Sunday, February 12, 2012

Doctor Zhivago

Yesterday it rained all day. It was the 10th of February and I've never seen rain in the middle of winter before so it was a bit of a marvel. Today we are paying the price for the above zero temperatures of 24 hours ago with what looks like a scene out of Doctor Zhivago with sheet ice covering everything. It took me about 10 minutes to get into my truck today and an additional 20 to clear the quarter inch thick ice off the windows, and that was with the defrost on while the truck warmed up. Once that was done I let the dogs into the backyard so I could take them around the side to load them into the truck and realized the gate latch was encased in ice. I had to shut off the truck to use my key to get back into the house to take them through that way and two at a time load them into the truck out the front door. Once loaded we crept our way to where I've been walking them recently and discovered that the frozen creek is no longer frozen, it's about 6 inches deeper and just has a crust of snow across the top which Esme and Cora discovered the hard way - fortunately Raimi and Leeloo avoided it and saved themselves cold wet feet.

We took ourselves on a more roundabout way to the path I've been following, I think it's actually a deer path, and once the dogs were on more solid ground they had a bit of an explore but seemed to feel a little differently about this walk than those of the past. There was hesitation, caution, and a sense of unease which is unusual for them. I think it was the feel of the ground underneath them and the sounds of the woods were different. Everything, and I mean everything, was covered in ice. I think to the dogs, who have been the to woods countless times, it made somewhere familiar seem almost alien. The ice changed the way things absorb sound, the way the trees move in the wind, the smell of them and the atmosphere was a little unsettling. Leeloo was done about 10 minutes into the walk, as her expression clearly says.

Esme, as ever, is game for whatever. She is the only dog who didn't seem to notice anything different and carried on with gay abandon much as she leads her entire life. You can see the ice on the tree with the droplets frozen where they formed. Every branch, twig, tree, leaf, needle, and pine cone had a coat of ice.  

Boy spent a lot of time standing a listening to the strange rattling and rustling the trees made as the wind swept above us. He didn't explore as much as usual and he stayed closer than is normal for him - he likes to be taking point and following his nose but today he kept an eye on me.

Cora, like Esme was in exploration mode most of the time although she also stuck closer than would be normal for her. She keyed off her parents for mood and was not as boisterous as usual although this stick got a good working over. Covered in ice ... just like everything else.

Can you see me? I'm invisible. Fortunately she is not as thin as her mother was at this age or you might not be able to see her behind this sapling! 

No stick is safe from these two. Despite the effort it took to get into the truck and the hassle to get the dogs loaded and the shortness of the walk (only about 20 minutes because of the cold), I am still glad I made the effort. It's good for the dogs, it's good for me and since I plan on spending the rest of the day watching TV in bed I won't feel so guilty!  

No comments: