Tuesday, January 18, 2011

-29c !

  “Handle your tools without mittens.”

  The phone rings. It is My Hero, “ Did the tractor start?” “ Why wouldn't it?” “It is –29 out.”
 I am oblivious to the cold today. There is no wind, the sun is shining, and the larger woodstove (thank you; you know who you are) is doing its job.
 I put on many layers and head outside. RRRR RRR   Go Yeah. I will let it run for awhile to push the warm fluid through the very cold metal. We would not want anything to break.
 I see tracks behind the drive shed, after checking them out I know it is the hungry deer. They paw the ground to get the sweet alfalfa under the deep snow. There appears to be a lot of activity.

 I head to the house to have breakfast. It is beautiful outside the sun glistens on the new fallen snow.

 I think about the deer. We had taken three cuts off this field; it still has lots for the deer. I have noticed lately the cedar trees being chewed by the deer. The deer are certainly hungry. As the snow gets deeper, food does not come easy.
  I remember a winter a few years back. We had an unusual amount of snow. The deer were very plentiful, they could not get the grass under the deep snow so they were eating the bales of sweet hay.
 It was not unusual to see forty or more deer back eating our second cut alfalfa hay, and licking the cow’s salt block. The cows did not seem to mind sharing. Deer do not usually eat hay but they were in survival mode.
 NDF and husband went back to do my chores; I was in warm, wet Vancouver. They saw a newly killed deer, the blood covering the white snow. The coyotes had been taking advantage of the deer inability to run through the deep snow. It was survival of the fittest.
 We have not seen a winter like that since. We have seen deer carcass around but I assume it was a weak or sick one from the herd, food for the coyote. Better a deer then a calf.
 It is 9:30 am, it has been half an hour I head back to the bush to do my chores.

   It is now 12 pm; I have fed the cows, walked around them, checking their health. They are doing great. The cold is not bothering them. I find it warm back here in the bush. I take off my hat. The sun is shining; its warmth is like a cozy blanket.
 I count the cows, one missing. It could be having a calf somewhere. I go searching. This cold would make it a little more difficult if there was a problem.

 I notice what My Hero had been doing the few hours he was missing on the weekend. He had plowed and cleared a path through the bush for the cows. It will be easier for them to get to the water hole now. It is also easier to get the tractor down close

  I get out of the tractor and head off following fresh tracks into the bush. They go under and through many trees.

  I reach the stream, the ice is still not frozen “When will I ever learn?” More mud on my boots.

 I keep following the tracks, after a very long hike I arrive back where the cows are and where I started. The count is right. Everything is fine. I head back to the house.
 I fill the wood cart then head upstairs.
 Having lunch and a hot cup of tea, I wonder if I should vacuum, bake, glue my kitchen chairs, or all of the above. I will go back and check the cows in four hours.



  1. That was a very cool morning. Always amazing how much warmer it feels in the woods.

    Beautiful snowy photos (as usual). Sara was commenting how brown and ugly the city looked on her way to work from all the sand on the roads and is convinced that's why people in the city hate winter so much.

  2. I dunno about Franklin's quote today....handling tools without mittens at -29C.... obviously the man hadn't been to Canada in the winter.. or his fingers would still be stuck to his tools....

    hey.... yeh.... cookies...I think I do have a few biscotti left somewhere..it's about time for one of those here... maybe with a second coffee....hmmm...good idea.....

  3. -33C here Monday morning, nothing started! But it was beautiful out.


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