From Pipi’s Pasture: Frosty-looking black cows and snow piling up as January approaches | CraigDailyPress.com

From Pipi’s Pasture: Frosty-looking black cows and snow piling up as January approaches

Diane Prather/For Craig Press

It's nearly January 2018, and, of course, everyone is wondering what the new year will bring. Mostly, county residents are making predictions about the winter. Some believe it will be dry; others think the spring will bring lots of moisture. Some are hanging onto every bit of hay, fearing it will be scarce this summer. Professional weather predictors have varying opinions. I think my husband Lyle has the best advice: "Wait until winter is over, and then we'll know what the weather is going to do."

Anyway, what I do know is what is going on here at Pipi's Pasture as Jan. 1 approaches, both for us and the animals.

• There's not much snow, but it's piling up here at Pipi's Pasture, even if it is only about three inches deep, and from past experiences, I know that it can get a lot deeper before we know it.

• It won't be long until Lyle has to blow the snow away from the driveway.

• The few inches of snow that have fallen have drifted in front of the corral gate, so I have to "work at it" to pull a bale of hay into the corral.

• We've already experienced blizzards, and winter is just getting started.

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• We have to get used to warming up the cars, cleaning snow and ice off the windshields, then driving on slick roads again.

• Especially on cloudy mornings, I have to wait awhile before it's light enough to start corral chores.

• We use the cows as weather forecasters, because whenever a storm is approaching, especially with wind, they head to the front part of the pasture to take advantage of the windbreak provided by a row of lilac bushes.

• The black cows are frosty-looking on these cold mornings.

• When it's sunny, after breakfast, the cows stand out on the feedlot, eyes closed, chewing their cuds — perfectly content, despite the air temperature.

• The deer sleep under the evergreen trees in the front yard at night.

• The deer keep breaking pieces off the "pumpkin icicles"(pumpkins left in the front that froze) and eating them, no matter the frozen state, so that even the largest pumpkin is nearly gone.

• Bud, our grandson Kenny's cat, stays in his warm bed in the carport or under the storage shed until the temperature is warm enough to travel to the front porch for breakfast.

• The nearly-grown summer kittens come to the back enclosed porch for food and hot water before daylight.

• A flock of sparrows is spending the winter here, landing in the big trees in front of the house and around the corral. When they take off, all at once, it is as if a big wind has come up.

• I have resorted to using my retractable hoses to fill the water tanks in Ucky's pen, which are handy, indeed, because I can pick them up and carry them to the house in a bucket, where they stay warm for the next day.

So that's how January 2018 finds everything here at Pipi's Pasture. I wish you the very best New Year!