Winter Schminter

Generally speaking, we don’t get as much snow accumulation as some places in the north country. We jokingly say that we get twelve inches of wind with our snow. I’ve never been able to make a friend of the wind. Winter isn’t so bad if you don’t have wind blowing snow in your face and down your neck.

I so relate to my three cats that become house bound during the winter. Any other time of the year they prefer to be outside. Now when they go to the porch door asking to go out, and a blast of icy wind hits them in the face, they speed-scooch backwards.

Admittedly, I don’t spend as much time outside in the winter now that I’m middle-aged (assuming that I live to be a 106). We feed our horses and cattle and attend to our chores, but beyond what I must do outdoors, winter doesn’t hold much allure for me anymore. A common ailment afflicting northerners is referred to as “cabin fever” and it finally gets the best of you after days of being a shut-in. So, you give yourself a ‘winter is my friend’ pep talk and venture out into the frozen Klondike. If you dress appropriately, it can be very enjoyable and there are all sorts of beautiful sights that make the trip worthwhile. The downside for us girls though is that when we do dress appropriately for such an outing, it is inevitable that at some point we’ll have to surrender to the call of nature and shed all those layers which results in a most unenviable, albeit refreshing, experience.

Although winter is a time of rest for the earth, it is still a busy place. Life goes on and wildlife has to get up and go to work everyday. Local town folk feed corn to large flocks of wild turkeys that roam about town and become as tame as chickens. My folks stock three very busy birdfeeders. When we feed the cattle their hay, ground-feeding Song Sparrows follow along and feast on the loose seed. They’re darling little birds with smart black & white striped caps. Occasionally, we get other winter visitors like Sharp Tailed Grouse and Cedar Waxwings.

A 35 degree day is a heat wave for us and when we do get one, every horse on the place is stretched out snoozing on the ground.Winter makes you once again grateful for simple pleasures like sitting on a hay bale and letting the intense January sun warm your face. Simple pleasures are the best kind and Nature offers many in every season, free for the taking. In winter, the same is true. All ya gotta do is push yourself out the door!

For a great dose of winter giggles, enjoy this classic tune sung by Yogi Yorgesson. I laugh out loud every time I hear it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1c-VYEi-SU

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  1. Reba says:

    Beautiful pictures!! I love the cold as long as it is not wet. I do like your cat, speed-scooch backwards. And in the South, usually what we have is "wet" cold!! When we have snow, everything closes. If there is a hint of snow, schools begin closing. NO one knows how to travel in the snow here. I visited Austria at Christmas one year with my daughter. It was so-o-o much fun. We did the Sound of Music tour by bus (with several feet of snow on the ground), traveled all around Salzburg, and enjoyed the sights of ice skaters. In Vienna the parents were out with their carriages, plastic over the children, but nevertheless all were out to enjoy Christmas festivities. It was soooo much fun. I don’t like being closed up indoors. This is quiet possibly why we hear "flu season" or "cold season." I’m not buying it. I’m layering and going outdoors!!

  2. Rene' says:

    The pictures are beautiful and I really like the one of the horse! Just beautiful. Wyoming is such a wonderful place I have seen it in the summer but never in the winter thanks for sharing!

  3. Reba says:

    I love the beautiful pictures. Wyoming is one of my favorite places to visit. I would live there if my husband liked cold weather. He would be like your cat. I have music by David Walburn. He sings about Montana and this time of year being the time "to have a little fun" because "meats in the freezer, let’s go skiing." Thanks for the pictures that you post. They make me dream of going back.

  4. Debbie says:

    Shery, I just love how you blend your beautiful photography with your stories…:) I always think of the blue western sky when I look at them… and the back ground of your blog page too for that matter! It brings back memories of girlhood out west… Thanks for posting them… and I’m with ya on the getting outside in winter… I was peaking out my kitchen window checking out " the girls" basking in the sun in their run (during our last heat wave… 17 degree’s) I think it was, and the thought occured to me that I ought to head on out and snap a few pix of their feathers sparkling in the sun… I poured another cup of coffee and went on pondering the idea then went on to something else… Tomorrow! I’ll do it tomorrow…. Pray for sun! Stay warm and pat that beautiful horse on the neck for me will ya?
    Deb~

  5. Paula Spencer says:

    I am loving loving these fotos of yours! Like getting postcards from far away!

  6. Diane Loehr says:

    I love your photos and the birds are just adorable. The photos make me want to come and visit the land and all the wonderful animals you have. I love the beauty of winter from my living room window but when I have to travel to work or get somewhere in a car – I hate it! And I am one of those individuals that should be off the road when snow starts. I am counting down the days until Spring arrives and looking forward the "warm sun hitting my face". Have a wonderful day!

  7. Sevea says:

    Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your blog and the pictures! I myself am not a stranger to long and cold winters. Being from Alaska, where it is winter about seven months out of the year; I commiserate with you.

