Today the temperature never got above the teens. The wind was busy out of the north, as evidenced by my round, "bass" wind gong. It's not a chime - when we moved to Kansas, I brought along my wind chimes, and soon thereafter, threw them away. Too much chiming wind makes one irritable, I found. My wind gong, a deep single tone, is something I found in San Diego when out visiting daughter Gillian a few years ago. My San Diego souvenir. It has been gonging all day in slow, steady tones. I can handle the wind out of the north now.
Late this afternoon I went out to take care of the animals. A dog, some cats, some ducks, some fish. The fish are fairly easy keepers in this season. Since they are in a fairly torpid state, I just glance at the grotto pond pump occasionally to see if it is still pumping. The theory is, if there is a bit of thawed ice (thanks to the pump), the fish receive oxygen, even if they are inactive, not eating, and lying on the bottom of the pond.
I made sure our dog had her heated water bucket and a deep layer of fresh hay in the barn stall. The ducks got a thick layer of shavings to burrow into, plus a heated water bowl. The kitty cats get to come in on nights like this: forecast to be -2*. MacArthur, our semi-wildcat, refuses to come in until late at night. He is NOT a housecat by any stretch of the imagination. I can lure him in, late at night, with a can of food. Yes, I could leave him out, but on nights like this I feel like he is more vulnerable to the hungry coyotes lying in wait in the pasture. (How do I know there are hungry coyotes lying in wait? I can go on a morning/afternoon/evening walk in the pasture and find fresh coyote scat along the boundaries of the fenceline. And, happily, we have a large dog who barks into the night at these wild canines.)
The birdfeeders are full, and the birdbaths were tipped of ice and replaced with water for the late-searching birds who needed the sustenance. I am always amazed at how many birds flock to the baths.
Overhead, there were Vs and more Vs of geese, flying to find their shelter for this cold night.
And so the animals are tucked in to the warmth of their hay, and shavings, and human household. The faucets outdoors are wrapped with old rags and have buckets hung on them. (Something I learned from a 92-year old woman, years ago. It works.) I hear our dog, already barking into the dark, along the pasture fenceline. There are fresh croissants on the stove, and soon I will start dinner for that Spouse o' Mine and I.
It's a nice winter season.