January 12, 2018

The Hounds Are Never Surprised By Weather

Like many experienced last night all over the USA, the hot temps blew out with high winds and all that was left this morning were temps in the 20's and some light snow. That 62° was really nice yesterday. Yet we knew what was in the forecast, plus it really is January ... not March. Weather never bothers nor surprises the hounds, they just love to take their walks.

It was good to see that Stella was out in front of Sadie and I this morning, instead of staying behind while we took the walk. She took no time to run ahead of us and then charge into the wooded area. I yelled her name about the time she was heading down into the gully. She stopped, turned to look at me and to my surprise, started walking back to the field.

I could hear the icy raindrops hitting the leaves, the trees and my parka. Stella did not mind, nor did Sadie. I could feel the wind blowing pretty strong out of the N/NW and it was cold.

The snow was light enough to only cover my driveway, our walking path and the highway. While we walked slowly, the hounds exploring, I could hear the highway department snow plows going back and forth on the highway spraying what they use in Indiana for ice control ... a mixture of salt and sand with a little calcium chloride mixed in.

Whereas last winter we had an unknown animal feeding itself with chewing bark off of the fallen tree, this year there was a new path by ATV traffic down into the gully from the opposite side.

There is something about any amount of snow that energize the hounds. They were so excited to be outside on the walk, they were running into each other. It felt much warmer than the wind chill temp was on my iPhone.

Sadie and Stella sprinting around the first turn with no intention of waiting for me to catch them. This 200mm lens was used to get this close to them. As they ran, I could hear surface ice breaking as I walk. It had rained most of yesterday's afternoon and last night. It was still very warm around 8pm when the hounds took me outside. By 1am it had dropped 20° and was heading even colder.

In some spots like this ice, there was standing water barely hidden below the thin cover of ice and snow.

Luckily the paths were highlighted with snow ... easy to follow, even for Stella.

They both know the deer go this way.

Sometimes Stella has to put a lot of thought into her identification phase, trying to determine what it was, when it was and trying to match current info with her memory database.

Gives you some idea what type of day it is although the tower is a little blurry due to operator error.

The forecast has been very accurate so far the past 20 hours ... but also has 1"-3" of snow starting this afternoon.

Stella has a lot of interest while looking north ... Once I told her "go home", she turned and started following the path in the direction of the house. I have never seen her run all the way home from the middle of the field. She is just running to get further away from me to give her time to look around the field a little longer.

Yes, they followed that white path without veering out into the field.

By the time I caught up to them, they had just a few more things to check out before we arrived home.

The snow pointed out a deer path that comes from the woods behind the neighbor's house across the field to the woods behind our house. I have always seen the worn thin path but the light snow shows it a little bit better.

What was it? I glanced to the right ... no one was outside. No cars moving on the driveway. There wasn't even a car or truck on the highway ... still they were both very very interested in something in that direction. I forget how much more powerful their ears are in picking up sounds that I don't hear.

This has to be where the field cat walks at night.

The were done walking as they trotted side by side toward the carport. Winter always shows the backyard is not as flat as I think it is. It has changed quite a bit over the 20 years I've lived here.

I made an unexpected trip to Bloomington yesterday. I had been feeling an urge for a pizza plus there were some 'game worn' IU football jerseys available to buy. By the time I returned home, the hounds were barking with excitement and it was raining hard.

Heidi did get outside multiple times yesterday before and after my trip, but when it is snowing there is no chance she will go outside anymore than the minimum times, where she knows she has to go.

Stopped by the local library this morning but with the icy conditions on the highway, it was closed. There was not a lot of traffic in the two miles to town but my 4x4 setting had no problems with ice, slush and light snow. A jersey I bought yesterday had to be mailed today. I guessed correctly in weather like this that there would be no lines at the post office.

Right before I posted this it started snowing. The hounds went out, including Heidi, after their lunch but none of them stayed too long.

It's feeling like a Chinese Buffet lunch or dinner today ...

Cold but not bad, a little snow and a warmer than normal winter is on the way here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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