I will admit to you that there are mornings when leaving a warm and cozy bed to venture out into sub-zero weather is just a little bit difficult. Honestly, it can feel a little like torture. BUT...
once I am outside and busily working away, I no longer think about it as torture. It's only fair, after all- since the animals are out in the cold (some have the luxury of heat lamps, however) that their breakfast should be on time no matter the weather.
I wonder, on these long, cold days if the animals get bored. Winter life is so much different than life during the other three seasons... especially for some. The pigs, for example, venture out into the extreme cold only once or twice a day - for treats - otherwise, they stay within the shelter of their stall. Their living space is heavily lined with soft, fluffy hay and kept a little warmer by a heat lamp that hangs over their bed. Ginger and MaryAnn are always happy to have visitors... especially during meal times (the best part of their day!).
Normally, the pigs would be out wandering the front pasture for most of the day. Now, however, it is just too cold and the pasture is covered by a layer of ice and snow.
The horses have free access to the front pasture. Their nutrition these days comes from hay and their supplemental feed - no grass, these days - but having access to the front pasture gives them something to do - even if it is wandering around in search of grass. At least they are getting some mental and physical exercise.
Yesterday was farrier day.
Luckily our farrier had had the foresight to schedule our appointment for later in the morning. Earlier in the morning the thermometer had looked like this...
I believe yesterday was the coldest day we have had in years.
We utilized the heat of the sun while trimming the donkey's hooves.
These two stood perfectly still, and hoof trimming was finished in record time.
when rubbing against his legs didn't work,
she simply threw herself down into his work space and rolled over onto her back. Surely this chubby, furry belly would convince him to pet her. No? Too cold?
Nothing was going to deter her... she even tried to entice the donkeys...
As for me, when the work was finished, I headed for the warmth of the fireplace and a hot cup of tea.
Both Jack and I are tea drinkers (neither of us have ever had a cup of coffee!) We enjoy all sorts of teas... black, chai, greens, herbals, and so, we keep a well stocked tea cabinet...
Our teas are all loose-leaf and organic. A little research taught us that non-organic teas are heavily sprayed with pesticides which are then absorbed into the leaves. And because it is the leaves that we are steeping when we drink tea... we decided that organic would be the best choice. Several of the herbal teas in our cabinet were grown here on the farm... raspberry, mint, chamomile, lemon balm, and lemon verbena.
I spent a portion of the morning working in my watercolor journal - practicing painting water droplets from photographs...
I am still struggling with finding a unique style that I can call my own. Typically, I find myself drawn more towards realism. Perhaps that is because that form of art primarily relies heavily on the ability to observe the world around... my strength. However, I long to be able to draw and paint things that can only be found in one's imagination. Sadly, I believe that is something that I am lacking. So, until I am hit with a bolt of lightening that wakes up my creativity, I will keep painting what I see! And, in case you were wondering... no, I have never seen an ant rolling a droplet of water. The inspiration photograph was one posted by self-described Photoshop artist, Rakesh Rocky.
PS... For Ann: I wear lined, leather rancher's gloves (yellow leather) that I find at either Tractor Supply or our feed store. Most mornings they work just fine. Yesterday, however, my hands froze. What I have learned, through experience, is to buy whatever gloves I am wearing in a man's extra-large. This ensures lots of air space around your fingers (the mitten principle)... helping to keep them much warmer. As for outerwear, I have a quilted Carhart-type jacket (less expensive brand) that is super warm over top of a sweatshirt. For pants, I have been very happy with Mountain Horse arctic riding pants. My last pair held up for 13 years. I just ordered a new pair yesterday. I am hoping the newer version is as warm as the older one was! For footwear, Muckboots has an Arctic line that is well-insulated and waterproof.
I am not sure why, but this week flew by! I have no idea what manner of mischief I will get into over the weekend, but I will surely share it with you on Monday! Have a lovely weekend!!