What a crazy winter it has been already! By late November we had several feet of snow on the ground and I had my snowshoes out. Once we had some trails packed down I could put them away, though walking could still be a bit difficult with each additional bit of snow on top. By December we were getting some very cold temperatures, and we had to delay some of our morning walks so it could warm up enough that Luke’s paws wouldn’t get too cold in the snow (we actually had to turn around and come back home one time that it was just too cold for him).
Just when we were psyching ourselves up to settle in for a long, cold winter, it started to warm up. By Christmas we had barely any snow left on the ground! Melting and rain left icy areas, though luckily there was enough bare ground that walking could be easier. I did have to put my Yak Traks* (affiliate link) on my boots, however, since traction could be tricky in some places. We got a light snow on Christmas Eve, just enough to call it a white one, and we were back to walking on mostly bare ground again. Until the next rainstorm, a big one, which left behind an icy mess and walking was even a bit difficult for Luke here and there. We shortened our walks because I was a bit worried about him slipping on one of his bad knees. We did OK though. On New Year’s eve morning we woke up to a red sunrise that did not bode well for that evening.
Hopefully everyone that was headed out for New Year’s eve took warning. We got a combination of snow, freezing rain, and rain. Ironically that made the walking a bit better. There was just enough snow in there to make a slightly crunchy crust on top where Luke could keep traction and I could sink in just enough to get some as well.
The best came by just yesterday when we woke up to two fresh inches of snow on the ground, which made walking much, much easier. Now we are just hoping that Mother Nature will accept the fact that it is winter, and just keep giving us snow.
It makes walking so much easier, and no one has any use for the ice stuff! After years of up and down New England winters, we’ve learned when it is best to just let the snow sit on the ground. Plowing it away just leads us back to ice! The only downside is that the chickens and guinea hens are not happy about losing their bare ground. However, on that morning where walking on the crust was good? A fox decided that made it easy for him to walk right into our yard and visit the chicken coop/run. Luckily it was early enough in the morning that they were still safely inside their fence, and Mr. Fox couldn’t get to them. I chased him away, but now they are confined until we’re sure he has moved on.
Another good thing about that fresh snow? We’ll be able to check for tracks to see if he is still coming around. If there’s no sign of him after a few days, we’ll start letting them back out again under close supervision. We hope perhaps Mr. Fox was just passing through and will move on since the birds were inaccessible. Maybe the Dadz will even shovel or plow some areas down to bare ground, and they’ll be very happy again. They don’t like walking in snow anyway, so they’d probably only venture as far as the garage and barn if they could come out.
Luke and I are certainly happy that walking has become easier again, and that they are predicting another storm next week, which will hopefully be coming in the form of more snow! Maybe I’ll be getting my snowshoes back out again. The only thing we know for sure? Mother Nature will probably keep us guessing all winter long!
Thank you to our friends at Living, Laughing & Barking in Our Backyard for hosting the Nature Friday hop! Please visit other blogs through the links below to enjoy more of nature’s beauty.