First Day of Winter brings plenty of snow to our Vermont Bed and Breakfast (2012-12-21)

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore Toto!

 

Our gracious guests at our Vermont Inn this week were not spared the New England winter experience as the area received two separate snow accumulations (I hesitate to call them storms as they were so peaceful and non-threatening), one early in the week of about three inches and one overnight last night that seemed to drop somewhere between four and five inches of the white stuff.

 

Nelly’s view of Vermont Snow from our back door on the first day of winter

Although heavy and wet down here in the village with temperatures in the mid-30’s, in neighboring Ludlow, Okemo Ski Resort is boasting much softer, fluffier snow because of the higher elevations. Our dog Nelly is in heaven as she feels like she’s visiting a brand spanking new place each morning even though it’s only outside our regular back door…. that’s how different the area looks under a fresh new blanket of snow.

 

Despite the rain scheduled for later on today, snow is said to resume tomorrow, beginning overnight tonight when the temperatures become a bit colder. As a quick aside, Vermont schools in this area have been called off three times so far this school year (including this morning) because of snow. Our best guess is that this state requires a level of caution regarding school bus safety that we just did not experience in suburbia, USA. With the mountainous terrain and the number of secondary roads up here, far less chances are taken regarding decisions about school closing or remaining open seem to occur up here than we had been used to in the flatlands of Massachusetts…much to the girls chagrin.

Introducing the New Chickens (2012-12-7)

Welcome Little Chickens!

Did you know that if new chickens are to be added to a flock it should be done overnight?  If introduced during the day, they may fight ‘til their death.  But if merged while sleeping, the chickens will wake together peacefully, and accept one another as part of their group – as if they were together already.  (Such birdbrains!)

This is how we increased our flock recently at our Southern Vermont Bed and Breakfast.  After a summer of a declining chicken population (but an increasingly satisfied raccoon and fox population), we were down to four hens for our source of farm fresh eggs.  This is nothing short of a crisis for a country inn that is so committed to serving wholesome local foods at breakfast each morning!  And, as maybe you don’t know, it’s not real easy to find hens for sale in the fall.  If you don’t buy them as chicks in the spring, the options disappear quickly.  So when were alerted in October that a Massachusetts farm was selling pullets (that’s the hip word for ‘teenage hens’), our interest was piqued.  But it only got better from there.  My Mom and Dad (who still chuckle at my interest in backyard farm animals) went to the farm, bought us six pullets and delivered them to us at the bed and breakfast as birthday presents for me and Michael.  Thanks Mom and Dad!  We kept the six new pullets separate from the four mature hens for several weeks, until they were all similar in size.  Then late one night, we stealthily executed “Operation New Chickens” and placed the six young birds on the roosting bar next to the four hens.  Although some feathers were indeed ruffled, all ten birds shifted and wiggled just momentarily, and then drifted back to slumber.  The following days were relatively peaceful   …though it was interesting to watch the young hens earn their status as equals.  Expressions like ‘ruffling feathers’ and ‘hen pecking’ are fully explained in our backyard!  We now gather about eight eggs per day and we’re inviting you to Okemo Valley for a truly local breakfast.