Sunday, March 8, 2015

Winter's last gasp

Finally! We are getting a break from the relentlessness of winter. Thursday morning was -15F when I went out to feed the horses. At least there wasn't much wind to make it feel really cold. This weekend both days got above freezing for the first time since that warm day in early January. Somehow we get through it all and we have to remember that this climate keeps the riffraff out and the mosquitoes down for a few months. Through this annual joy we still have to take care of things. We got a load of hay a couple of weeks ago. 230 bales needed to be put away into two places. That's about 7 tons, but with a few strong young people we can get it done in less than an hour.

Yesterday I got another hundred bales and got those put away around lunch time today. My neighbors, R and H, helped me. It was H's horse's birthday today. His name is Timmy (Intimidating Class) and he turned the big Three O. I gave him an Altoid which he really liked. H has had him for 25 years.
Here is Timmy last fall with his roommate Frisky who is 29 years old. Timmy is the tall one.
The winter had a grip on our nearby town. The harbor was frozen and the sailboats are lined up on shore next to North House Folk School.
The Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station are keeping their quiet sentinel over the harbor.
The late winter winds blow in from the east and south pushing the ice sheets around and into the North Shore. The thinner ice is crushed against the rock and the windblown beaches (I use the term loosely) are nearly cleared of snow. The noises can be eerie if you hear them above the wind, but when it calms down you can see the changes.

These pics are taken on the way home from work. It's a nice drive and sometimes there will be a couple of other vehicles as it is rush hour. Highway 61 is to the right of the this shot taken looking back toward town. It's a nice feeling to have the sun at your back for the ride home.
Click on the pic to embiggen (love that non-word!).


  1. Jono--Your photos--as usual--make your readers feel like they are right there with you... without having to suffer the cold and without having to lift any bales.

    Horses like Altoids? The Altoids people need to gear their advertising to Timmy and his four-legged friends.

  2. Timmy got an Altoid for his 30th birthday? That... still sounds like a better Three O than mine. Maybe my next birthday will be embiggened.

    (Awesome pictures of the drive on the way home, btw)

  3. Oh my. Thank you.
    I embiggened all of the photos - and oooohed and aaahed.
    Here in the sweaty season I am longing for the cooler weather - and will never see anything like that here. It reminded me of my trip to Antarctica - which I hug very close to my chest.
    I am very impressed at the hay moving. And love the birthday gift for Timmy.

  4. You live in a slice of heaven. Even the ice is beautiful.

  5. Beautiful! And that's my kind of rush hour.

  6. Wish I were close enough to help you with the hay bales. Not sure how soon I would tucker out but it was fun once upon a time. Worked putting up hay for a guy in Ontario on weekends for something to do so 45 years ago. Dollar an hour and all I could eat. His wife was cute and a good cook but she was a slave driver. the guy rolled his o wn as it was the only excuse to sit for 10 minutes she would allow.

    Your pictures are lovely but make me cold. As much as I love water, I could not live beside it in winter.

  7. The winter photos are beautiful, but the summer horse picture made me go, "Ahhh!". I'm ready for some green grass and leaves on the trees...

  8. Sioux,Thanks!. Not all the horses like Altoids, but most f them do. Timmy stretched his neck about as far as I have ever seen looking for another.

    A Beer For The Shower, Let me know when your next birthday is and I'll send a whole tin of Altoids. That will certainly embiggen your "special day."

    EC, Thanks! I have had several friends go to Antarctica for work or even a vacation and would like to see it someday myself.

    Agi Tater, Grand Marais just got voted in as America's "coolest small town" by Budget Travel. It even made the CNN news for that. Whodda thunk?

    Donna, Rush hour like this was the stuff of dreams for the first thirty years of my life. I usually know most of the other commuters.

    Blog Fodder, I could have used your help. We take a few breaks if we need to and there is always at least one of us that knows CPR.

    Diane, we will be losing the snow fast now, but we may still get some snow now and then. At least it will melt now.

  9. I adore that last shot........i can literally FEEL the cold

  10. Here in Minneapolis, the young have shed their clothes and run rampant through the streets, emboldened by rising temperatures and hormones.

    I love it.


  11. John Gray, Thanks and congrats again on the wedding!

    Pearl, I was once young and semi-nude in Minneapolis. Lucky for you I didn't run into you back then!

  12. incredibly beautiful...i will stop bitching about our rainy winter..

  13. All those bales of hay remind me of how satisfying manual labor can be - you get so good and tired, and you see the results immediately.

    I grew up on a farm and my parents used to make us work. A lot. Way more than what other kids on other farms had to work. I remember I loved winter and rainy days, just for the break from all the chores.

  14. Other winters I would have shrugged and said "yeah, us too"...but this winter had been the warmest I've seen in Montana. A few days here and there of -15, but in Feb we had 10 days where it got above 55! A week ago it got down to -9, but that is how is should be.
    This climate change is real.

  15. I was so amazed the day I learned that horses can live that long. I guess I always thought they had a lifespan like a cat or dog. Happy Birthday, Timmy - wishing you many more Altoids.

    Those shoreline pictures are so reminiscent of our coastline in winter. I love it but, man, it's cold there.

  16. WOW what picture perfect photos! I do love me some winter.

  17. JACKIESUE, Yeah, but rain is so much wetter.

    PP, The work is either keeping me young or wearing me out. I'm not sure which.

    Should Fish More, it seems every year things just get a little stranger.

    jenny_o,horses are a long term commitment. Timmy is a bit of an exception, though. He has been in my care for about ten years now.

    Just keepin it real, Folks, Thanks! I'm still giggling about your oral report.

  18. Such incredible photos to go with your write-up! Loved it. Beautiful horses!

    Thanks for that hysterical joke on my joke blog - I've got three blogs - yeah, I'm that crazy.

    Gezz, stay warm.

  19. Dang, less than one hour? Seven tons? Those are some big pecks you got there, Jono.

    Last photo is magical.

  20. Wow, I love your photos, and I feel as though I have taken this tour with you myself. The horses are beautiful, and, as you can imagine, living in a big city like Montreal I rarely get to see them. Thank you so much for sharing all this beauty, Jono, I really appreciate it. :)