Winter Solstice – OOPE

FINALLY!  The shortest day of the year has arrived! It is easy to understand why this day was/is celebrated… I feel like throwing a party myself!  The amount of darkness really does make a difference in our lives here… and since Vernon swears he runs on solar power, the idea of longer and brighter days thrills him as well.  Often in winter Vernon will fall asleep by 6 or 7 pm where in the summer he is just leaving to do his “evening shift” of irrigating or haying.

This morning was -30 degrees.  Had I known that before I got out of bed, I  might have tried to stay underneath the down blanket and buffalo robe that are on my bed.  I sleep next to the drafty window, so I love my extra blankets!  I had an idea it was cold… the frost was halfway up my window.  You know that spray stuff they sell to make your windows look frosty?  My bedroom window does it for real.  I should put Vernon over there since he seems to have a built in heater!  I freeze, he’s hot.  But that would mean he would be climbing over me to get out of bed at 5 am… I prefer the cold to being woke up *that* early!
We decided it was time to start feeding the calves we have scattered throughout our fields.  We attempted to gather just the far side of the creek in what we call our school section. We hiked instead of cowboying ahorseback and we didn’t even try to start the four wheeler due to the frigid temperature.  I prepared for COLD and this time overdressed and was soon sweating while walking through the snow.  I took OOPE photos along the way.  Many are long distance OOPE shots.  I will explain those tomorrow… but thought I’d share just a couple today.
We tempted the calves with the hay trailer hoping they’d move easily in that direction.  It did help and soon we met up with the trailer and Daniel and I hopped aboard.  Johnny drove the tractor, Vernon, Brandon, and his girlfriend went back to the pickup.  I’m still overweight and even more out of shape since I haven’t hardly done anything physical since the
<ahref=”” target=”_blank”>beginning of October.  So here’s Daniel, ready to work, while I huff and puff up to the trailer.


I’m coming.  I’m coming.  Yeah, you pitch, I’ll take pictures.  Whew, it’s hot!
My, what great technique you have, my dear.
Look, Daniel, they love it!
We “lead” them down to the lower fields with a trail of scattered hay.
Daniel pitches off the remaining hay while the sun’s weak rays skim along the rimrock.
By morning they’ll find all the hay.  We’ll spend more time gathering the rest, but today was a good start.  The days will get longer and the calves will be happy with hay in their bellies.  They’ll celebrate the Winter Solstice and not even know it!