Sunday, December 31, 2017

A frigid hunt and Happy New Year

Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts: the sight of the deep-blue sky, and the clustering skies above, seem to impart a quiet in the mind.
                                             Jonathan Edwards

There is always a reason to get out there in the sun, no matter if the sun shares her heat or not. It is a beautiful photogenic time of the year. There are treasures to be captured if you are brave enough to venture out. I wanted to share some treasures with you on this cold frigid day.

There was nothing in the world that could have kept me inside and huddled in the house on a beautiful sunny day. All that delicious feasting over the Christmas holidays seemed to have made my clothes a bit snug, so it needed to be done. This going outside every day no matter what the weather challenge that I had I given myself has to be a good idea. I would make it work no matter the weather.

I am not sure about the weather where you are but it is cold here. I mean really cold. The “freeze your nose and fall off” cold. Apparently, it was, and still is “the coldest it has been in forty years” cold. It is a “colder than Siberia” cold. (I can go on but I am pretty sure you get my point.

Well, early Boxing Day I waited till the sun warmed the air up (or so I thought) and headed outside. I was wise to wait till the sun came up because it warmed the temperature up by a couple of degrees Celsius. It was -33 degrees Celsius. Throw the wind in that mix and apparently, it felt like -40 degrees Celsius. Yes, it was as cold as that sounds.

We are having tractor problems with this weather. Big Red is cooperating but on her own time. She likes to stay plugged in and get to work when she decides to work. Little Red has decided to not work for us at all. She has always been the stubborn one and now she just does not want to work and remains in hibernation mode. What can I say?

I walked down the snow-covered lane in the biting winds. It was cold but I was layered enough that I did not mind it. I stopped to take photos as I passed by something interesting.

When I made it down to where the cows were I could see that they were comfortable with the sunshine and the layers of bedding on the ground. The south-side and the shelter from the cedars keep them safe from the wind. 

They munched on the enormous amounts of hay that we put out every day to make sure they never want for fuel.
I stopped to chat a bit and headed into the bush. Instantly I could hear a pounding like a jackhammer. That is a very distinctive sound and I knew that I had to find that Pileated Woodpecker. She would be hammering at those dead trees and removing those bugs. I scanned the trees until I found her.

She was absolutely beautiful. I pulled off my down hood and watched. She was not bothered by me at all. I kept my shutter button moving. She did not leave until she flew to another tree and I trotted right behind her. It was surprisingly warm in the bush and out of the wind. She was not frightened by me and only focused on breakfast on a bitterly cold day. I was only focused on her beauty on that cold day.

Well, with her fill she flew off in the direction of another grove of tall pine trees on the other side of the fence. That was my cue to venture back out into that wind and cold air. Then I heard another sound.

It was Big Red with My Hero in the driver’s seat. They had come back to feed the cows. I must have been back in the bush longer than I knew. That was when I stood and watched My Hero feed the cows. I walked up the lane towards the house while he finished his chores and checks. I thought about him going back to work after the New Year and could only hope that the weather changes back to normal before this once again becomes my job.

I put out my thumb and hitched a ride back. That was enough treasure hunting for one day. There is always a tomorrow.

We want to wish you all a Happy New Year from the farm. Keep warm and be safe.

To all those other farmers out there who know and understand the challenges of farming in this weather just hold tight. “This too shall pass.” Be safe.



  1. Happy New Year to you and yours......keep those logs on the fire.

  2. Happy 2018! I like your determination to go out in any weather. I am of like mind. The body needs to move to be healthy. (Just don't stop too long or you might freeze!) I heard a tap, tap, tapping the other day and thought it was my husband in the loft above the kitchen. But, I suddenly realized it was a woodpecker hammering on our wood siding. I went out and waved my dishtowel so it would fly away and tap trees instead. My 3 older Grands are with us - the boys and Bob just left for skiing. My sleepyhead Granddaughter and I have errands to run this morning. I'll soon wake her up. I like your snowy photos. Have a healthy and adventurous new year!

  3. Best Wishes to your house from mine!

  4. A very Happy New Year to you and yours - and thank you so much for the beautiful chilly gifts in this post.

  5. Happy New Year to you! I admire your efforts get out. Cheer up, only two months to March.

  6. All the best for a happy and successful 2018 to you and your hero.

  7. Such beautiful pictures. Snow is so pretty when thick and white and sun-sparkled, although I'm very glad I don't have to experience the cold that comes with it.
    Happy New Year.

  8. I love the woodpecker photos. I will admit I am super jealous. I am lucky to make it to the end of our sidewalk without a coughing spell. I miss snowshoeing greatly. My dog, Ella, doesn't understand that I am sick and continually begs me to go for a walk. I may be healthier inside when it comes to the bronchitis, but my soul is in dire need of a walk in the woods.

  9. Oh my, oh so beautiful but oh so COLD too. I don't see how you survive going out in that. I've been down here in s.e. Florida for way to long, 1960, and would not survive in your temps.

    Be well, be safe and may you and your dear husband have a great 2018. Thank you for sharing your life there on your farm and abroad.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  10. Such lovely photos, here's hoping 2018 is a wonderful year filled with more lovely photos

  11. You are amazing to be able to enjoy such weather. Granted it sure makes for lovely photos but freezing your nose off would daunt me. I would be huddled up in bed or in front of the fire. Instead I am here in my shorts and T shirt listening to the rumble of a summer storm arriving. It is +30°C.

  12. Such beautiful photos! I can only imagine your weather though; we live in Florida. But, it has been quite a lot 'cooler' here this season. I try not to whine, though, as so many have it worse. :)


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