From Pipi’s Pasture: A typical January |

From Pipi’s Pasture: A typical January

This morning while I was out doing chores I noticed that the air had a bite to it. True, it wasn’t much above zero, but it seemed much colder than recent days when the temperature did register below zero. Perhaps it was the humidity that made the difference as everything—porch railings, tree branches, cars, cows, and fences—were covered with hoar-frost. Anyway, by the time I was finished feeding the animals and was headed back to the house, my joints felt stiff. I guess it is just a “typical” January—whatever “typical” means.

This has me thinking about the sights, sounds, and feelings associated with January.

*The ground is covered with snow, and plowed snow is piled up along the fences and driveway.

*There are plenty of foggy, cloudy, cold days, but then sometimes the weather takes a turn and we experience January thaw days.

*After dark I use the yard lights to the east to let me know what the weather is like; if I can’t see the lights there’s likely a blizzard, if I can see a little amount of light there’s heavy snow, and dim light indicates some snow.

*The lights can be seen through the windows as the snowplow cleans the snow from the highway after dark, and sometimes I can hear the truck’s blade as it plows a light amount of snow off the pavement.

*I keep my fingers crossed during and after a snowstorm, hoping that the wind doesn’t blow.

*A hearty snowstorm with wind usually means extra work in the morning in order to clean up around corral gates.

*The haystack looks like a giant cake, frosted with snow icing.

*The hydrant handle at the corral water faucet is stiff after a cold night so it is wise to wait until the morning temperature has warmed up before filling stock tanks.

*Water hoses have to be left inside where it is warm.

*Late summer calves enjoy playing with the tank heater so care has to be taken to secure it or the heater will end up on the ground—and ice will have formed on water in the tank.

*The good news is that a snowstorm is over; the bad news is that the temperature will fall afterwards.

*It is two-pair glove weather; I carry an extra pair in my pocket so there are dry gloves after working in the snow.

*The cows are often covered in snow.

*The cats have taken to finding shelter under the front porch, under sheds, in the carport, between bales in the haystack, and a wide choice of other dry places around Pipi’s Pasture.

*The cats come out in the morning after it warms up and still go with me to the corral whenever the weather permits, often walking in front of me which means “walk a few steps, stop and lick their paws, walk a few more steps, etc.”

*The snow provides clean eating places for the cows.

*Deer tracks on the front porch lead to the cat pan; the deer have found cat food, as with last winter.

*A snowstorm always has me wondering about the next morning’s roads.

It’s January, indeed, but the snow will provide much-needed moisture for the summer.

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