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Arctic Cold

It’s freezing cold. That’s why I have not written anything since my first post. It’s so cold you can’t think straight. Your whole body and mind are tense. You stoke a stove first thing in the morning and simply wait for a couple of hours until the room gets warmer. This is different from the first half of February with -10°C or -15 °C at most. Now its -25°C (true, this happened only once!) or -20°C in the morning. The Arctic cold seeps into the room and the kitchen through the old log walls and old-fashioned windows. It’s a traditional country house, spacious and elegant, built just before World War II.

At around 11 a.m. I go outside. The sun is bright, the sky is a beautiful blue, the snow sparkles – you can’t even bear looking at it without sunglasses. This is a sure sign that the Arctic weather is not going to retreat for some time. I check the thermometer by the front door – it’s -14°C in the shade. While on the wall of the barn which faces south, it reads +10°C. I let out my yearlings into the paddock, then the ewes – the animals are very good at absorbing the heat from the sun. You can see from their muzzles how pleased they are. It’s much warmer outside than in the wooden barns.

I look at my ewes: they are growing bigger and their udders getting fuller by the day. Yet another week of unusually cold weather and I am worried. I watch my beauties and beg them: ‘Please, please, wait a little longer! Have your lambs when the sun rises higher and warms up the earth!’

And indeed it’s much warmer outside than in the house. I grab my camera and a tripod, and together with my faithful companion Foxy head for the woodland.

In the woodland Foxy is going about her own business: sniffing the traces left by the deer, the moose, foxes, raccoons, may be even the lynx – I heard that a few weeks ago a lynx was spotted walking across the road in the neighbouring village. Meanwhile I try to shoot a winter scene here and there. Foxy is used to my photo sessions. Once she is done, she just sits not far from me and waits until I finish.

I’m getting cold and it’s time to feed the sheep anyway

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