Sunday, November 16, 2014

Frozen: The Garden Spot Saga

-2 and warming.

Perhaps Elsa the Snow Queen from the Disney movie does rule winter, for it is apparent that perhaps she has cast her spell over the Garden Spot. You know her, especially if you have any little girls in your family. Just take a look around to see Elsa's magic:

While we haven't had much snow, as I posted Thursday it has been bitterly cold. In 2007, I slipped on a patch of ice going out to get the Sunday paper. I broke my ankle so badly that it required surgery to put it back together, requiring six screws and a plate. Needless to say, today I am ever so cautious in the winter as I navigate myself through snow and ice. Still, I willing accept the challenges that Garden Spot offers up. Even venturing out in the snow.

It's 8:00 AM; time to do the morning chores. If you want to join me, put on your warmest coat, your heaviest gloves, a good pair of snow boots, and follow along while I do the Head Gardener's chores. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Instead of going out the back door across the slick Trex Decking patio and down the frost covered stairs, we will take the long way out the front door and around the side of the house. Let's stop by the pond, lingering to listen to the water cascading from the filter underneath the ice. The fish have probably gone into dormant mode or at least slowed down in the icey water below the surface of the ice. The water lilies are winter hardy, so we don't worry about them.

Listen: Do you hear the little birds rustling in the lilac bushes? We wonder how they stay warm.

Frozen solid, the waterfall no longer provides easy drinking for the birds, so I have the heated birdbath. Even that has frozen this week.

With Boone safely bordered at the kennel, we will head straight to the barn. The boys see us coming and greet us with their soft whinnies.

You can tell how cold it is with Sundance snorting steam.

Pop has grown quite a winter coat. We have to give him a hard time for having rolled in the mud.

Pop will be 26 after the first of the year, the official birth date for horses. He gets Senior Glow, a low carb, high protein pellet because he is inclined to gain weight fast and carry too much weight for his pony size. 

I have my own routine. I don't know what the HG does, but I always feed Sundance first. Then Pop. After I pour Pop's pellets, I put on his sun screen.

Sundance will be 19. Still spry and silly, he gets a combo of Show Flake, a mixture of corn, oats, other grains with molasses. Yum. He also gets Senior Glow along with his grain.

We grow our own hay, selling the excess. While the bales are compressed and tied with string, they break apart in flakes.

Sundance gets two flakes and Pop gets one flake and some extra. With the cold temps, the boys need a little more feed--I think.

Next, we have to check the horse's water; while the tank is heated with a light bulb, it can still freeze over. 

Look, Hubby left us hammer to break the ice. Fortunately this morning we don't have to use it.

The hens are last on the list to be fed. One of the old ladies greets us as we approach the hen house, not too sure that she wants to come out.

They will get a scoop of scratch sprinkled out on the ground. 

Inside they are kept toasty warm with a heat bulb; not a light, this bulb radiates a soft heat to take the chill off.

The young couple are experiencing their first winter and are reluctant to go in the snow. 

One old hen ventures out after we spread the scratch.

We linger for a moment in the garden, listening the silence of the cold air. We ponder the quietness of a snowy morning, the stillness and serenity that brings a certain satisfaction about life. We take a deep breath, filling our lungs with that cold, crisp fresh country air. We can see the mountains in the distance, now snow capped. We are thankful the grace and beauty in our life.

Back at the house, the sun has warmed the patio enough that the frosty covering has melted way. We take one last look at the frozen pond, knowing that it may well stay frozen for the rest of the winter. We'll go inside. . .

 . . . and fix a cup of hot tea, read some blogs, and enjoy a hot fire.

The Snow Queen's spell will be undone by Madame Sun this week, so the Head Gardener will go back to Haxtun early tomorrow morning, hoping that corn harvest will be finished by week's end. We are supposed to have good weather all week.

Thanks so much for helping with chores. We bundled up and it felt good to get out in the fresh air. You can join me at 4:30 when I go out again to feed at day's end.

Be sure to stop by Lavender Cottage where I am linking for Mosaic Monday. 

I hope you have a great week. 


  1. You made doing the chores fun! Be careful on the ice. I enjoyed seeing your ponies ... precious old ones. The stories they could tell!

  2. It was a pleasure, helping you with your morning chores!! :)
    Really interesting photos. Love your heated birdbath!
    Have a nice new week!

  3. Brrrrrr! We just got back from a walk and our feet got VERY snowy! It's gorgeous outside, though! Your horses are so pretty, Ann!

  4. That was fun, and I kept toasty warm while you did all the work! I had a sad thought though when you were feeding Pop. Are we going to be fed some form of Senior Glow when we get old so as to keep the weight down but keep us healthy? LOL
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann.

  5. Yep I'll go out again...just to enjoy the beauty of your horses. I am SO glad that you didn't ask me to shovel horse-poopy :)

    Though in the winter when I clean up after my dogs I do remind myself that if there is one good thing about winter it's that that stuff is frozen, ha ha

  6. What a lovely outing you took us on and thanks for not taking that slippery route! I even felt the cold as we went through the chores! A fun post!

  7. Great post Ann I enjoyed the trip around doing your chores - whatever the weather the animals need to be looked after regardless. Keep warm.

  8. I enjoyed my walk with you very much...we have had almost a foot of snow and it just keep falling with a bit of melting but not much above freezing and many temps most nights in low 20s...winter is not loosening her grip at all this week at least.

  9. What a wonderful post....loved going about your chores with you...thanks for taking us over the less dangerous path...I am very VERY olden and a fall could be devastating for me...someone told me that when an elderly person broke a hip, they were likely to pass away within a year. I want to go....just not right now. lol
    I am following along with you.

  10. Oh, I enjoyed this lovely but very cold walk. Your pictures look so icy cold, but the horses and chickens are warm and well fed.

  11. I'm not sure how to convert F to C but it's decidedly brrrr cold here too. Finding out exactly how hardy everything I planted this summer will be.

    Stay warm!


  12. This was a lovely post, great photos and I enjoyed this window into your day. Thank you :)

  13. OMG, that's cold! Our weather here in Virginia is only in the 40s/50s and we are moaning already. I enjoyed doing your morning chores with you (but only virtually; not sure I am quite ready for your weather yet; [smile]).

  14. I enjoyed coming along with your chores today, but shouldn't your broken ankle be at rest, while someone else does them? I hope you heal quickly!