Winter and the Owl Return – February 5, 2020

            It snowed tonight; fat, wet flakes that coat bare branches of the Monterrey oak and Bradford pear and layer a quarter inch of snow on the lawn furniture.  Winter has returned and so has the owl.  Stretching his head out of the box at 7:10 a.m. yesterday morning, he took one last look around the yard before retreating inside.  At 6:20 p.m. he dove down toward the bird bath and flew out across the yard and over the fence.  This morning he huddled deep in a corner of the box as the wind blew and a light rain fell. 

            Yesterday was 72º and humid.  Willis was damp with sweat even before tacking up.  After riding in the grass arena doing our usual walk, trot, canter, I hosed him down for the first time in months.  Willis still has a heavy coat which has its pros and cons with up and down temperatures.  He is warm and sweaty on a day like yesterday, but when the temperature plunges to freezing or below in the middle of the night, I do not have to worry about blanketing.   The deer stay hidden in the woods in weather like this; one or two can be seen bedded peacefully chewing grass and leaves.  Around 5 p.m. they come out to graze in the meadow or near the creek.  The fawns are quite frisky lately, running and jumping and chasing each other.  

            I welcome back both winter and the owl.  In the darkness and stillness of night, snow is magic. 

Christine Baleshta


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