Friday, December 15, 2017


The sun rose yesterday morning on a winter wonderland!

There is nothing more beautiful, to me, than the farm right after a fresh snowfall.

Everything is still and quiet... peacefully tucked under a soft, downy quilt of fluffy white.

Just as dawn touches the sky, the earth is bathed in dreamy blue light.

As the sun reaches the horizon, the pre-dawn blues are replace by golds and oranges.

It's magical!

We sent the horses and donkeys into the pasture for their breakfast of hay.
Eventually they will nose around in the snow in search of grass
(which, at this time of year, is sparse).

More importantly, though, a snowy pasture gives them the opportunity to stay out longer...
getting more exercise and more mental stimulation.

  Every morning, as the sun rises, we open up the guinea house and they come
bustling out...running and flying... ready to take on the world.
Yesterday morning....

The dogs have a blast in the snow...
playtime made even more fun with the appearance of Daisy and Buddy
(Dr. Becky's dogs).

Sam always takes playtime to a different level...growing and snarling.
He's all bark, though.  It's just his way of playing.
Although, I must admit - he sounds a bit like a junkyard dog!
You might have noticed that Annie and Chester swapped parkas this morning.
Chester needs to grow a little for his to fit better.

Every winter I receive questions about what I wear
 to stay warm while outside for long periods of time.
Perhaps the most important of my cold weather gear is my base layer.
I wear either merino wool top and bottoms or Under Armor.
I have found that merino wool is the warmest.
I wear merino wool socks and tall Muck boots on my feet.
I have never found warmer, drier boots than Muck boots.
Over my base layer, I wear gore-tex pants (from my Cabela's rain suit) tucked into my muck boots and an Under Armor sweatshirt.
On my head... a fleece headband.
Most days, this is enough. 
I don't like to be too warm, but rather just a little cool.
There is nothing worse than sweating while outside in the cool.
When the wind blows, I add my gore-tex rain jacket.
When the temperature drops below thirty, I add a quilted work jacket, 
but often end up removing it.
On my hands... I usually wear insulated leather rancher's gloves...
several sizes too big.
Extra large gloves provide an airspace around your fingers that allows for the circulation
of warm wearing mittens.

I have also found that my hands are warmer in the winter if I resist the temptation to 
put on gloves early in the season.
Acclimating your hands to cold weather gradually helps your hands to build up more
capillaries...bringing more blood flow, and hence, warmth to your fingers.
It's a principle used by mountain climbers who condition their hands by plunging them into ice-cold
water to get them used to the cold.
Then by the time the temperatures drop below freezing, gloves are enough to keep my hands toasty warm.
I rarely need gloves if the temperature is above freezing.
(and this was not always the case)

My best advice when it comes to cold is...
to embrace it!  Don't fight it.
Buy yourself good gear and get out in the cold... you will eventually become used to it.
There is nothing more invigorating than cold fresh air filling your lungs!
And make sure you have something on your feet to keep you from falling!
I use ice cleats when the ground gets frozen and slippery.


Colleen said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures today.
The Guinea's cracked me up!
When our lab (onyx) was younger she would roll in the snow and I called it her snow bath and I would tell her she was fresh as a daisy.

Karen Ann said...

I'm going to try those ranch gloves, as I've got warm winter garb that works out at the barn except!.. for the gloves. My fingers burn they get so cold. Will try your suggestion. I even wear two pairs - but they're not leather insulated, just knit. Perhaps that's the problem.

daisy gurl said...

It's great to see the sweet pups playing. You'd never know Sam had mobility issues just a few weeks ago!

Thank you for the cold weather gear information. I'm taking notes. ;0D I'm a newbie with this kind of cold, so I appreciate you sharing what you know. I would like to continue my daily walking through the winter, and having the right gear will make that so.
Blessings to you and yours this weekend!

Missy George said...

Magical indeed...invigorating for sure.I prefer mittens..gloves don't seem warm enough for me..I tried those leather farmers gloves but prefer woolen or down mittens..I love the cold if there is no wind.Ice cleats are great but sometimes come off in the snow especially if there is a crust on top..They can be dangerous on concrete or macadam..There is a lot of good cold weather gear out there, it's just a matter of finding what what works for you.I am a fan of down ;)
Enjoy your weekend.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Ha ha, those guinea hens are no fools!

Katmom said...

It's that wonderful time of the year,,, HoHoHo!
Jolly Jingles to all at the B.H.A.,,,

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love being out in the cold! it's one of my most favorite things!


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