The hard freeze

Shadow on snow of dog and walker in deep winter

With the thermometer reading minus 22 this morning, I knew it was going to be a cold walk with Reggie. First up was water and feed for the chickens, whose coop is visible here through a frosty pane of glass in our garage.

Chicken coop through frosty window pane in winter

It’s pretty cold in that coop, but the chickens don’t seem to mind.

Americauna chickens inside their coop in winter

Walking around to the house to place more wild bird seed in the little feeder in the little wood at the back, I came across some animal tracks. We were positively buried in snow for a while here, and after a recent thaw when we lost a lot of the snow, we’re now surrounded by hard packed, crystalline stuff that doesn’t give. Our modern snow shoes, with spiky teeth, are now needed for their grip more than the buoyancy they can give us in deep snow.

Animal prints in frozen snow

Waiting patiently for me outside the chicken coop, Reggie was ready to go and get moving.

Black lab with a frosty beard in deep winter

He was ready to explore when we got down to the pond.

Black lab on a frozen pond in January in Eastern Ontario

Everything in the world here seems to be furred in ice crystals, including any plant life hovering on or around the stream leading out of the pond. The water, amazingly, was still running in the stream this morning.

Flora frozen over stream in deep cold in winter

We paused for a few moments to take in the sun as it came higher over the woods and the pond.

Frozen pond in winter

It was just as we turned to head home that I noticed our shadows cast so perfectly on the opposite bank of the stream, the angle of the sun just right.

Black dog exploring by stream with shadows on opposite bank

Feeling the cold biting my hands after taking them out of my warm mitts so many times to take pictures, it was time to high tail it back across the field and up the hill to the house, pausing for just one more picture when we crossed the other stream on our way back.

Delicately furred plants in winter

We’ve been wrapped up inside for the rest of the day.

20 thoughts on “The hard freeze

  1. Mercy that’s cold. I was just noticing that my planting calendar tells me I should be starting seeds for early spring crops soon, and I just can’t get my head around it, not with silkies on under my jeans. Looks like Reggie’s all grown up and a lovely companion.

    1. My head is having to move into seed ordering too, and it’s just not an easy shift to make right now. It always seems like a bit of a dream at this time of year. Reggie thanks you kindly for the nice words about him!

  2. Now THAT’S the Canadian winter they think we all get – thanks for taking it on for us wimps on the West Coast :). Seriously, it does look beautiful, much better than all the mud and drizzle and mist we’ve got – though I’m not wearing gloves or a hat to do the chores these days, either! I love the shadow picture, really great shot.

    1. So true! We try to do our bit in looking like the frozen north out here! Wouldn’t you know it, today it’s hovering around zero, and then by Thursday this week we’re supposed to plummet back down to minus 31. I know what you mean about the mud and drizzle, but I’d gladly trade on some days. I envy you that physical freedom every time I have to pile on so much gear just to get outside!

    1. To be fair, it’s not quite as cold as you think, as we work in celsius. So, it’s more like minus 8 for you, which is still extremely cold! We are going down to -31 later this week, which I guess is into the negative teens or low twenties for you. Thankfully, today we’re up to a very balmy zero for a short while 🙂

  3. As always, you’ve included some lovely pictures of the outdoors. I am so envious of your frosty cold mornings. Reggie looks very handsome now…and big, too!

    1. Thanks Libby. These kinds of mornings are very special, I try to enjoy them when they come along. There is a lot of less impressive weather in between of course. Reggie is coming into his own, isn’t he! And he can pull me off my feet if I’m not careful 🙂

  4. Not too bad here today, but I heard the big freeze is on it’s way for next week with temps -20C / -25C (-10F) during the day! Yikes! We used to have to put in a red heat light in our chicken coop on prolonged days like that, just to keep the water from freezing up. Keep the home fires burning!

    1. Oh yikes, I know! I’ve been reading that it could deep as low as -30 by Thursday! We’re still figuring out how to get some supplemental heat out to our chickens, as we don’t have any electricity for our coop, and think we’ll be rigging something up for this cold spell! Stay warm!

  5. love the images of cold – morning walks must be hard at first (hard to get out of bed) but what rewards when you get outside! wow.

    1. Hard to get out of bed and into the cold is so very true! Some mornings it’s hard to face, but crunching along is almost always very rewarding, even on the coldest days. If only watching how the dog enjoys it; he doesn’t seem to feel the cold!

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