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