Pepper in her winter coat

Winter is most decidedly upon us.

It may not be the official calendar date, which doesn’t appear until the twenty-first of December.

But in pasture and people terms, it’s winter.

Here’s how I know:

  • It’s dark by four-thirty or five each day, now that we’ve switched from Daylight Savings Time to plain old Mountain Standard Time. My feeding schedule has moved to the middle of the day to accommodate the early darkness.
  • The hay truck is making twice daily deliveries to hungry, bored horses.
  • It’s time to get out the blankets for the animals and hats, gloves, boots and winter coats for the humans.
  • The road leading to the pasture, as well as a good portion of the pasture itself, is a sea of slippery, gooshy, mucky, wet mud. My car and shoes already tell the tale.

A first experience with snow

Before you get a wrong idea that all I’m going to do is complain about the cold, I want to share with you something truly magical that happened recently.

Remember the foal that was born early in July? I first met him when he was just a couple of days old. Then later in the summer, I got to spend time with him when he had outings with his mother in the pasture that adjoins our little herd of oldsters.

On the day of the first snow, the foal was introduced to the white stuff. The horse keeper had saddled mom and was giving her a little walkabout in one of the fields. Right behind her was the foal. He didn’t need a lead rope, because he was sticking to mom like white on rice.

Mostly.

Every now and then he’d lag behind just a bit to take a good long look at his new environment. Then mom and rider would get too far away, and he’d give a healthy whinny and run to catch up.

As they made several revolutions around the field, I noticed a group of horses glued to the other side of the fence watching this little guy. I think these were some of the same mares that kept track of him earlier in the summer. It was the sweetest sight. They were ears up, fully engaged, content to watch the baby. I know the feeling!

It was yet another reminder for me to revel in the present moment. Because for that glorious span of time, all I knew was the magic of a mother and baby frolicking in newly fallen snow.

And I ask you, can life get any better than that?

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