and "Renfield," because he’s so good at catching and eating flies.
But Dustin is no longer the cutest newcomer to MeadowWild Farm, thanks to Momo
who was due on March 12 – and looked it. On the morning of March 14th her water broke, but she still had not delivered by mid-afternoon After consulting her veterinarian, Dr. Angela Urban, and goat-mentors Brian and Leah, Barb scrubbed up, took a deep breath, and went in up to her elbow after the babies.
She obviously had to work by touch alone – bringing to mind a favorite Groucho Marx quotation. It’s even darker inside a goat.
Sure enough, the initial baby in line was a complete breech (backbone first, legs folded under) and was holding everything up, going nowhere on her own.
Barb had to get the legs in position as gently as possible and ease the rest of the recalcitrant one out to daylight.
Shortly thereafter the boy shot out on his own
but the third baby was also stuck – she was big and although she came head first, Barb had to again position the legs so that, with Momo pushing and Barb pulling, she could finally emerge. If Barb had not intervened, Momo and the babies all would have died.
Despite the ordeal, Mom and kids are doing fine. Momo is an exemplary mother, making sure everyone got a good bath
and the babies were up on their wobbly legs very quickly and looking for their first meal outside the womb.
Barb is doing fine, too, although in the aftermath
she resembled Bill Murray from Ghostbusters.
A hearty MeadowWild welcome to MaBella (Bella)
and MaDeira (Dearie).
We hope that proud papa Sanchez is passing out cigars at Parson's Potpourri Farm.
Next up, in two weeks: Eclipse (due March 25)
and Cheeky (due March 27).
Meanwhile, proud momma Momo joins us in wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day.