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White-tail yearling

After weeks of cold and overcast, yesterday was nice. Bambi and Thumper stopped by to raid the haystack. The clouds cleared off shortly after these photos were taken, then we had blue sky, sunshine and mid-30s temperatures. I spent a lot of time outside, like a sun junky. I even jumped on Jilly bareback and rode for a while. Go figure.

Cottontail marauder

Lest I get too spoiled by such bounty from Mother Nature: This morning, we’re overcast and the wind is howling down the coulee at about 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. It started last night just before bedtime, just so I couldn’t sleep.

Yes, wind is deliberately that evil. It planned ahead for this. It stormed its way east across the ocean and over the Rockies and thundered down the Rocky Mountain front, timing its approach with Swiss time-piece precision to attack my house at dusk.

It’s true.

On the plus side, now I don’t feel so bad about having to stay inside to do laundry and muck out the single-wide manor.

Queen for the day at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly … homeless and moving into my haystacks and under my house.

No, not the evil mouse lords. Bunnies.

We talked to the local steel recyclers about coming out to clean up the last surviving remnants of junkyards past and they said, “Sure, we’ll be out next week.” In the dead dread cold days of winter. Hey, more power to ’em.

The thing is, though, cottontail bunnies dig holes for homes, but they totally love living with a roof over their heads, or rather, their home’s head. As the guys pull up junk, the bunny habitat disappears. Dazed and confoozed, they have wandered their way to our home to eat of our hay bales and hide in the barn and under the house. Yes, under the house.

Sadly, their habitat will continue to shrink for many days to come. It is the dark end of their golden bunny era here at the White Trash Estate. On an up note, the fox, coyotes and owls will be doing quite nicely for a few months. And, I might need to make some bunny stew … if I can get past the fleas.

Yeah, remember there’s that.

Bunnies aren’t all cute and fuzzy at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

Winter, I think I … dislike you with an intensity that makes me want to apply the four letter H-word to my feelings.

I kind of sort of gave up Diet Coke this winter. I quit stocking it in the house and buying it at work. Long has DC been my only source of caffeine and one of my few vices and, lo, I am bereft without it these many days.

This winter is making me want to replace the soda with alcohol. Seriously and forsoothly. A can or two of beer at work, a few glasses of the hard stuff at home in the evening — I’m an embarrassingly cheap drunk, so I think it’ll work for me to be passed out or vomiting the remainder of the winter. It’ll take my mind off the endless succession of cold days and expanse of friggin’ ice across my property. Vomit takes your mind off a lot of things.

I haven’t ridden a horse since November, but then I haven’t had a day outside without slipping at least once since then either. Some days are just a controlled sliding/slipping/skating activity from one place to the other. And just when I think, oh hey, I can make it on my regular route from point A to point B safely if I avoid area 11 there — then we get a day when the temperature jumps 30 degrees and it’s warm enough to melt the top layer of snow and ice (or we get a freezing rain) and we start all over again.

When I get really wound up and ready to do something like swear to quit consuming ice cubes and frozen foods in protest of this mistreatment, I read about the flooding in Australia and the landslides in Brazil and I have to say, well, it’s just ice. It’ll melt and my house will still be here. There’s something to be glad about, Pollyanna.

At that point, I feel all deflated and a little guilty for complaining about something that’ll be a non-issue in a few months and not seeing the bright side.

The bright side sparkles like ice at: pam@viewfromthenorth40.com

I just wanted to share this amazing short, short story (aka, flash fiction) that I read the other day and can’t get out of my head: “The Name of the Stone” by Raine Weaver.

Word up, dude, it’s awesome at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

 

Happy New Year, from the coldest spot in the nation. As in -30 F. But, hey, it’s a dry cold with only 1 percent humidity … and no water flowing through our water pipes. So, really dry. We’re frozen at the main in the shop. Yep, really, really dry.

Oh, and the deer wiped out the fence around one of the hay bales last night so my two big horses got in there to make a mess, and someone took out a rail between the boarded horse’s corral and the hay, so he and his pony buddy could get in on a little bit of that action.

Action as in, (along with the downed wire and board) the round bale knocked over, hay scattered everywhere, the pitchfork missing and presumed buried under the hay bale, and the brand new handle to the wire gate also missing but presumed dead.

Despite how all that sounds, I am feeling grateful that no one is injured, beyond a couple minor dings (on my horses, so you know they won’t be getting any sympathy). And the boarder and the pony didn’t actually escape for a free-for-all in the junkyard where all the metal grabby-cutty things are hidden under the deep snow. Very thankful for that.

The real kick start of the year, though, was more ethereal: Two hours before daylight this morning the sky was blue-black and severely clear. All the stars and planets in the galaxy cut through the dark like spilled diamonds, Venus outshining them all to the southeast. The glow from the neighbors’ distant yard lights shot up through the cold dark air in shafts of white-blue light that stretched hundreds of yards above our hillsides. The occasional car and one train pulling a string of black shadows passed to the north, metal parts protesting the cold in shrill echoes, headlights radiating shafts of white that glided by like wraiths through the dark. Then a fingernail sliver of moon rose above the eastern horizon: incongruent to the scene, it burned orange with the sunrise from two hours away.

So there was that to make my day.

And a strong Internet connection at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com