The drive up to the DSC was quite awful and what normally is a 45 minute drive turned into 1 1/2 hours drive, it poured here when I left, and once I got further north, the roads were slushy and icy as the rain turned into a mixture of rain and snow. Other than staff I was one of the first ones to arrive at the DSC. When I arrived down in the barn I got a big hug from Cate, who I haven't seen since our Volunteer luncheon at the end of October and it was great to know that she was going to be there for most of the day. Of course first order was chores, they were a little hard to accomplish as there had been no power since 3 am, thankfully it wasn't overly cold and waterbuckets didn't freeze over, but it was kind of ruin the fesitve mood that was to be set inside the barn, but of course just in time for opening the lights came back on, and all the Christmas lights in the barn were shining as were Christmas carols quietly playing in the background. The weather at this point wasn't too bad. With the temperature hovering at about 1 degree Celsius, I was comfortable warm in my barn attire. We didn't really know what to expect as for visitor numbers, the forecast was not the greatest, as they were calling for a snow storm and dangerous driving conditions. Slowly but surely all the rest of the volunteers started to arrive and I met up with a few of them, who I hadn't seen since the last open day in October, so that was nice too. Pat and I cleaned the mule paddock and by the time we were finished we were soaking wet, as it had started to rain nice and steady. Some visitors braved the crappy weather and road conditions and came out for a visit, mostly grown ups, I think all day we only had three children, well how nice was that lol. So peaceful and quiet. Just the way the donkeys and I like it. As the weather conditions worsened over the course of the afternoon, Helia and I actually went out into the fields to bring the donkeys into the barn or their other shelters, the poor creatures were soaking wet. And we brought Juno, Solo, Gordon and Jacques back into the barn after they had been out in the Garden Paddock, where there isn't enough shelter for them. Solo was shivering as he has a naked belly right now as he is suffering from a skin infection and had his belly clipped. Poor Juno was just soaked. I got to spend some time with Juno in her stall and she let me pet her and even hug her, at one point she even snuggled up against me, so that surely made my day. Orly was also overly cuddly today, and came numerous times up to me to check what I was doing. She is such a cutie. The big boys, that are now in a seperate paddock were all snuggled up in their warm straw filled shelter and looked so cute and cozy in there. It was really a great picture, only one problem I had no camera with me. But by then the rain had turned into snow again and it was just a beautiful picture, of soft snow falling and the boys standing side by side in their shelter. The new gelding paddock has been created to integrate our Romeo aka DonKeyote or Donny into the herd. Of course, despite of the weather, Donny was the only one out, walking along the fenceline of the other herd to spot any of the donkey girls, and he was not giving up on it. Poor little guy, wonder how long it will take him to settle down. His former paddock mate Juliet is back on the Eastside herd and seems to be happy to be with the girls again.
I spent some time working on the Eastside hill, making a sure that the rain water had a path to reach the drain and wasn't sitting anywhere and then freezing over into an ice rink. The whole time I was working there, I had a side kick, Hershey. It was nice, but always have to be leary of Hershey, because he is another one where you just never know how he will react, usually Hershey takes off when I approach him or am anywhere near him, so it was a little odd for him to hang around, but he did that on Tuesday too, that day he actually came up to me to check me out.
By the end of the day we were all soaking wet and chilled to the bones so I was glad to shed my wet clothes in the car and slip into something warm and dry. But despite of the weather it really was a great day with all the things that are important to me, the right people and lots of cute and fuzzy donkey faces. How can it get any better?
These are pictures I took on Tuesday as I am still working on my little project for the Grooming log book.
Picture taken by the other Martina on my rounds to the donkey, here with Earl Grey!
As I was leaving the farm last Tuesday Adam and Chantal pulled into the driveway with the trailer loaded with four new donkeys, they are not really new, they have been here before, but are coming back from a Foster Farm. It is a family of four mini donkeys, and they are absolutely cute, I remember them from years ago, when we actually adopted the whole family. So there is Peter and Katy, the parents, and their two girls Marci and Gemeni. Marcy and Peter are just such characters and always making for good observer entertainment. Monte won't be the only one on the Eastside anymore, as the family and the three Amigos will also be moving over to the Eastside to the big herd.