    I loved seeing the picture the fluffy and frosty horse. It reminded me of my horse "Jewel" that I had growing up. How soft her fur against my face as I rubbed it in to her neck to keep my nose warm, and that warm wild smell that can only be truly appreciated be a girl with a horse.

  8. Joann says:

    Shery, I’m what you call a fair weather outdoors person too. The cold keeps me from getting out too much. Once I do it isn’t so bad, but I don’t like all those layers. We are having a heat wave this week here in Michigan~ Maybe a ride on my ol horse will be the draw to get me out and get some exercise. Beautiful pictures by the way!

  9. Tana says:

    Loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  10. carol branum says:

    Hi Sheri, We have had a lot of snow here too,its beautiful,I don’t mind,but I have had trouble with daddy staying in the house,he is all man,at 83,and thinks he can do it all,and it is really wearing me out emotionally,I am totally terrorized that he will get out there and fall and freeze to death.I don’t have four wheel drive.Last year I wrecked my car because I was so worried about him,went through a barbed wire fence.There is nothing I can do,at least if something happens to him,He will be happy.Our farm is equally breathtakingly beautiful.It is simply heaven.Stay warm,blessed be,carol branum,lamar mo.themofarmersdaughtr@blogspot.com

  11. Terces says:

    My husband grew up near the Canadian border in upstate NY so is OVER winter and doesn’t even talk much about it amazing beauty, although he loves the out of doors! I on the other hand, love winter, and have only spent a few years of my life living where there really is a winter. Here in California, winter doesn’t bring us all those beautiful sights you shared, and there is clearly a changing of the seasons and a turning inward. We live in a yurt and when all the flaps are down on the windows it is clearly an indoor cabin lifestyle, with a wood stove going. I keep telling myself I will sit and read yet still the chores of farm life, being we can grow food year around here, keep me out of doors! Thanks so much for sharing, what a beautiful life you live. How fortunate are we all?
    Love, Terces

  12. carol McElroy says:

    Having moved from Hawaii, then San Diego, then Kansas City, I was not very impressed with Winter. It took a few years and an ice storm to really see the beauty in the cold outdoors, and I try to spend 30 minutes a day out no matter what.
    Pretty pictures Shery, great article, Carol

  13. Thanks so much for the posting, love the pictures as well. Lovely thoughts about appreciating each season.

  14. Grace~katmom says:

    Oh Shery,
    I have to laugh @ your "when mother nature calls & we gals have to shed 40 lbs of clothing" comment…hahahha! soooo true!
    I took a walk this morning around our mini orchard & my small lavender field….yikes,,,got some water/freeze damage…but that’s the way it is up here.
    As for the stir crazy cats…you could not have described ‘my’ kitties any better…they must be related to yours! lol!
    Well the good thing about this time of year…. it will be over soon, but till then…pass the hot cocoa & mint cookies!
    hugz from the Inland NW

  15. KimberlyD says:

    It gets windy here in the *Thumb* area of Michigan they say we are a good area for the big wind mills for the wind we get. I understand finding winter beautiful but hate the wind. My dad likes feeding the birds but since he is unable to get out and do that anymore I feed them, but not as regular as he did. Boy when the feeders are empty you hardly see any birds but once they are filled every bird in the tri-county are at those feeders it seems…lol.

    Keep warm.

  16. meredith says:

    Oh, I know about the wind! The only thing I remind myself is that the frigid winds of winter become our blessed breezes on a hot August day when we are sweltering in the heat putting up hay!
    We had our first 40 degree day yesterday after a month and a half of 10-20’s- let me tell you, all the horses and cows were simply basking on their sides in the sun- true peace. I so appreciate your ranch stories- we tend to get isolated from other folks living the same lifestyle we do!

  17. Jamie says:

    Ditto to the photos. So beautiful. While I am not a fan of cold weather, ironically some of my favorite art work is of winter scenes, go figure. Winter to me is best enjoyed with a warm cup of coffee from a cozy seat by a large roaring fireplace positioned perfectly to view the snowy beauty of nature out a large picture window.

  18. Holly says:

    I love the feel of winter portrayed in your photos. I don’t think there is any season I really dislike. There is something I love about going out to feed the sheep in the coldest part of winter. My husband will say "do you mind helping" if his Father isn’t able to go. I wouldn’t mind going everyday. There is such a wonderful silence (other than the sheep noises) that you can’t find anywhere else when its dark and the snow is falling. And if you get in by the woolies its not so cold.

  19. Ellen says:

    Thank you Shery for sharing your wonderful pictures! I live in Ky~we get a few flakes of snow now and then. Mostly rain~I am a sunshine person & a horse lover. I have always lived on a farm & love it. Have been to WY several times in the summer & Love the scenery. Have a happy blessed day~you have brightened my day! Ellen

  20. Barb says:

    Great pictures! I love the winter, snow etc… I too have not been able to befriend the wind, which is why I’m able to write this midday instead of being out riding. I train horses for a living in PA, but when it’s in the low 20’s with 30 mph winds I’m staying in! Cold wind makes even the sanest horse nuts! Happy Trails!

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