Country Living Series

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A winter walk

Along with much of the rest of the nation, we've been locked in a bitter cold snap for the past week. We've "only" gotten down to -2F (I know a lot of folks are in double-digit subzero weather) but last night we also had a brisk north wind that made life pretty miserable. We've been feeding the critters a lot of extra hay, since metabolism is what helps keep them warm. We haven't let the chickens out of the coop in four days.

Yet despite (or because of) the cold temps, the days have been clear and sunny. This afternoon, when the wind died and the temp rose to a (cough) balmy 8F, the girls and I decided to go for a walk. We've been cooped up a lot, and a brisk walk sounded good.

Appropriate dress was in order.

We decided to take the dogs. Well, at least Lydia. Major is an old man and couldn't handle either the distance or the temperature, so before embarking on our venture, Older Daughter walked Major to the end of the driveway, let him sniff around a bit, and then walked him back. It's about as much as he can handle these days.

That accomplished, we set off across the frozen fields toward a neighbor's pond to check out the ice.

As you can see, we have the barest amount of snow. It's just been too cold to snow lately.

Here's the neighbor's pond, frozen solid. We were curious how thick the ice was.

The sun peeked through the trees.

The ice was, indeed, very thick. (Pity we didn't have ice skates.)

The girls spent a lot of time studying the frozen bubbles, vegetation, cracks, and other phenomenon. We estimated the ice to be about seven inches thick.

Big circles. (Bubbles?)


A log.


After a little coaxing, Lydia went right out onto the ice.

She was having fun, despite the cold!

No, Older Daughter didn't fall -- she's examining the bubble pattern under the ice.

We only lasted about twenty minutes before we had to head home because of the temperature.

Back at the house, we saw this mixture of quail and turkey prints in the snow.

Lydia was pretty tired after her walk.

We're supposed to start easing out of this cold snap toward the end of the week. No argument from me!


  1. It's crispy critters here, too. Too cold to snow. All day. The slightest breeze bites through your jeans. This evening there's a clear, beautiful sky if you can stand to be out there to look at it. The stars are radiant and close feeling and the air is strikingly sweet and fresh.

    I'd been wondering about Major. Sounds like he's doing ok, all things considered. Our dear old hound/chow cross just passed away and left a great void. I have a close friend with two working GPs and the same kind of sheep as we have. They're both great gentlemen, and it's a good thing since either one would stand a head taller than Lydia. But again, they're working dogs who stay out at night and keep away coyotes and bobcats and mountain lions. There are no pictures of them outgrowing their beloved wood frame rocking chair. lol But they are dear, sweet dogs and exactly in their element. I think I'd like to have one, or a breed like it. I've met some wonderful Burmese Mountain dogs that were a joy to have in the house and holy terrors to any critter threats outdoors. Is Lydia diurnal? It seems like I read they'll adapt to their family's sleep cycle if they're raised in the house. Is she a good watchdog?

    Both of my friend's dogs were really calm and smart pups like Lydia was. That's a huge plus.


  2. Hi Patrice,
    Looks like a lovely walk.
    I'm wondering if you would write a post about dealing with your cattle in the cold weather. Are they inside the barn? How do you keep their water from freezing, How much 'extra' feed do you give them? Do you feed grain? Stay warm and May your Christmas be blessed.

  3. .....from the sounds of things this cold isn't a norm for your region? That surprises me given you live in northern B.C, Canada, we're -40C and holding strong, although when it was -11C last night and lightly snowing I thought, 'Wow, look how warm and lovely it is!" Hahaha.

  4. Our field pond is like that now :) We took a walk there yesterday and used the ice for target practice. It was perfect to do practice patterns on!

  5. Great pictures! I especially loved the 'circles' and 'bubbles'. Very cool.

    I haven't let my hens out of their house for going on three days. They're fine, just baffled. LOL We have a high of 29 predicted today, but our real problem is ice. Hubby's Chief's rig is at the foot of the driveway because even if he could get it up the driveway, if there's a call then getting it down the driveway is a problem. Stopping by hitting trees isn't his preference.

  6. It appears Lydia may be like our son's GP Trip, the worse the weather, the better he likes it. Cold, snow, rain, right up his ally. :o)

  7. It appears Lydia is like our son's GP, Trip. The worse the weather, the better he likes it. Cold, snow, rain, he LOVES it.. : o)

  8. It all looks so beautiful! So hard to relate, though, because here in Central FL it has been in mid-80's for several days.

  9. Looks like SW Idaho got more snow than you did up north which is very rare. Smokey the cat seems to have made peace with the snow or seems to realize I can't make it go away and the pekes are staying in the house mostly and not playing in the snow.

  10. It's been pretty cold out here in east Texas too, but nothing close to what your cold. I definitely enjoy all the fotos you post. You have lovely daughters...and I just love Lydia! she seems so sweet and loveable. Have a great week and stay warm. Hugs and blessings your way. :)