Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘cold weather

Endless Loop

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Our weather is like a broken record, in the sense of a vinyl record, where the needle gets stuck, jumping back to play the same sound over and over. I almost titled this post, “Broken Record,” but I figured most people younger than me might miss the connotation.

“Needle gets stuck?!”

Our weather is like an endless loop of snow and cold, with barely a break between.

Delilah is showing increasing weariness over the deep snow and brutally cold temperatures. I had to cut short our afternoon walk on Sunday because her feet were bothering her. She would walk a short distance and then lay down to tend to her paws while I waited.

It became very clear that she was happy with my decision to reverse direction and head straight back to the house.

She allowed me to pause for a picture of the labyrinth, covered in an unblemished winter blanket. The path is impossible to discern.

Even though it hadn’t snowed all day yesterday, as I approached home on my commute from work, there seemed to be a surprising amount of snow in the air.

The wind was blowing last Friday’s fresh powder aloft. Is that a big deal? It was when I reached our driveway. A drift was forming on a large portion of the southern banks of the already narrow opening.

Reminds me of the predicament I was managing last week in the wee hours of the morning.

It’s an endless loop.

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Written by johnwhays

March 5, 2019 at 7:00 am

Roll

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

January 30, 2019 at 7:00 am

Harsh Environment

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It’s not always easy, carving out survival in all the crazy extremes of weather possible in the great outdoors. It may seem odd at first mention, but I think snow actually softens the blow of winter months, both figuratively and literally. We have received very little this year, and what did fall has mostly disappeared. After the rain and re-freeze, followed by a few days of melting, we settled into a pattern of cold that has created a particularly harsh environment outside.

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The ground is hard as rock and every other step is slippery from spots of ice.

Dezirea showed up with a bloody cut just under the joint of her cannon and pastern bones. If you look closely, there is a less obvious cut similarly located on her other front leg. I wondered if she maybe broke through some ice in the drainage rut that crosses the back pasture.

There isn’t any snow deep enough to have broken through a crust to get a cut like that.

Cyndie is up at the lake place for the weekend, so I sent her a text with the image. She asked if there was any blood on Hunter’s back hooves.

Hmm.

I hadn’t thought of that. Of course, there wasn’t.

Dezi was moving around just fine and didn’t seem any worse for the wear. There has been no further bleeding from the cut, so I am letting time do the natural healing it always provides, while also watching for any changes to the worse.

Delilah and I walked the pasture to look for any possible hazards or signs of a possible cause. Finding absolutely nothing, I’m beginning to think Cyndie may have identified the more likely culprit.

I sure hope Dezirea is dishing out as much as she is taking in the ongoing roughhousing happening among our three-horse herd.

Makes me miss Legacy that much more. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of his departure from this world. I’m definitely feeling it.

Toward the end of his life, Legacy’s poop took on a strikingly loose consistency. In an unsettlingly timed turn yesterday, while cleaning up after the horses in the paddock, I came upon a pile that was uncomfortably similar to what we used to see from the old herd leader.

Maybe the horses are feeling a little sick, too, over memories of what transpired a year ago on that oh-so-cold January thirteenth night.

A harsh environment, indeed.

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Written by johnwhays

January 13, 2019 at 11:18 am

Poetically Anticipating

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Cyndie and I are going up north with Barb and Mike for the weekend, leaving this morning to drive up to their lake place near Grand Rapids, MN.

For reference, that is over half-way to Canada from our home. Does that make it sound cold? Well, honestly, it’s not expected to be that much colder than down in the Twin Cities area on Saturday, but one recent prediction put the high at 34°(F) in Grand Rapids.

After temps in the 60s yesterday around the region, a high so close to the freezing point tomorrow will feel plenty brisk, I’m sure. The effect will be augmented by some wind, too, just in case we might otherwise miss the fact it was colder outside.

I haven’t let cold weather interfere with my anticipation for our adventure. Based on previous experiences, this is how I’m envisioning our coming time together this weekend…

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it starts
with anticipation
of the days ahead
embraced greetings
in the moments before
departure
friends traveling together
the hours on the road
as precious as the destination
smells and sounds
of a northern forest
in the waning days
before winter saunters in
colorful leaves
blue sky
reflected on the lake
laughter dancing on the breeze
all hands on deck meals
card games
and a crackling fire
turn up the tunes
then clean up and pack
it’s time to go home
and the hours
on the road
are as precious
as the destination

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Written by johnwhays

October 19, 2018 at 6:00 am

Bold North

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There’s a new slogan in town that arose from the committee responsible for landing this year’s Super Bowl game and coordinating all the related local events around it. The motto being brandished everywhere we look is, “Bold North.”

I like it. It speaks of the harsh reality we face in carrying on with our everyday lives regardless the extremes of weather our northern location dishes out. I take pride in being able to tolerate the ridiculous cold or the stifling heat which we face, both happening within a span of mere months from each other.

However, and I really hate to whine about this, there are times when the bitter cold can really become an excessively excruciating pain in the butt, …and the ears, toes, fingers, nose, and even eyes.

We haven’t even received a bill yet for the last time the vet was here when the extreme cold contributed to ending Legacy’s life, and now we need the doc back this morning to take a look at Hunter at a time when it is again so cold that the tools of an equine veterinarian barely function.

It’s hard on the horse and hard on the doctor trying to help him.

That makes it hard on us.

We ran an errand last night to pick up a propane heater in hopes of taking a little of the edge off for the vet while he is working in the barn.

I don’t think I was as grateful as I should have been for the relative luck we had in the prior four years of being first-time horse owners. I basically had no idea what I was doing when it came to being responsible for the ultimate well-being of our herd. Some days I would return from feeding them and realize, if asked how they were doing, I hadn’t really even looked them over all that closely.

I guess that set me up to have a sense that problems were few and far between, and I came to see that as normal.

This past year it feels as though it’s been one issue after another.

Instead of things getting easier with time and experience, we are in a phase of experiencing just the opposite, and it seems to be reaching peaks of difficulty that coincide with drops in temperature.

It’s got me feeling not so bold, after all. In fact, I caught myself having thoughts last night of the type that snowbirds express, like wishing to be somewhere warm during winter.

It’s a blaspheme of what I hold sacred!

I’m from Minnesota! The bold north! I love winter!

 

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Written by johnwhays

February 2, 2018 at 7:00 am