Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘freezing rain

Insanity Revisits

with 2 comments

We deal with the weather here every day, and every time it gets insane it feels like the worst time ever. In reality, they are probably all equally insane, each with their own unique version of insanity.

This morning, it is freezing rain that makes just reaching our animals limb-threateningly risky, let alone extremely difficult to tend to their needs.

I knew it was severe this morning when I watched Delilah’s rush to return to the house cause Cyndie’s harsh reaction over being pulled too fast —faster than she could baby-step her penguin walk over the glaze in an escapade worthy of film to reach our front door and scale the slippery steps.

Her first words upon entering involved a bold reference to not wanting to live here any longer.

Yes, it’s that bad this morning.

.

.

 

Written by johnwhays

March 4, 2018 at 10:29 am

Prob’ly Shoulda

with 2 comments

What a mess of weather we endured Monday night. I was aware of the forecast for potential freezing rain, so I left work a little early, just in case. Inside of a mile from home, I came upon the first hint of speckles on the windshield. By the time I was feeding the horses, the drizzle was steady enough that I could tell we were in for a messy night.

It was at that point that I probably should have put the horses in the barn. Instead, I banked on a hope they would stay under the shelter of the overhang to keep dry. To hedge my bet, I set out some extra hay in addition to what was in the two boxes. The horses seemed very pleased, and appeared content to stay put.

It didn’t last. I had my suspicions, and made a point to check on them later, when I took Delilah out for her evening walk. We stepped out the door and found the worst case scenario of ice buildup. I had no footing whatsoever on any solid surface that wasn’t snowy. The snow, although getting crunchy, offered some traction.

When we arrived to the barn, the area under the overhang was empty. Through the darkness, and the continuing drizzle, I was barely able to perceive the shapes of the horses out in the hay-field. At that point, with the slopes around the barn dangerously slippery with a serious coating of ice, the herd was safer in the better footing of the snow in the field. They would have to endure the wetness for the night.

Luckily, the warmth that brought rain instead of snow worked in our favor. It wasn’t going to be a dangerously cold night for them. Still, I felt bad that I could have prevented their predicament if I’d just have moved them in when I had the chance.

I’m happy to say that by the time I got home from work at the end of the day yesterday, they looked no worse for the wear. Like usual, Legacy had developed his curls that look like he had just gotten out of the shower, but the others, especially Hunter, looked almost groomed. They were dry and perfectly comfortable.

I took Hunters smooth coat as a testament to the art of rolling on the ground. He tends to be the first, and most frequent, to get on the ground and roll around.

Even though there is barely enough room in the stalls in the barn, if they come in wet, Hunter will lay down and roll around, banging his hooves on the walls in a startling clamor.

His classy looking sheen doesn’t just happen. He makes it happen.

I probably should put more trust in the horses’ ability to manage themselves in the face of inclement weather. They seem to know what they are doing.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

January 18, 2017 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , ,

Not Fun

with 2 comments

You know that part about me driving multiple times to Cyndie’s parent’s house for Christmas events? Didn’t happen. Chalk this one up as “Worst. Christmas. Ever.” for me. At least I didn’t have any problems with trying not to fall asleep behind the wheel.

A dastardly nasty spell of weather foiled my best intentions. We experienced sleet, rain, freezing fog, lightning, thunder, heavy rain, and as a cherry on top, high winds with scarily intense gusts. My Christmas was spent home alone. I might as well have been a character in the movie.

Knowing the impending freezing rainstorm would wreak havoc on roads, we headed out on Christmas eve prepared for Cyndie to stay the night at her folks’ house. I drowsily made my way home through the beginnings of the freezing mist on Saturday night so I could take care of Delilah and the horses.

Sunday morning dawned with a perfect glazing over everything, quickly convincing me I wouldn’t be trying to drive to the cities for the grand gift exchange extravaganza that Cyndie’s family executes with incredible flair. Actually, it was Delilah who convinced me, as she did an immediate slipping-on-a-banana-peel spill off the front steps before she realized the hazardous conditions.

I could have tried to warn her better, but we all know she wouldn’t have listened.

The horses were way out in the hay-field, happily grazing through the snow, so I left them out in the mist for much of the day. The temperature actually climbed a bit, melting some of the glaze by afternoon, but you couldn’t see the difference between frozen and not, which made it doubly dangerous.

I navigated my way around our property by changing my gait to something that looked like I had aged several decades over night. Even with that adjustment, there were still frequent moments of heart pounding panic as I’d catch myself from going ass over teakettle.

By the time it had turned to real rain and become obvious that I needed to get the horses inside for the night, I was fighting both them and the elements to accomplish the task. They stayed out in the field while I prepared their evening feed in the stalls. They made me trudge out in the soaking wet to guide them back to the barn.

The wind howled something awful all night long, making my longed-for uninterrupted night’s sleep an impossibility. At some point around zero dark thirty I figured out the spooky clunk that kept occurring was from a bird feeder hitting the house outside the bedroom. I wasn’t about to get out of bed to do anything about it at that hour, and in that wind, so I just had to get used to the sound enough to ignore it and get back to something close to restful sleep.dscn5630e

Yesterday morning presented with a diabolical combination of standing water (much of it hidden beneath cover of snow), freezing temperatures, and continued strong winds. The slopes around the barn were coated with very slippery ice. I tried spreading sand over them before offering Legacy a chance to bring his herd out for the day. He stopped and surveyed the surroundings, put his nose down to the icy surface, and then turned around to lead me right back into his stall.

They would spend the day indoors.

Cyndie ended up spending another night at her parent’s house. Delilah did well with the crazy weather, too confused by the inclusion of thunder in December to even bark at it. She happily agreed with me to cut our walks to the shortest distance necessary. She and Pequenita became my silent companions, waiting out what nature was serving up, clueless to the joyous family gatherings I was missing.

dscn5634edscn5633e.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

She braved the gales with me to inspect the drainage ditch that is backed up a bit with a mixture of snow and water.

It’s going to take some time to get back to decent snow conditions around here, but probably not as long as it will take for me to quit moping about my sad fate this holiday. Only 363 days until I get a chance to replace this year’s Christmas memories with new ones.

Here’s hoping we end up with better weather next year.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

December 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

Freezing Wet

leave a comment »

You know what is worse than freezing cold? Freezing wet. It is one condition for which we would never question whether or not to move the horses indoors. Our horses do a pretty good job of enduring exposure to snow and cold, but when it comes to rain at freezing temperatures, they need shelter.

Regardless the pleasure of early warmth we enjoyed throughout much of the month of March, the trend recently has shifted significantly away from pleasant.

IMG_iP3132eCHIt has us burning fires in the fireplace and cuddling up under blankets, drinking hot drinks.

I suppose there is a lesson for us somewhere in this situation about patience, but I don’t really need to be tempted by early warmth to get the lesson about being patient for the spring growing season to truly arrive. I’m sure I could learn it just as well with winter staying winter the whole time, and lasting well into April.

If I had any sense I’d be using this time to change the oil in the lawn tractor and finish preparing it for the long mowing season that lies ahead. The cold and wet may be lingering, but logic dictates it will eventually end.

When it does, growing things definitely won’t hesitate to respond.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

April 6, 2016 at 6:00 am