I read several blogs written by people who live on small farms. There are many parts of their lives that I'm more than a wee bit envious of, but caring for animals in the winter is not one of them. Jenna Woginrich carries huge buckets of water across the icy side of a mountain, over and over again each day. Ben Hewitt and Jon Katz are often breaking ice with an ax, boot or whatever else will do the job, to ensure animals have water to drink. The Soules were recently out in the snow (OK in a barn) at 4 am to check on a sick cow. And then there's lambing...in the snow! (See Jon Katz, Kristin Nichols).
It's enough to make a person feel like a bit of a wimp for thinking "It's too cold. I'll talk a walk tomorrow". In fact, Katz' recently had a mini blog post that stated
It is very cold here, we took the dogs out for a walk at a nearby park, Red pays no attention to the weather, he runs out ahead and sits down and waits for us. I love walking, even in the cold.
He lives in upstate New York, so I'm sure it was freezing, and not the "very cold" of someone living in South Carolina.
That's when I started pulling jumbo, sealed, plastic bags out of the extra room we call "the attic". In these bags I found a bounty of knit wear (including some leg warmers I knit this summer), some socks originally bought for snow boarding, and an assortment of long johns. Even surrounded by all this gear (and a reflective safety vest), I still didn't have any urge to go out in the 16 degree air to check the mail, much less go for a walk. And that's when I thought of the bees.
I don't know what made me think of bees, unless it was the reflective vest's coloring, but I remembered something I'd read about how bees survive the winter. Bees cannot fly, heck they can barely move when the weather turns cold. In the autumn these symbols of productivity become docile and lethargic as the temperatures dip. However back in the hive (hopped up on honey), they can achieve summer-like temperatures by vigorously vibrating their bodies
If I wanted to be warm, I needed to get moving. Those first five minutes or so were going to sting, but soon enough I'd be unzipping my jacket, stuffing my mittens in my pockets, and laughing at all those folks trapped inside the confines of their homes on this sparkling day.
"Motion is the lotion" as they say at Kripalu