In the last two weeks we've had two winter storms. The first brought cracked machine pumps, frozen water lines and busted pipes to our processing plant. The place felt like Santa's workshop with all the repairmen. The second storm was delivered on Christmas day and brought with it freezing rain, high wind gusts and busted power lines. During times like this it is difficult to see the beauty in winter.
Christmas for many was postponed and those of us without power hunkered down. Dan and I lit candles at home and when the inside temperature dropped to 55°, we lit the stovetop to remove the chill from the air.
We dined on hot buffalo bone broth and washed it down with the last of the O’Brien Nog, to warm us from the inside out. We read with the aid of flashlights until the nog and the howling wind lulled us into a deep winter’s sleep.
Twelve hours later we woke to complete silence. No furnace moaning. No refrigerator running. No electronic gages humming. No wind howling. Just pure, heavy, silence.
Dan set out to check on Erney, the animals, and the road conditions while I set out to do my own exploring. Once the engine of the truck fades I am back in the silent bubble. Beautiful. Snow and ice have latched on to most everything.
Cobwebs have turned to lace and horse’s manes and eyelashes are adorned with ice crystals that reflect in their eyes as the sun pushes through the overcast sky.
Animal prints litter the snow and lead to hidden Alice In Wonderland like shelters decorated with dried, red berries.
The tracks eventually lead me to animals, who are out doing some of their own exploring and forging for needed calories.
It is so quiet. I can hear icicles falling from trees, hitting every branch on their way to the earth, filling the silence like a concert pianist striking every key, in a hall where you could hear a pin drop. Thong, thon, ton, ting, ing........... Magical.
The Black Hills rise up in the west, Purple Mountain Majesty above the bluish-white plains.
I stay out until my fingers can longer adjust the buttons on the camera. Back inside I snuggle up with a cup of hot tea and the cat on the sofa and think about how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to experience such a winter’s morning. I sip at my tea and start to unravel 2016 in my mind before the cat and I drift back to sleep in the golden silence.
Wishing you peace (the kind a power outage without hardship can bring) and the very best of the New Year! Jill
P.S. If you haven’t yet purchased your Wild Idea Buffalo Calendar (loaded with photos and deals) now is the time! The first 50 orders will receive one free! Always a salesman. ;)