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Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold weather and a possible hay heist.

Saturday the snow really came down and the wind blew hard. We moved the cows to the pasture with the feeder in it. Instead of leading Foxsun like a horse we drove him like a cow.

Here are the girls and Foxsun coming up from the meadow and crossing the road. Brad is calling them. When Brad opened the gate Foxsun tried to keep the cows from leaving by nipping at them.


William and I were standing in places to stop the cows from getting ideas about over shooting the gate. The girls spotted an old bale of hay and dived on it. Brad moved them on but Foxsun, like a good horse, is not bothered by people flapping their arms about. I was laughing as Brad had to grab his neck to turn him manually in the right direction and give him a shove to catch up with Dandylyons.

Most of the cows were already in the corral.


They followed Brad to through the corral and to their pasture. When Wildairo saw Foxsun coming he called out to him and did a little happy dance. He looks about as graceful as your average construction worker in a tutu when he dances.

Meanwhile little Echo was acting like every snowflake was out to get him.

After we got everyone squared away we head off to Moses Lake to do our shopping. William is home for the Christmas break and it's wonderful to have him home. He remembered to bring his dirty laundry, guitar, computer etc, but forgot to bring a coat or any warm clothes. I found him a nice chore coat in The Home Depot of all places! We stocked up one extra feed for all the animals as well as ourselves.

The drive home was a nightmare. Out of habit we took the county road and that was a big mistake. We only saw three other vehicles the entire 50 miles home. Two were emergency vehicles and the other was a pick up that was upside down just outside of Moses Lake. The snow was blowing in places so heavy we had to drive blind. Instead of turning east on another county road like we normally do, we kept going north to meet up with State Highway 28. Somewhere along that county road we drove into a low spot where there were deep drifts a few feet high and a solid blanket of blowing snow. Brad drove straight ahead at the same speed till we were through it. I love my little jeep. It's a jeep Liberty and because it's so short it does very well in the snow and ice in four wheel drive. I use it for chasing cows because it can make tight turns like a little gymkhana pony. Last year I was out doing something down the draw and when I drove back Foxsun cantered alongside the driver side all the way home. I've kind of scratched it up in the sage brush and driving into fences and rocks. It's dirty most of the time but I don't care.

I was very glad to get on to the State highway. They have reflective markers on posts so you can stay on the highway and not drive off across some flat ploughed field never to be seen again.

The weather has been scary. High winds and very low temperatures. It's 0 degree F right now, but the wind has at last stopped. Saturday night the wind howled and it was so cold. Our cat, Max was out in it somewhere and I kept waking up in the night because of the wind and I hoped he was somewhere safe. We gave the horses loads of extra grain and hay. Wildairo had decided he should keep far away from buildings when the wind blows. But he's sensible and soon learned when it's that cold, buildings are OK after all. He's a brave boy. Foxsun was wanting in so we opened the gate and let him in with Wildairo. Wildairo was so happy to have his friend back even though Foxsun bites him. I was feeding them grain out of the same bowl and they were very polite taking their turn. When they were done and walking out of the barn, Foxsun suddenly launched an unprovoked attack with his old teeth on Wildairo's neck. Wildairo didn't over react in that small space but just quietly walked out. I yelled at Foxsun and he slinked off.

Sunday morning, no Maxwell. The thought of that old fat cat lost in a blizzard was hard to think about. He hates the outdoors and his belly is so fat it almost drags on the ground. I have 13 mallards that like to fly about but never have landed anywhere except close to the house. Only 5 are left after the blizzard. I have no idea where the others got too. Later that day Brad went out in search of Maxwell. He saw some little paw prints going into the stone building and that's where he found Max, hiding under some stuff in a little Max cave.

Echo is fluffed up and so very fuzzy. I think it's because he's got pony genes. He's been getting lots of hay and grain and is doing very well. Tonight Brad was putting some water in his tub when I was talking to Wildairo and I could hear Echo snorting at him.

I think we stopped some hay thieves Sunday night. About 9pm we were driving over to a little house of ours along the county road to make sure he heat was still on so things wouldn't freeze. We came across a pick-up backed right up to our barn door. The barn is by a very quiet county road that seldom sees any traffic on a Sunday night especially in awful weather. Brad got out and asked the driver what he was doing and the driver told him he using his cell phone. He drove off and we went on to check the house. Then it occurred to me you don't drive off the road and back up to someones barn door to talk on the phone. From the road you can see the hay in the barn. It's only a few ton for the horses. We checked to make sure everything was OK in the barn. Later on I called the Lincoln County sheriffs office and they were very interested. A few weeks ago one of the deputy's told us people had been stealing from barns in the county. I wish I'd taken down in license number now. We have no hay to spare and would have been really in trouble if they stole that hay. The barn is now locked up.


Linda said...

That's scary about the hay thieves--but nothing surprises me anymore. Good that you put a lock on it!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. :)