Warm Hearts and Contemplation
Still cold here, as it is over much of the nation. From the forecasts, the Arctic front will be leaving this week so we will be back to more tolerable winter cold instead. It's been a while.
I do think, though, that at least in New Jersey a deep freeze is part of nature's course and might have some benefits. I always think nature needs to take a nap now and then, settling down from the business of growing and producing. Even the water gets to stop for a while and just rest, aerated by being frozen into ice. Very few of the furry critters who semi-hibernate are out and about, so they too are nestled in their burrows getting a sleep. The full hibernating creatures must be in a deep sleep now, dreaming of sunny days and green fields.
And what about the bugs? Does the deep freeze kill off some of the pests planning on tormenting us during the summer? Do they all survive, or does the ice send them to bug heaven? And what about germs and fungus that thrive in the heat? Is winter a cleansing of them too?
We always worry about our warmblooded animals, though. I do not have dogs myself, and my cats are strictly indoor pets, but I do have two little strays outside since Mommycat seems to have decided to come back to stay--the canned food seems to be a big attraction to her. The black and white kitty--when I can catch a glimpse of him/her--still looks clean and healthy, so that's a plus. I've made sure there are blankets or cuddly spots for them in the garages where it seems they are settling in. Mommy does go to the barn quite a bit, so perhaps she is after the mice living there. The resident rats--not exactly my favorites--don't appear very often but I do see signs of tunnels and digging here and there, so I know they are around although I really do need to try to get rid of them. I have only known one cat in my lifetime that hunted rats, so I don't expect Mommy or Patches to take them on. I bought some poison I'll put out. There is a sense of guilt attached, but the rats are not exactly welcome residents, so I don't have much choice.
The horses seem fine. They are blanketed. The barn or shelter is always available, and I make sure they have plenty of hay and water. They get a pelleted feed three times a day and usually have free choice turnout. They seem to spend a lot of time out in the open, even when it's cold, although I've noticed a bit more sheltering from them when it's windy. I have a heater in the water tub and make sure it's full of fresh water every day.
When I go outside, I have to bundle up in my down coat, with a hat and gloves, and even at that, I'm pretty sure I couldn't stay outside for more than an hour or so, much less all day. But nature has a way of taking care of her outdoor creatures. My little birds have their own little down jackets and seem to really love my bird feeder. And as a friend noted, a real fur coat is one of the warmest things to wear, so I guess the furry critters do just fine too.
Winter is not my favorite season of the year, but it has its place in the world, and for its sake, the world seems quite able to cope with it.