Sunday, February 3, 2013

Winter Weather

The worst of this week’s winter weather seems to be over. 

We went from 85 degrees on Thursday down to 35F overnight. 

This is hard on our attitudes as well as our poor little immune systems at the ranch.

Cold fronts that make their way across the United States tend to drive from west to east and these cold fronts rarely affect us. 

But those cold Arctic systems that sweep down from the north often drive deep into the peninsula of Florida in the winter, and sometimes even further.

These cold spells usually last for 3 or 4 days, unless another Canadian system follows.  Many Floridians love the cold weather.  It allows them to wear their sweaters, boots and jackets and to sit in front of a rarely used fireplace.  I, on the other hand, tend to hate the cold weather.

Cold weather brings worry about grass.

That sounds silly, I know, but grass is our lifeline in ranching.  Cold weather carries it the chance of frost, and only a few hours below 32F can kill off the winter forage the animals depend on.

We expect frost several times a winter and are prepared to feed with purchased hay.  Still, we hate to see a frost.

Years ago, Davis bought one of those “weather stations” that post time and temperature on the ceiling of our room so we could check our temperatures overnight.  I know that’s crazy, because there’s really nothing you can do about the weather, but we use it just the same.

The station’s signal shines in our bedroom, and the worry over outdoor air temperature wakes us through the night.  What’s the number now?  Its 39…37…34...and so on until sunrise.

First up in the mornings, I rush to the windows to check the fields.  What’s the verdict?  Are the fields green?  Or are they covered in frost?

This is the “ahhhhhh” moment.

Ahhh-thank goodness!    Aahhh-shucks!    Ahhh-it’s beautiful!

Whatever the outcome, like all farmers and ranchers, we’ll just deal with it.

I pull on my woolies, grab a mug of hot coffee, and head out to the barn to start a new day.


- Sanne Collins
   From the Ranch in Florida


What’s Been Keeping Me Busy Lately

Love Those Wide Open Spaces is a blog designed to follow my daily life as a freelance writer and rancher.  It’s a life full of constant change and a wide scope of interests.

Freelance writing, by its definition, requires the ability to write on a variety of subjects, to juggle many assignments during the times of plenty, and to fill the void when checks are slow.   That said, I’m always writing.

Much of my work is done for others such as corporations, websites, or articles penned under another’s name.  I’ve sold the rights to these works, so they can’t be shared. 

However, many of my projects are available under my own name and can be read right here on the web.    

 You can click on either the site or the story below to see them.

Check out what’s been keeping me busy lately!


  1. It gets that cold in FL? I NEVER knew.

    1. Yep--it does. It even snows once and awhile further north towards Tallahassee!

  2. You draw such good pictures that I can almost feel the cold. Having had relatives who farmed I am aware of the problems cold and frost can bring.

    1. That's awfully sweet of you to say. Thanks for stopping by today!