Just when it was starting to feel like spring, the snow was disappearing, and we were losing our winter coats, we find ourselves in the midst of a winter storm in southern Alberta. I realize March is still officially winter, and this is to be expected, but you can’t blame a guy who lives outdoors 24/7 for hoping that spring had arrived and the grass would soon be green.
Notice my turning-to-grey colouring? This is not a sign of age like it is in T (don’t tell her I said that), but shows that a bunch of my brown winter wool has been shed to the prairie winds or rolled off onto the earth. There’s really nothing to be done about it. In March, when the days get longer, my hair follicles respond by pressing eject. Problem is, the temperatures don’t always match the amount of light at this time of year and we horses are left shivering in our spring clothing.
Lucky for this herd of Alberta ponies, T is a complete softie when it comes to weather. I think it’s because she’s been “desertized” by five winters in the south, making her more inclined to worry about us when winter rears its ugly head even a little bit. Works for me. I may have shed a bunch of my natural coat but I have my insulated, nylon, Goliath parka!
When she strapped it on last night I thought, “Give me a break. I don’t need this itchy thing.” At the time, the temperature was around -5C, there was a light wind from the north, and a few tiny flakes beginning to fall. Seemed like complete overkill.
But overnight the wind picked up, the temperature began to plummet, and the snow thickened and swirled. Today, things are much more blanket worthy, even for an outdoorsy guy like me.
In addition to our parkas, we’ve got hay nets hanging in the south shelter, full barrel feeders on the south side of the barn, and a free-feed round bale in the north shelter. Like I said, our desertized caretaker completely spoils us when the Canadian prairie gives us its worst.
This blast of winter is only supposed to last through tomorrow before the skies clear out, the temperatures start to rise, and we go back to shedding our winter hair and watching the snow melt. And then, one day in the not too distant future, that blessed miracle of spring will occur … the first blades of green grass.