kinesis

i spent a couple of years as a milker on small-scale industrial dairy farms. milking on a modern dairy is all about rhythm, the kind of rhythm that's all about muscle memory and the kind of subconscious hyper-focus that you see on films of ladies picking bad coffee beans off a constantly moving conveyor belt. … Continue reading kinesis

wind

a tree is shown broken off near the base of the trunk with splintering

on a gentle western slope near the summit at a reasonably high altitude, wind is a near constant on the farm. i count days before i can safely burn brush. i curse it in winter when it brings below-freezing temperatures down to subzero windchills. i goad it in spring when i need it to blow … Continue reading wind

fear

after our two weeks of bitter, arctic cold, we had two days of thaw. it was 50ºF (10ºC) and rainy, which brought down the snow pack a lot and left hard, treacherous ice behind. i ran the hose twice: once at the start of the thaw and once at the end of it. three more … Continue reading fear

negative

it's -7ºF (-21.6ºC) right now with howling winds. the windchill at the closest NWS weather station is -25ºF (-31.6ºC). i'd like to think this will be the coldest night of the year, but the low forecast for tomorrow night is -23ºF (-30.5ºC) with windchill values as low as -41º (that's the same in both fahrenheit … Continue reading negative

wx

the weather has been eventful this week. we've had subzero windchills, above-freezing temperatures, a snowstorm on a day it was too cold to snow, a rainstorm on a day it was too cold to rain, and i'm looking out the window now on thickening fog at 28ºF. it has been drizzling all day and everything's … Continue reading wx

zero

after our long autumn, winter has finally set about us with its icy knives. even with daytime temperatures in the teens and twenties (fahrenheit), a breath of wind will tug the "feels like" temperature down below zero. the arctic air along with the foot of snow that we got early last week encourages indoor living, … Continue reading zero

origin

pale horses moving through trees, dappled with darkness, the ghosts of a blizzard, their hoofbeats an echo of glaciers scraping at the roots of the earth. unseen traces drag winter behind them like a great roaring, billowing wagon: ice-laden, frost-swollen, lead-grey as november clouds.

scurf

horse ownership is a benign masochism. horses are large, dangerous, dirty beasts with a bite force that rivals many large carnivores and a kick that can easily break bones. they are prone to all kinds of bizarre ailments with charmingly medieval names (fistulous withers? girth gall? founder? strangles? rain rot?) and are alarmingly fragile for … Continue reading scurf

blizzard

winter storm stella is winding down as i write. we have about two feet of new snow: nice, light, fluffy powder, but blown into every crack and crevice it can blow into by a swirling northeast wind. the horses look like snow monsters, like candy-colored tanks with long, jagged, ivory icicles hanging from their manes, … Continue reading blizzard

roses

i am not a good listener. it's not that i'm not interested or sympathetic; it's because i can't really do two things at once and my brain never stops working (just ask my insomnia). so, as someone is talking to me, i'm having rapid-fire reactions that makes me a. lose the train of the story … Continue reading roses