Monday, December 6, 2010

View From Our House



It's cold. I just checked the outdoor thermometer and expected it to read about -20 degrees, but it was 10 degrees above zero. We've got plenty of very cold weather ahead of us. It was still pretty dark when I got up this morning at 6:30, and this time of year, as the hours of daylight are still dwindling, I have only a few hours of the day when I actually feel productive. By 4:30 PM, as it's starting to get dark again, I feel like hibernating.

My dear husband, the eternal optimist, likes to remind me, 'In just a few weeks the days will be getting longer!' So annoying. I mean, it's true that the days will be getting longer, but those longer days will be cold and snow covered until the end of March!



I never tire of looking at this old barn across the street from our house. I hate to think of the day when it finally collapses and then someone brings in a bulldozer to bury it. The next generation won't know that it ever existed. That's happening so often with the old barns of Wisconsin which used to house small dairy herds that supported a family.

Once the cattle are no longer in the barn to keep it warm, the structure falls victim to the freezing and thawing of our winters and springs. (In Wisconsin, our temperatures will reach -40 degrees F. in the winter and the frosts go down 5+ feet, and sometimes farther, which is why our pipes have to be buried so deep.)

The spruce are so beautiful with the new snow on their branches. They are also just across the street, next to the barn.


A couple of those huge, round bales, looking like frosted Shredded Wheat. On a summer evening, when the bales are scattered across the field, you can squint your eyes and imagine that they're a herd of buffalo. Okay, maybe you can't, but I can...and do.


Our own barn, which hasn't had cows in it for about 25 years, when the former owners had a dairy herd. The barn's not going to be able to stand much longer unless we get it repaired and bring in a nice warm herd of cattle. I remember, as a kid, enjoying being in my uncle's barn because his cows were kept in the barn all winter. We'd throw down hay, help lime the walks, play in the feed alleys, and make a general nuisance of ourselves. There was something about the smell of the cows, the milk, the lime, the hay, the grain, the kittens wandering around, the dog...



The cardinal at our birdfeeder. When I looked out the window, there were a couple downies, juncos, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, and bluejays. And even though I sneaked outdoors as quietly and inconspicuously as possible, they all vanished. Surprisingly, after a few minutes the cardinal, usually one of the shy ones, returned. At least I got that shot. Just wish I could have shown you a video of all those birds flying back and forth to the feeder, grabbing seeds and flying off. It was beautiful!




My nearly 10 year old GSD pal, Bridger, loves lying at the edge of the deck (our house is on a hill) and looking out over his domain, part of which he thinks is the neighbor's barn, pictured above. This is where Bridger watches cars go past, keeps an eye out for squirrels and rabbits, and hears the evening coyotes squeal. That's when I make him come indoors. I don't want him getting into it with coyotes.

 What Bridger's Looking At

So that's the view from here. It's cold out there, which is why I'm thankful for a warm house, a fire, two great dogs, two sweet cats, a wonderful husband, and a fire in the stove (not necessarily in that order.) :-)

17 comments:

partialemptynester said...

Oh, what a fantastic post! Except for the snow and the gorgeous pines, it's interesting to think how similar Wisconsin and Texas are...the barns, the cows, the cardinal, Bridger, his domain and the coyotes...you could have been describing my grandparents' place where I spent lots of summers!
Bundle up and stay indoors with a hot cup o' tea:)

Michelle said...

Stunning countryside you live in! I love looking at snow in pictures:-) It's been chilly here and we actually had freezing rain on Saturday. Stay warm!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I love this post and the photos are simply breath taking. I wish my hubby was optomistic about the snow, which has been so light this year. Your Bridger is beautiful-a photo of strength. Here in Colorado we have to be really careful becaues coyotes will draw dog out by wanting to play or using a female in heat to come away and then they get attacked. You certainly get the cold temps don't you! Have a blessed and warm day and enjoy your views.
Noreen

Lana said...

Well DANG! I'm going to have to pull on my boots and go out to take some pictures aren't I! My rear end was just starting to feel warm again! :-) Beautiful! It was 1.6 degrees to the + this morning, and we had a two-hour delay because the roads were/are icy! Fun times!

Yenta Mary said...

Those pictures are so beautiful! Gorgeous in their simplicity and peace ....

jennyfreckles said...

Lovely post - I like getting a feel for where people live. Apart from the white stuff(!), where you live couldn't be more different from where I live. It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

Ms. Diva said...

I would never leave my house if I lived there!! How beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

Under Her Wings said...

Gorgeous! I am so fascinated by old barns. I take pics any time that I can. There is just something so nostalgic about them. And the snow is beautiful. I LOVE TO LOOK AT PICTURES OF IT!
I have never been in -40 degree weather, and have no desire to. I would freeze from the inside out, I think. So keep those pictures coming!:)
Blessings.

Megryansmom said...

Funny those pictures don't look so cold, but I feel your pain, it's SIX degrees here in J-Town. And my optimistic hubby just smiles and says, at least the sun is shining or it would feel much colder. Yeah. OK.

Rachel said...

I love the pictures! I love the snow too (seeing that we usually don't have too much of it here in Texas). If you want to "warm up" you could always come visit Texas. I won't tell you what the temperature is here, but it's not nearly that cold!!

:)
Rach

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

This is a nice warm post ... so much so that it makes me want to go and get the duvet and hide under it for a while !!
I love your surroundings with the barn, the beautiful bird and that awesome view.... no wonder Bridger likes it there. Generally in the UK, people are not that fortunate to have such an extensive view unless you live on a farm where the owner hasn't got time to think about the view.

Candace said...

I love barns! Your pictures are very beautiful. It doesn't look like that here quite yet....but I'm sure that it's not far off. Thank you for sharing your beautiful world with us.

Hope you had a nice Monday and that you are staying warm over there!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Wow! It looks absolutely beautiful there! I love to watch the snow fall, but I hate the cold. I'd rather stay inside and read a book with a cup of hot coffee or cocoa.

SomeGirl said...

Simply beautiful! What a lovely way to start my online day. :) Thank you for sharing those pictures with us!

Btw, did your family ever feed the cows cotton seed? I have very fond memories of playing in my Grandpa's barn in the winter with a trailer full of cotton seed... Burying myself and my brother down in it. Just wondering if we share that memory. :)

Hope you stay warm!

Jenn said...

It is beautiful, even though I know it's cold cold cold...the beauty sure makes up for it!

Gramma's Cooking Lives On said...

Wonderful pictures and I learned something new today. I had no idea the cows helped the structure of the barn. Your description of the smells from the barns of your childhood is right on, smells and sounds create such wonderful memories. We don't realize it sometimes as it is happening, but we do thinking back. Hearing how deep the freeze goes amazed me too and learning about how deep the pipes must be buried was interesting. I will remember not to complain about the cold here in NY lately, it's a heatwave compared to where you are! Thanks for the great pictures.

Gramma's Cooking Lives On said...

Oh I forgot to mention, the shots of the dog are gorgeous.

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