We expect our winter months here in Canada to be cold and snowy, and at times down right stormy. On milder days when the sun is out and the air is brisk, being at the farm during the winter is like stepping into a scenic Christmas card.
Early mornings are especially beautiful.
The dogs enjoy a good walk and are not deterred by snow.
When the snow gets too deep for vehicles, people, and other animals to safely maneuver, the farm’s snow blower clears paths to paddocks and keeps the driveway and parking areas clean.
The farm’s lengthy tree-lined driveway offers privacy and is an enchanting entrance to a menagerie of animals.
The animals comfort, well-being and safety is front and centre in Aunt Scarlett’s thoughts. Keeping them warm, fed, and watered throughout the winter requires uninterrupted hydro – regardless of the weather. With that in mind, Aunt Scarlett had the foresight to install a large diesel generator; known on the farm simply as Genny. Thus, whenever the hydro fails, Genny kicks in and keeps the farm operating as usual.
Most winters it would be fair to say that Genny the generator has not been overworked. However due to an unprecedented ice storm that occurred days before Christmas, Genny proved to be the farm’s saving grace.
Freezing rain covered the roads, walkways, trees and hydro lines. The amount of ice that coated tree branches created a dangerous weight causing many large branches and trees to crack and fall to the ground.
To make matters worse, some large tree branches fell on top of already ice-stressed hydro lines causing transformers to fail. This happened throughout the province of Ontario and in particular in the city of Toronto and surrounding areas. Thousands of households were without hydro (heat, water, lights) for upwards of 7-9 days.
The farm’s driveway and areas near the houses, barns, and aviary buildings resembled scenes from a war movie. It was dangerous at times to walk outdoors as branches fell for several days; even the dogs were reluctant to venture outdoors.
Below are some images of areas where tree damage was extensive from the ice storm.
While Genny the generator kicked in and kept the aviary and main house in good working order, there were some areas of the farm without hydro. The power could not be fully restored until fallen tree branches were removed from the hydro lines that run along the side of the driveway. After seven days without power a crew finally arrived with two trucks and trained staff. It didn’t take them too long to remove the branches from the lines, once again restoring power and relieving Genny of her duties – much to the relief of all.
It will take a fair bit of time to clean up the tree damage completely, but in the meantime life at the farm is somewhat back to normal. The dogs are pleased to be out enjoying their walks again, too.