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Winter in the Ozarks

Winter in the Ozarks | Musings on a Very Cold Day

It was -12F when I woke up this morning at 0500. This is the coldest I think it’s ever been since we moved here in 2005. There hasn’t been many really cold, snowy winters in the past several years, it seems. However, in the first few years here, we had an incredible ice storm (either 2008, or early 2009… can’t remember now), a significant snow storm in 2011 and another in 2013. Some ice and mud and snow is common, especially in January and February.

This is another one of those significant ‘winter in the Ozarks’ weather events. There is ice on the shower floor. Ice on the windowsills. And ice on the floor where condensation has collected under the boxes in my studio. The water froze days ago and I’ve been using the water we’d put up before the storm to wash dishes and flush toilets. Today I think I’ll gather up some snow to melt, because we’re beginning to run low on utility water.

Miss Kitty is very happy she’s got a makeshift litterbox so she can stay inside during this weather. But for an old cat, she woke up spunky this morning.

Brought the cat in during the bitter cold spell, but I think she's getting spoiled.
Brought the cat in during the bitter cold spell, but I think she’s getting spoiled.

The horses were shivering in the wee hours this morning. I dropped their hay for them and went back inside to get some warm mash to go with their breakfast. I’m worried they aren’t going to drink enough water while it’s this cold, and I need to check to make sure the creek still has water to drink. And that it hasn’t all turned to ice…

Thankfully, the creek is still flowing and hasn’t frozen solid. I brought a salt block out to the horses and they were very happy to have it. The other salt block is across on the other side of the pasture and I don’t think they’re inclined to go that far to get to it.

We’re almost out of firewood. So we’re watching the thermometer. It’s sunny today, the first sunny day in at least a week. Now it’s almost 10F, and in another hour or so we’ll venture out there to cut some more wood.

Many places around the country are cold and lots of folks are without power too. I’m glad we at least have firewood to cut and also have propane to heat and cook with. And some really beautiful scenery to look at even if it is freezing too much to get out and about in it to take a lot of photos.

Winter in the Ozarks can be brutal, but it is definitely beautiful.

Madison Woods is an artist and paintmaker from Kingston, Arkansas.
Author/Artist Info
In the summer of 2018 I began making watercolor paints from the rocks, clay, and other resources of our land here in the Ozarks. My artwork is made exclusively with these paints. I call them Wild Ozark Paleo Paints, because they’re made in a way very close to the same way paints were made when man first put a handprint on the wall of a cave. My specialty is painting nature, specifically the nature that surrounds me here in the remote hills of northwest Arkansas.

My Portfolio is at MadisonWoods.art

Click here to join my mailing list.

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16 February 2021 3:09 pm

Love that last photo, Madison, although it looks very cold. Bill works with people in Texas and it’s been terrible there. Many of them can’t get to work and so many don’t have power, not just there but in other places, people who don’t have a fireplace or wood-burning stove.… Read more »

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