It has been an uphill battle, but spring has finally come to the southern Alberta prairie. With the first snow landing on the ground early last fall, September 29, and a record-breaking snow at that, winter seemed very long indeed, even for a guy like me who kind of likes snow. When it starts in September and is still coming down in April, with temperatures cold enough to keep it in its frozen state, even I tire of the white stuff.
We’ve had days here and there the past couple of months when it started to feel like winter was over but then the cold would return, the snow would fall, and it was winter once again.
Today will be our seventh straight day of spring-like weather. We are on a roll! And, according to T, who keeps an eye on the forecast, there’s nothing but sunshine and mid to high teen temperatures (that’s 60-65 Fahrenheit for those south of the border) for the next seven days.
I have to admit, after the longest winter of my eleven years of life, I’ve become unaccustomed to the heat and am finding our afternoon walks a little on the warm side. But, if I tally up the pros and cons of spring, I’m pretty sure I know the score. Let’s just see …
Con: Kinda warm for an aging dog out walking. Pro: Slabs of ice have turned to watering and swimming holes!
Con: Muddy feet that need to be bathed in our new Mudbuster (T and Nollind love it but I’m not as big a fan) Pro: No cold feet or need for boots!
Con: Yeah, sorry, can’t think of anything else. Pro: List too long for this blog post.
Well, I think I’ll get outside and enjoy more of this great, spring weather. Around here, you never know when winter might decide to make one last appearance.
I’m back! It’s been many months, long winter months, since I last posted on the dog blog but they’ve finally given me a chance to have another go. They’re such proprietary little guys, something about people signing up for a dog blog not a horse blog, what if they don’t want to hear from a horse, blah, blah, blah. Who doesn’t want to hear from a horse? Go ahead, raise your hands. Just what I thought. Everyone loves horses. Case closed.
So, back to that long winter. OMG! What was that? The longest, coldest, snowiest winter in forever is what I say, although, according to the meteorologist types, only the amount of snow was one for the record books. And my, was there snow. My three herd-mates and I hardly left the paddock after December. It was just too much work and for what? Not like we were going to dig through that mess and find anything to eat.
And where were Chico and Logan and our caretaking humans for this epic winter? I know you know. In Arizona! The land of no four-foot snow drifts, no freakishly cold wind chills, no need for winter blankets, and no me! But, seriously, just like I told you last fall, I’m not much of a traveller, so I wouldn’t want to be hauled all the way down there. I’d just feel better if the peeps and pooches were here to suffer through the winter with us. Selfish? Perhaps. But then I’m a horse and we’re kind of all about what’s most comfortable, safest, easiest, and generally best for us.
Winter is finally over here in southern Alberta, and the green grass is starting to grow. Spring is a miraculous time for a Canadian horse. Not only do we have fresh food after months of eating desiccated grass, but there are no bugs! It’s like two or three weeks of bliss when it’s warm enough during the day to grow grass but still cold enough at night to keep the bugs from coming out or hatching or whatever it is they do before they set to harassing horses.
If I had to choose between the cold, snowy season and bug season I think I’d have to go with cold and snow. Just imagine yourself standing in a field full of flies and mosquitoes covered in a scent they find very appealing with your hands tied behind your back. Your only defences are to run, stomp, roll on the ground, or shake your head. Welcome to summer in the life of a horse. The only other defence we horses have over humans are tails, but I’d take human hands any day of the week. We can swish the little tormenters off, but you can kill them or apply bug spray.
Spring is also the time when I have to get back to work after a winter off and it gets tougher every year. I thought I’d kept in reasonable shape over the winter but this year I’m sixteen and it does seem to make a difference. The consolation is that I think T’s hurting too. I can tell by the way she walks when she gets off. Snicker.
Well, I should wrap this up. The boss hounds said to keep it under six hundred words or they’ll edit me and I don’t want them to cut out my best stuff. I still didn’t get to telling you about my accountant tendencies so I guess that’ll have to wait until next time. Until then … here’s mud in your eye! (More about that horse racing inspired toast when I return.) Oh, oh. Six hundred and eleven, twelve, thirteen. Gotta go.
Okay, I get it. I hear you. Everyone is tired of that four-letter word that starts with “s”. So, this week, I won’t share any of my thoughts about how great “it” is for the grass and the trees. I’ll keep my glass half full stuff to myself. It’s become a sensitive topic for Albertans who are enduring a seventh month of winter weather. I understand and I’ll say no more. Done. Zipped.
I will, however, share a few photos before all this marvellous whiteness (oops, sorry) disappears.
Hopefully, by the time I post in two weeks, it’ll be spring and I can tell you about all the wonderful mud out here on the farm! Or is that a sensitive topic too?