As of today, January 18, 2015, I have to declare this 'the winter that hasn't been'. I realize fully that I am tempting fate and that somewhere out there, Karma is spitting up her adult beverage and laughing uproariously, but whatever. I'll take my chances.
While we have experienced odd flurries of snow, and even a couple of freezes hard enough to put ice patterns on the insides of the single pane windows...
... broadly speaking, this winter has been a pussy-cat compared to last year. In January 2014, I had babies on the ground by the 8th, courtesy of some ill-timed and impatient pasture breeding (and a bad yearling buck with a Houdini-esque nature) and I also had the ultimate shocker: twin doelings from a doe I believed to be sterile. We had several inches of snow (those of you in the north - stop laughing. We're not set up for it!) and all my hoses froze, meaning my ill-humored self had to haul water from the house three times a day, and heat lamps were running in the shop for the babies 24/7. Goats didn't want to go out, hay / feed bills were catastrophic... you get the picture.
So this year, my fat, waddling Nigerians, grazing happily in the 50F sun in the pasture, are a delightful sight to behold, and I am eagerly awaiting kids. February 2 is the rough estimate date and, for the first time ever, we have four permanent kidding stalls set up in the block-built shop, tucked way at the back to minimize drafts, with heat lamps hung and at the ready.
We do, however, have a return of the while stuff threatened for early next week, though the hourly change on the weather forecasts at the moment don't exactly have me jumping to attention. But my stalls are ready... and I can't wait to fill them!