The bad news: I knew I shouldn't have unplugged and put away the tank heater. Winter came back. Apologies to those of you still suffering in the grip of it up north, and please excuse my whinging, but it's icky out there. Yeah, yeah, I know - get some crackers and cheese to go with my whine, right?
Honestly I shouldn't be complaining, since we needed the moisture and I suppose having 10 hours of falling ice pellets was better than 10 hours of freezing rain, right? I kid you not, either - the ground is covered in a crispy crust that's not snow. It's tiny little BB-sized ice balls.
We did have some freezing rain, which was miserable, but not enough to make things super slippery at least. And the thunder just kept on rolling.
So I have the truck plugged back in, broke ice for the horses to drink this morning, and gave them the option of hay in the barn. During the worst of the falling pellets (we had about half an hour of dime-size hail midday) they abandoned the barn to stand heads down by their ankles, butts to the 25mph (gusts to 35) north wind, along the fenceline. Must have been too loud in the barn with the tin roof and all.
Except for Rufus they came through it unscathed - he must have gotten himself cornered at some point, because he has a new bite mark and a new scrape/strip of hide missing off his forehead. He seems determined to be bald, one way or the other! I'd blame the bite mark on Sunny, but Amyra's cycling again, and she's crabby. She even stood Sunny off her grain pan this morning, and not too much discourages him when there's food involved. Most days she's willing to share the crumbs without fussing.
Earlier in the winter Rufus was the only one smart/brave enough to stand in the barn when it was nasty. Unfortunately for him, the rest of them learned that it's much drier and more pleasant in there :(
After grain, they had to be satisfied with hay and the creekbed pasture again today, and Sunny is ticked. They can hear the front door on the house open, and every time I go out he sticks his head around the corner of the barn and yells at me.
Pretty sure that by Saturday they'll be able to go back up on grass, but we'll see how quick things melt and soak in.