Sunday, February 16, 2014

Enduring the Winter

So last month when I made jokes about that crazy cold spell we had, I was thinking (like probably everyone else) that it was an anomaly, a difficult and slightly-scary episode in below-normal temperatures that would serve to remind us that we are fortunate to live in a part of the country where we get lovely winters, with a dash of picturesque snowfall, but generally don't have to deal with the difficulties and stresses of long spells of extreme cold.
For a month, things have looked like this...

Ah, yes, back when we were naive...

The last full month has seen one day over freezing here at the farm (where we keep records for the National Weather Service, and the equipment they have us use is pretty accurate). One day!  And beyond that, most of the days have struggled to reach 20 degrees, while the nights have hovered around 0 as the straight-up air temperature, with windchills far below.

The riding arena looks like this... that's a 4-step mounting block out there...

This isn't news to anyone, and we aren't the only ones.  The snowbirds who fled to Aiken have had their own stretch of misery the last 10 days.  Their experience of ice storms, snowfall, and, yes, even an earthquake in a region of the country not designed to handle such extreme weather has reminded us that we're fortunate to live in a part of the country that can handle extreme cold and constant snowfall, even if we don't like it much.  Small comfort that, but I suppose it is a comfort.

Amazing hubby out there doing this... 4th time in 10 days right now...

A month ago, I was eager to get to work with the BBW, eager to get started trying to gain back the ground we lost with almost three months off in the fall.  Bwaaahahahaha... again, back when we were naive.  These days I mostly focus on keeping the herd alive and well until the weather breaks, which I now expect around May.

These days I mostly engage with Sherm from the ground like this...
Of course, I know what's coming next.  We will, at some point, see thaw.  And melt.  And mud.  So, mud will come before anything else.  Makes one wonder whether we really want all this freeze to end.  At least the snow is white and clean.

It is time, however.  Out there in knee-deep snow, my sporthorse's banged tail is dragging out behind him on top of the snow like some saddleseat peacock's pampered monstrosity.  That's distracting.

I see a lot of this, too...

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