Finally, it is winter

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

A couple of days ago, I glanced up from where I was writing and took in the scene viewed through the dining room windows. It’s not that I don’t see the same thing each day, but this time, after the dry fall and all, I thought, “We finally have winter.”

Even though it has snowed and blown for a little while now, the snowy scene seemed especially wintry this particular day. Plowed snow was piled up against the fences; a snow shovel was propped up against a gate; the backyard and pasture beyond were covered by drifted and crusted snow, marked by deer and cat tracks; icicles hung down from the roof; and everywhere it was white, white, white. It looked downright frigid outside, and suddenly I realized we’re into winter. Then I got to thinking about what makes winter “winter.” I came up with a list.

  • The snow shovel is the tool-of-the-month.
  • Drifts in the back and front yards at the house are deep, as usual in winter, in about the same places we expect (much different as compared to last winter when it was dirt that blew into the yard).
  • Snow is piled up deep along the front fence here at Pipi’s Pasture where the county road was plowed and in one place a chunk of packed, frozen snow rests on top of the fence wire.
  • Tracks and a “scooped out” area remain where a vehicle slid off the county road and nearly into the fence.
  • A portion of crusted snow on the front porch rail is hanging there; when touched, the snow is so hard that it won’t break off.
  • When it warms up, snow falls off the roof, some in sheets and others of small “plop, plop” size.
  • Icicles are hanging from the roof and drip when it warms up.
  • Slick spots are tricky to maneuver on plowed areas of the driveway when it melts and freezes again, bringing back memories of winters when the entire driveway has been slick.
  • Cows hang around the shed longer these cold mornings, not wanting to get out and walk around to the other side of the corral to wait for breakfast.
  • The snow is so frozen under the gate to the corral that I have to leave it partially open so I can squeeze through; then I have to tie hay twines horizontally across the opening to keep the deer from entering. (What a sight!)
  • Because of the crusted snow on top of them, it is hard to pry top bales off the stack; then it is difficult to remove the bale twines to put out the hay.
  • It’s a chore to keep the driveway clear of snow; thank goodness for thoughtful neighbors!
  • On cold mornings, the “barn cats” stay warm and cozy where they spent the night—in spaces between stacked bales, in sheds, under buildings, and in the stock trailers.
  • Plenty of wet gloves line the heat register, drying for the next chore time.

It’s winter for sure. (Forgive me for writing about the weather again this week, but it is what’s happening.)

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