I love snow. I love the silence of the snowfall as it gently coats the landscape with white frosting. I love when a breeze shakes the freshly-fallen snow from the tree branches, making mini snow storms with every gust. I love the first foot prints in new snow. I love the way it clings to the wire of a chainlink fence, sometimes completely filling the little square openings.
I love to watch the dogs play in it, running through the drifts, throwing snow up with their feet, sometimes pushing a muzzle into it and shaking, throwing snow from side to side, or digging to find a suddenly buried chew bone.
I love a foal's first snow, and their wonder as they run through it, and paw holes in it, and, yes, shove their muzzles into it and shake their heads too.
I love to watch a feral cat dash through the snow, trying to leap from one spot of bare ground to another, eventually giving up trying to keep feet dry and dashing through the snow to the safety and warmth of my garage, where food and a heater and soft beds await it in the loft.
I love the quiet the snow brings, at least until the snowplows clear the road and highway traffic resumes its hum in the distance. I love how snow muffles sounds as we ride through the woods in it, and how the snow-laden branches dump snow down our backs as we, laughing, have to bend lower than usual to duck under them.
I love the way the horses' warm breath makes little blasts of cloud in the frigid air. I love cantering over deep snow in the wash, where we don't have to worry about avoiding rocks because they're 8 inches below the horses' hooves.
I love to watch the dogs bounding through the snow as we ride, pausing occasionally to shake the snow from their fur before leaping over a bush to continue pursuing invisible rabbits.
I love the unique grayness of the snowclouds, and love trying to predict how much snow is coming by the color of the overcast.
I love to sit here in the warmth of my living room and watch my own housecats as they look out the window at the falling snow, trying to figure out what manner of flying creatures are swarming the house, and plotting to get to them and save us from the white horde.
I love using my quad to carry hay to the horses when the snow is too deep for me to pull the little hay wagon, and then putting it in four wheel drive to ride down to the mailbox, where it inevitably turns out that our mail carrier DID let snow and rain and gloom of night stay her from the swift completion of her appointed round. But I enjoy the ride there and back, making new tracks in the snow on the road.
I especially loved riding Dottie to the mailbox seven years ago after my very first snowfall here when I didn't have the quad yet and was reluctant to drive my little Toyota Echo in the snow just yet.
I especially love that first moment when the sun breaks through the clouds, and the dull gray landscape turns into a field of sparkling diamonds.
And, since I've only been here for seven relatively dry winters so far, I even love getting out my show shovel and shoveling a path to the garage and the chicken house.
Yes, I love the snow.
Ask me how I feel ten years from now, when the novelty has worn off, as I'm sure it will someday. But for now . . . I love the snow.
And that's the latest from the Ranch.