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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for March 21st, 2023

Weather Related

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Just in case you didn’t expect me to write about the weather today, I put it in the title to give you a warning. Where would I be if I didn’t have the topic of the weather to resort to when nothing fantastical happens worth telling? If you ask Cyndie, she’d say we need to get another dog. I find myself in hesitation mode about making that commitment again.

Speaking of the weather, I would like to present “exhibit A” as a photo to show how the increasing angle of the sun is having a visible impact on our snowpack even during the last few days when we experienced single-digit temperatures that felt ripped right out of January:

The right side of the driveway receives a direct blast of sunshine on blue-sky days while the left side does not.

Another phenomenon we are witnessing is the growing icy mounds where flowing meltwater, under pressure from the terrain, pushes up and re-freezes into surprising-looking high spots of particular hazard to hoofed navigation.

The area beneath the old willow tree in the small paddock has melted down to the dirt but the snowpack glacier a short distance beyond is currently getting thicker as melting occurs uphill and flows down to re-freeze right in front of a gate opening.

The horses wisely refrain from venturing out onto the icy surface.

Much less wise was Light’s decision to bolt in an unnecessary panic to get past me and away from Mix when Swings decided to walk over to the other side of the overhang. Swings had been successively switching sides as she waited for me to finish my housekeeping work before serving up feed yesterday morning. Light had made it a mission to follow along with Swings each time.

That meant I was frequently needing to work around their feet as they intruded on and then evacuated from the space where I was trying to scoop manure. On the last iteration of this dance, Light suddenly decided she needed to hurry to keep up with Swings. Light torqued to avoid me by about an inch but that put her off balance as she was passing through the narrow space of the single fence section that is opposite the swinging gates.

I watched with alarm as the weight of her body pushed against the fence boards, flexing them dramatically –I prepared for them to give way, but they held– before her leg slammed into the post at the other end, jolting her a bit as she continued beyond it. That brought her free to stop behind Swings who was by then standing idly.

It all happened so fast that there was nothing I could do but stare in shock over the spectacle. I noticed Light pick up her front leg and bend the joints in a way that I interpreted as her saying, “Damn! That hurt!”

I fully expected to find remnants of her hide stuck to the post after that but I didn’t find any visible damage on her or the post.

When the footing improves in the rest of the paddock spaces, I think the horses are going to be very happy to spend more time away from the close quarters under the overhang.



Written by johnwhays

March 21, 2023 at 6:00 am