the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Crashing Thaw

The only part I don't like about my barn is the roof.  Metal roofs amplify raindrops until a light shower sounds like a pounding rainstorm inside the barn.  An actual rainstorm is a deafening roar.  And then there's the snow...

As soon as temperatures rise, snow slides off the metal roof.  The underside next to the metal warms to near melting and carries whatever is above it to the edge - where it hits cold air and freezes again.  It hangs there, hesitating, while more snow piles up behind the mini-glacier, edging it toward the big jump.  This is how it looks:

You can already see a mound on the ground where the first part of the snow sheet broke off.  When it falls, the icy weight of the bottom layer hits the side of the barn with a bang.  Surprisingly, the horses are used to this sudden thunderous noise inside and rarely react. 

In the pasture, it's a different story.  The snow that slides off on that side is scary - they never know when it's coming, and seeing a big white thing crash to the ground is enough to send them running.  By nature, horses are still prey animals, and any sudden movement nearby is cause for alarm.  Run first, ask questions later, because you never know when it might be a cougar pouncing on your back.  And even after the tenth time, when you're pretty sure it's more of that harmless white stuff, it's kind of fun to pretend it's a ravenous cougar.  So for the next couple days, we will be having mock cougar attacks in the pasture until all the snow is off the roof. 

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