Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter's Murk

I saw this lone Pine Grosbeak nibbling on the seeds of a maple tree and managed to get a few pictures before he flew into the woods.

The gloom of winter. This is daybreak, around 815 am.

And today, Boxing Day, around 9 am. It's dark and very cold, about -23 (our "high temperature" for today, last night was -33).
Supposedly our "normal" temperature for this day is -5. We have been below that for almost two months, by about 15 to 20 degrees. The llamas have gone through their hay stocks three times faster than normal. Winter is expensive. The farm uses almost 6 times the normal amount of electricity during months like this compared to summer operations, just keeping water and drains available. There's not enough sunlight to create solar power during this time, so we are mostly stuck with burning fuels, either heating fuels, or through electricity which comes from coal burning and hydro. A carbon tax on rural populations would kill us as we have no alternatives out here: we have to drive long distances to get to work or towns, and we have no alternatives for heating our homes and barns and livestock.