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Here’s a pasture equation for you: Snow + Hungry + Bored = Curious Horses.
When we returned to Colorado after nearly two weeks in sunny Mexico, (more about that coming soon) we found snowy pastures and bored horses.
Horses graze. It’s what they do all day long.
It makes them happy.
A nibble here, a nibble there and before you know it, an entire day has passed. So obviously when there is nothing to nibble on, a horse gets bored.
And hungry. Those twice daily hay deliveries don’t last long. What’s a horse to do with the other eleven hours of the day?
Well they grow curious, vigilant really, and always on the lookout for the F-word.
That would be food!
I needed to give you this backstory to set the stage for the photos to come.
You see, we had to drive into the pasture to get to the Golden Girls, who spent our vacation in their own special “hotel.” They had room service and no one bothered them. They could munch hay as long as they wanted with no fear of a bigger, stronger horse muscling in. We took them grain before turning them into the bigger pasture.
Then we waited. The Golden Girls are dawdlers. At least the one named Pepper!
And while we waited we had visitors.
Somebody was certain there was something to eat in the back of the pickup. It is the same kind of vehicle that delivers hay. Right??
Annie thought it looked pretty warm inside the cab. She wasn’t above begging!
We’ve got snow.
Lots of it.
When I’m out feeding the Golden Girls I can’t help but notice the huge stretches of fluffy, white snow in the pastures not currently inhabited by the herd.
Mounds of clean snow often take me back to my childhood in Wyoming when we’d sometimes make snow ice cream. It always seemed such a magical thing to do.
Scoop up snow, mix in sugar, vanilla and cream and voila, you have ice cream.
Well sort of.
Fair warning to my husband: I’m seriously thinking about whipping up a batch today.
The other day Pepper got into the act in her horse manner. She kept dumping her feed pan, scattering the grain across the snow. Then one by one she’d nibble up each piece, along with a mouthful of snow.
Maybe she was thirsty.
I prefer to think she was making her own version of snow ice cream. I know it doesn’t look that appealing in the photo, but to her it was the height of deliciousness.
A little grain; a little snow. A gastronomic delight.
Whatever floats your boat!
Stay warm and remember:
When life gives you snow, make ice cream.
News Flash: It’s still winter.
I know the folks on the east coast have no doubt about that, but here in Colorado, Mother Nature toys with us. She’s tossed fifty and even sixty degree days at us, only to snap us back to reality with yesterday’s snowstorm.
Luckily we got coats on the Golden Girls so they were prepared. I had to do a bit of self talk to get my head in the right place to venture out. But I did – can’t bear to think about those two sweet old things going without their extra calories.
Once I arrived, I was thrilled with the beauty of the snow.
The day was hazy and it was still lightly snowing. The snow had muffled the sounds so that there was only a distant hum of traffic on the Interstate and a slight buzzing of wires overhead.
But mostly it was still.
So still I could hear the horses chewing their grain. I was alone with my horses and it was magical. And such a gift.
It made me realize, yet again, that there is always something beautiful to be found when you really open your eyes and heart to look.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
This is Sunny and Forty. They are cold and looking for a snack. And who did they find, but me!
Lucky horses they are. (Sorry to slip into Yoda-speak. We were on a Star Wars marathon over the weekend.)
The temperature has dropped to below zero and as you can see from the frosty noses, it’s plenty cold for the horses. If an alfalfa cube or two or three helps, I’m happy to oblige.
Just one of my “little bits of good for the world.”
Take care and stay warm!
Spring snows are notoriously wet, and the storm we’re in the middle of right now is no exception. I think it’s safe to say there isn’t a person around that isn’t delighted about the moisture we’re getting. The earth is soaking up all this wet snow.
When you’re in drought conditions, it’s all about the water.
That said, most of us are tired of the snow. It’s the middle of April for goodness sakes. Where are the daffodils? The tulips? The flowering fruit trees? Most of them haven’t poked their pretty little heads out. Mother Nature trained them well.
When I went out to feed my sweet Miss Pepper, I found her with icicle beads dangling from her mane.
She’s not quite so thrilled about all the moisture we’re getting. The pasture is filled with cold, bored, hungry horses. When you graze for a living and your source of nibbling is buried under a foot of snow, well…let’s just say it isn’t pretty.
I did tell Pepper that in many cultures women wear beads in their hair and it’s a expression of beauty. Those diamond-like gems on her dark mane are beautiful.
But she wasn’t buying it. Something about frozen globs of water slapping against your neck with every move you make.
I could see her point.
If you’re reading this surrounded by warmth and spring flowers, send us a little, will you?
And if you’re here in the middle of our spring snowstorm with Pepper and me, or somewhere else with a snowstorm, let’s all repeat the mantra of folks living with drought:
“Thank goodness for all the moisture.”
P.S. Postcards from the Pasture will resume tomorrow.
Cold is to be expected.
But, oh my goodness, it seemed like a really cold weekend.
The sky was grey.
The temperature was low.
The ground was snow-covered.
And the horses were cold, bored and hungry.
Maybe my tolerance for cold is narrowing.
It’s a distinct possibility…
How do you handle the cold weather?
Are you curled up beside a crackling fire with a good book, or charging forth into the elements with gusto? Or is there something in between?
P.S. I’ve suggested to Red that putting his warm tongue on a freezing metal gate is not the best idea he’s ever had. But he ignored me. He is after all a Mustang!