I expect cold snaps in winter, but when they come early and late in the season, they seem especially cruel.
When cold hit in November, it seemed to catch us by surprise. We didn't have the water heaters in place, the gloves dug out from storage, the body used to the cold. And when it hit this past week, I was already photographing dandelions and looking for shades of green in the grass.
I don't keep an outdoor thermometer. The critters tell me when temperatures have dropped below zero.
That happened yesterday when:
Dewey Kitty went outside and was crying to come back in after four minutes.
The horses, usually hanging out in the pastures at night, were standing in their stalls in the morning.
Llambert the Llama had icicles hanging from his eyelashes.
The Border collies dashed outside for their morning walk, but 300 yards into it, three of the four were lifting their paws in that ouchy way.
The sheep ate their first-cutting hay without complaint. (The girls get first cutting to nibble on throughout the day and get the third-cutting alfalfa in the evenings).
And, it's even colder this morning. How do I know?
Dewey Kitty didn't even ask to go outside. He's lounging on his polar fleece blanket, content in watching me.