The people who cut persimmons in half to predict winter weather have been finding spoons, which signals a lot of heavy, wet snow. I gather the woolly black caterpillars are saying the same. I haven't heard from the ant hill observers, hedge apple oracles and acorn counters yet.
Spoons are better than knives, in my opinion. I don't mind shoveling, but a knife winter yields cutting cold and ice. A quarter-inch of hip-breaking, power-line-downing ice is worst than 18 inches of snow. Even with stock tank heaters, heat lamps, generators and well-maintained and shedded tractors and trucks, an icy-cold winter is tough on stock and their tenders.
I did some pasture mowing this afternoon. It was in the mid-80s, dry, sunny, and most peaceful. I get a lot of thinking done while going around in circles. Sometimes I kick up a coyote or see a hawk swoop down on its prey.
Ruby finds a place out of the way and watches. From time to time, she'll run to the creek for a drink and to swim. Ruby can swim and lap up water at the same time.