Tuesday night was a nightmare - driving-wise. The snow started at about 4 P in the city and was blinding by the time I hit the road home. It was a fine, icy snow, too, just to add more spice to the experience. Having grown up on the southern shores of Lake Erie, I am plenty accustomed to driving in snow. I learned to drive with a manual transmission and have never looked back. This, along with a very strong sense of survival, has served me well as I continue to live Norther.
I wish I could say the same for the nimrods on the road with me that night. As I headed up my mountain road, I came upon three cars in various stages of off-the-road. I very, very carefully turned around and headed home by the long route. During the slow, hair-raising trip home, three cars went off the road in front of me (all were fine and had cell phones) and the super-duper-nimrod tailgating me went off the road himself. Thankfully, without taking me with him. I did not bother to check on his ability to call for help, feeling that one call from the group would suffice.
I skipped kissing the snowy ground when I got home (although I did hug my mail - my special yarn arrived!) and got the dogs out ASAP. It had taken me almost two hours to make the one hour trip. I then geared up to do evening chores and, when on the deck headed toward the gate to the sheep area, I saw an odd sight. The chicken coop was lit from within - it had been so dark in the morning, I turned their light on - and silhouetted on the OUTSIDE of the coop, under five inches of snow, were the chickens. Holey Shineola.
I trudged my way to the coop, wielding my snow shovel, and found most of the hens with Mr. Cowardpants huddled in a cold, damp clump. I very carefully opened the door and looked in. To go eye-to-beady-eye with a hawk, sitting on the roost, nice as you please. HOLEY SHINEOLA. I did a quick glance around and saw one dead hen, with a few more cowering in nesting boxes and wadded into the corners. This was not going to be easy. Fast-forward through much flinging, flinching, wielding, screeching, and other hysteria (and that was just me), the hawk ended up flying violently into the wall and knocking itself out. I swear it was like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I carefully removed the hawk and the poor remains of one of my dear Faverolles outside and then started to gently herd the flock into the coop. I did a quick head count and realized three were missing. After getting everyone settled down, I went out in the dark with my headlamp and managed to find two, hunkered under the little coop. I did not find the third. Everyone was securely closed in and I moved the hawk into a sheltered place and left it to its own devices.
I finished chores, fed the dogs and had a glass of my neighbor's 200 proof eggnog for dinner.
In the morning, under a foot of beautiful new snow (they forecast 4-6 inches - max.) I discovered a bedraggled, damp, cold hen aimlessly pushing through snow drifts. Poor dear. I got my hands on her and slipped her into the warm coop. I am sad to say the hawk did not survive - they are beautiful birds, but I could not leave it in the coop, obviously, and it would not fly out into the dark.
Never a dull moment.