COVID-19 – An update from Pine View Farms

Historically, I dislike winter. Plain and simple. I much prefer +25C to -25C. My inner thermostat is always set to “freezing”. I shiver under multiple woolly layers all winter and only pull on shorts when it’s toasty warm in July. And I love nothing more than a mid-winter Caribbean vacation at the beach to save me from the winter icebox. Alas, that is not to be in 2020 . . .

But aside from our November blizzard, I am beginning to really like winter, which is totally weird for me! I have always thought that winter was something to be endured until our short eight weeks of warm summer weather arrived in Saskatchewan, then I quaked with cold again for the remaining 10 months of the year.

Being married to a farmer has given me a modest appreciation of winter because the snow covers up all the outside yard work on the farm for a few months and provides a welcome reprieve from outside work, except the odd day of snowplowing. However, Kevin will quickly tell you the downside of winter on the farm is that everything is harder to fix when the machinery, tools and your hands are frozen.

I have made multiple New Year’s resolutions to embrace winter but have never succeeded ... until 2020.

Although that November 15th blizzard was hugely inconvenient --- Kevin plowed snow for nine hours that Monday and some of our staff couldn’t come to work for a couple days --- the 53 centimetres of snow makes a marvelously beautiful outdoor playground. Perhaps it's just what we needed?

My sanity saver during this pandemic has been walking in our trees like a meditation laybrinth. Wading in knee deep snow post-blizzard proved nearly impossible though, so a couple weeks ago, I invested in snowshoes for Kevin and me as early Christmas presents. Apparently snowshoes and skis are in hot demand and we got some of the last pairs from Eb’s Adventure, thank goodness! Now  can hike anywhere in our fields, pastures and tree lines with relative ease!

Who knew that I would love snowshoeing? Certainly not me. [As an aside, Kevin snowshoes because he loves me, not because he needs a workout after his 20,000+ steps in his normal farming workday.]

Winter is truly winning me over in all her pristine, dazzling glory as I trudge through the snow and discover beauty all around me.

On my morning walks with Brian, our dog, we find fresh coyote, deer and rabbit tracks. Brian goes bananas sniffing bunny trails and bounding through the deep drifts. What fun!

I’ve seen flocks of ruby-breasted Pine Gros Beaks feast on pine cones in our spruce trees, as they chirp and swoop through the branches. I’m so happy that our trees are sheltering and feeding birds.

I’ve stood still in the insulated silence of the snow and felt the peace of hearing nothing, absolutely nothing --- a true antidote to the 24 hour news cycle.

I’ve been dazzled by the intricately woven hoar frost lace left by night fog against a bright blue sky. Nothing humans can manufacture can compete with that.

I’ll probably change my winter tune when the weather inevitably turns to -40C (and that could be any day). But for now, I’ll embrace every crisp, clean day winter presents, strap on my snowshoes and see where the path leads.

Winter has won me over in 2020. How do you embrace winter?

2 comments

  • That sounds lovely. I am walking in the park near our house in Saskatoon and I’m grateful for that. We also own a cabin in the woods of the Thickwood Hillsand we have been spending lots of time there where it is also lovely to walk. We saw pine grosbeak‘s the other day too.?They are beautiful. Thanks for your post.

    Donna Fenton
  • Great blog.

    Tracy

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