Recognition of the beauty and peacefulness of the natural world are recurring themes in my life: there seems never to be an end for me to the inspirations for living that I find whenever I look outside of my humanoid world. And since most of the time it is the gentleness of the surrounding environment that appeals so much, this morning I experienced a kind of shock when I opened the door to let the dogs out. They, for their part, were equally unsettled and remained in the frigid cold only as long as it took to relieve themselves. For the moment, the natural world is a forbidding place.
Up at the Sanctuary Adam, Sarah and Kayla have been coping with these severe and debilitating temperatures. So far, pipes in the animals’ buildings have remained unfrozen due to staff diligence when it comes to draining water from vulnerable connections after use.
Yesterday, along with their myriad other daily chores, staff surrounded the mules’ shelters with bales of straw which as many of you are aware, provide effective insulation from cold and drafts. Hay was put inside in order to encourage the mules to take advantage of the warmer spaces. But they are startlingly hardy creatures and in the early hours of this morning, Adam looked out to see Miss Jenny and Ginger, standing in the polar air munching contentedly at an outside bale. By the time the sun was in full dress, all of the mules were wandering around.
Over in the yards around the Donkey House and the Old Barn, in contrast, not a donkey is to be seen. They lack that layer of fat on their backs that horses and mules possess and so, wisely, the donkeys remain indoors. Morning hay rations were enjoyed by all and then it was time to turn to the barley straw. Munching and chewing, working the digestive systems, drinking water: all are essential factors in the ability of an equine to stay warm.
The weather forecasters are telling us that it will be a few days more before this cold snap moves on. The animals, of course, know how to take care of themselves (our barn cats are staying snug under heat lamps) and I am so thankful that we are able to provide for their very few, essential needs.
For my part, I will surround my thin human skin with layers of clothing and and be content to look outside at a world that for the moment is glaringly beautiful and alarmingly cold.
Sandra Pady, Founder