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Sunday, March 11, 2018

 Shelter to Death Trap or Succor to Suffocation

Here is an aspect of dry stone walls that may not be apparent to all.

When the snow is falling and the prevailing winds are constant, the snow is first scoured from the land and then blown against any object in its path, in this case a dry stone wall.

The wall not only creates a barrier, but also shelter on the leeward side, where the decrease in wind pressure allows the snow to settle and accumulate in even greater amounts than on the windward side of the wall.

Sheep will also seek shelter behind the wall from the wind and snow, or as this photo clearly shows where the sheep sheltered behind the snow drifts the night after the snowstorm.

Unfortunately, if the snow drifts become too deep, the sheep will become trapped beneath the snow and suffocate.

The ever vigilant shepard counts the sheep daily.

If there is one or more missing, the dig begins.

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