I tried one last time to convince the Belgians to PLEASE come into their stalls. I stood outside their loafing shed and called them. I shook buckets of grain. No luck.
The wind was blowing towards me. I figured they couldn't hear me at the back of the big pasture. I pleaded to them, "Please don't make me come out to get you!" No response. So out I walked to the very back of the pasture where I'd last seem them facing me with their backs to the storm.
This meant I was walking directly into the storm and if it wasn't for the fence line next to my left side, I wouldn't have had any idea of where I was heading. Finally through the gray shadows, I came upon our younger horse, Gus. I startled him but he walked up to me snorting and wild eyed. I was covered in snow and I can only imagine what he thought. Perhaps a snowman about to attack him!
I greeted him, yelling as loud as I could but trying to make my voice sound calm. The big shadow headed towards me. My face was so cold, I turned and started walking back where I'd come from, hoping he'd follow me. Turning to my left side, I could see his huge dark shadow beside me. I headed back with the fence line now on my right side for navigation and Gus next to me on my left.
I could hear him snorting as he walked with me and I could tell he was really spooked and unsure of all of this. Gus is a big boy, weighing in at well over 2,000 lbs. I surely didn't want him to spook and run into me. I held the lead rope in my left hand ready to swing it and try to protect myself if he came into me. I focused on not falling in the uneven ground and talking to him the whole way back to the barn.
Gus came with me into the paddock and I showed him the grain in the loafing shed that opens into the paddock. It's well protected from the wind and before I headed out, I'd put 4 flakes of hay into each of the 3 feeders. Who would want to leave a place like that on a day like this?
I then made my way back to the gate, hoping Sunny, our elderly Belgian had followed. I was relieved to see his snowy figure lumber past me. I closed the gate. At least they'd be closer to us and we'd be able to keep an eye on them. I was covered in dry white snow; you would never have known my jacket was red.
By the time I left the barn both the horses were finished with their grain. Where were they? Back outside, with their backs against the wind and snow! I gave up.
In the house I started the woodstove and dinner. After last week, I worried about the power staying on. I turned on the TV so see the Seattle freeways below us jammed with cars and hear the urgency in the news reporter's voices. With my husband and daughter still on their way home it stressed me out so much that I turned it off and turned on some music. Ahhhh, much better!
My family arrived home safely with incredible stories to tell. Dinner was waiting. The winds raged outside with snow blowing up and swirling around instead of gently falling down, the wood stove put out heat and the power stayed on! We watched the news all night long, feeling badly for the people in the City who were stuck in their cars (some all night long) on the freeways.
Yesterday brought us a silent wonderland of snow and last night when I headed off to bed it was 4 degrees. But the furnace kept going and our house has proved to be tight and snug. That being said, I'm not looking forward to our next power bill!
I've decided to keep the Belgians in the paddock until this all passes. I took a few pictures today:
Picture of our back yard taken ten days ago.
Picture of the same, taken today.
As I close this Post, I hear that warmer weather is on its way - sweet, sweet rain is coming! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I haven't even had a chance to do my Post on it yet! This weather has been in the front of all of us and I'm glad to see it behind us so I can get back up to the barn to ride Poco and prepare for the Holidays.
After the last week, it's not a long stretch to know what I'm grateful for this year.