This morning I lingered over coffee and birdwatching. The snow crept in sometime in the early morning hours, before daylight. Falling gently, unknown to us who sleep snuggled under warm blankets. When I awoke, just before light, I knew something was amiss, it was too quiet and muffled. No wind howling and blowing, just beautiful snowflakes landing on every branch. I love when the pines have snow resting on them, it is a magic time.
I am the one feeding the horses these days, my wonderful husband helped drive a friend to Florida and is soaking up the sunshine there. Oh, the Florida folks think it's cold just now, for Ohio folks, it is delightful! The horses knicker as I make my way through the snow to the barn, everything is so white it is blinding, can't begin to see the snow tracked path to the barn from yesterday. All is filled in, it is clean, quiet and white.
The dogs are eager for their breakfast, dancing and prancing around me like they were starved. It is hard being house dogs and making your way to the barn in the snow for breakfast! The cats are fluffed up to keep warm, they rub against the dogs faces and my legs, also awaiting breakfast. The dogs hate when the cats do that, they are terribly insulted I think.
I must carry hay from the big barn to the horse barn twice a day. I hate carrying the hay, the hay drops all over my fleece jacket and my fuzzy scarf, making me look a bit like a scarecrow when I wear them to the grocery or post office. Anyway, when it is cold, horses need more hay to keep warm. So that means more than one trip back and forth. A couple days ago, I devised a plan to keep me free of hay shaft and still move all the hay in one trip! I like being a creative thinker and decided to make a tarp sled to pull the hay on! I just tied some rope to the grommets of the tarp and magic, a tarp sled! My horses don't care how the hay gets to them, they just couldn't wait for me to come and feed them. They also get some grain morning and night.
This morning, as my dogs accompanied me to the horses, hoping for some horse food as a treat. As I came to the gate and scanned the field where the tipi used to sit. (I always look to see the tipi, even after it is down.) Out in the field was a coyote with his nose in the snow, hunting mice. Oh, a beauty it was against the white snow. The coyote didn't stay long, because my wonderful Lab saw him too and took chase! I have never seen a coyote so close to our barns. He looked healthy and I loved his bushy tail!
My horses didn't seem alarmed that the coyote was in their pasture, he does look much like a dog. Or perhaps they have seen them other times. From the house I can watch the horses, I am quick to see when they are watching something "different" in their immediate surroundings. I will hurry to look out other windows to discover what they are watching. Sometimes it is a flock of geese that have landed in the field. Sometimes it is deer making their way through, although I have seen deer bedded down in their pasture and they were totally unconcerned with their presence. People have said that horses don't have good vision, so many times they see things moving across a neighboring field that I would have missed.
I can't wait to get back in the house and have another cup of coffee and watch the birds at the feeder outside while it continues to snow.