The sound snow makes when the temperature drops into the depths of sub zeros, the fresh crispness of the air, the frost crystals on the sheep’s wool, the white vapor from the horse’s breath. Doing chores on mornings like this is special.
Nature has a way of looking after its creatures. The horses increase their hay intake, the pigs burrow into the straw and the sheep look especially comfortable in their woollies.
Being a farmer under these conditions makes one acutely aware of the fragility of life and the heightened responsibilities in making sure everyone is prepared to make it through. The best feeling of relief is seeing the waterers steaming but open and full. The worst is realizing the breaker tripped sometime in the night and everything is frozen solid. Double checking that the frost free hydrant is closed is a good idea. It will be a long time before spring comes if you have to carry water. Been there, done that.
As I pull down some square bales I remember the sweltering hot day I stacked them. Minnesota is truly the land of climate variety.