These days are cold and dim. A layer of stagnant air hovers above a couple feet of crunchy snow with intermittent, falling light snow. Our temperatures start in the high teens and don’t rise quite to freezing.
Some past winters have been colder and more bitter. We’ve known stretches of days that clung to single-digit temperatures with wind chills of way below zero. That much cold forces one to keep a blazing stove, stay wrapped in wool, and quickly-as-possible handle outside critical chores.
If horses are healthy and eating well, and have a nice layer of fat amassed on ribs, it’s not worrisome to see them covered in frost with icicles hanging off coats, manes, and tails. Healthy, fuzzy horses generate adequate body heat against most cold weather. They do need shelter against very high winds and heavy rains, elements challenging to all living beings.
This dawn, our outside temperature is 18 degrees F. I’m sipping hot coffee, having managed to pull myself from under heated blankets and away from the sleeping cat warming my feet. Very soon, I must go outside to feed large animals and refill bird feeders.
I’m firing up a pellet stove so that it’ll heat my return. Next, I’ll put a long woolen coat over my pajamas, add heavy head and neck gear, and step outside into the freezing garage. I’ll pull on knee-high Muck Boots with anti-slip cleats, and then head outside, into an icy morning.
It’ll be just another day of small ranch living.
Dear Readers, hoping your today offers loveliness and joy. Diana