I woke up to a heavy fog. The kind were you can't see the neighbor's house across the street. You can't see the hitching rail in your yard from the front door at 2:30 in the morning when you go out for that last armload of wood to stoke the fire before you fall asleep for the night. The kind that really isn't fog, but is a low hanging cloud that is parked over your house, settles on the ground and is letting out a misty, spitting, spray that from the sky and coats everything in ice. Freezing fog. It was just at the edge of being too warm to freeze and be snow, but freezes up once it's stuck to some solid object.
I got a phone call from the neighbor at 5am. My day off of course. I didn't get to the phone in time, but got a frantic voice mail, there is a horse loose, one of the truck drivers from Glanbia almost hit it, please, please go check and make sure your boys are where they are supposed to be. She'd checked her horses and they were still penned up.
I grabbed up a flashlight and went outside to check. I had to be almost on top of the dry lot to see, but yep, both geldings where blinking at me from the dry lot, wondering if it really was time to be awake and fed. Nope. Walked down the drive getting coated in a fine wet mist and back to check on Dave's horses out back. I couldn't see a thing past the fence, but I could see that his gate was still closed. Romeo, one of his geldings, has been known to be an escape artist, but everything was still locked up tight.
Over to the neighbors with my flashlight and a halter. What I thought I was going to catch was beyond me, but the need to be a hero sometimes out weighs my common sense. The guys were on the front porch talking, and told me there was a loose horse in the empty field next to the house. They had seen it, but it dissapeared into the mist before they really could tell what color or where it came from. They didn't think it was wearing a blanket, so they didn't think it was one of mine, but it was for sure going to get hit by someone coming down the road.
It was coming up on shift change at the plant and people were going to be rushing to get to Glanbia, or heading home after a 12 hour shift. The road we live on has a 50 mph speed limit, and you couldn't see from one telephone pole to the next down the road. Hitting a 1000 pound horse at 50 mph in the early morning was going to kill both the driver and the horse.
Armed with my flashlight and halter I walked into the field, stopping every few feet to listen. I could see the headlights from the neighbor's truck making a pitiful attempt to cut through the fog from across their pasture and into the field. Big moving blobs of shadows in their pasture was their two horses blowing and snorting at the something that was me out in the dark where, there shouldn't have been anything.
I was a few hundred feet from their fence line walking on what was left of the tracks from the heavy trucks that had been in that previous fall harvesting the corn. I could see my feet in the light from the flashlight, but not much beyond that. I see the neighbors horses ahead of me and off to the side when the suddenly get excited and start making those whinny and nickering noises horses make when they see another strange horse. That bugger had just walked up past me, between me and the fence, and I never even saw it.
It's a big dark shape snorting and dancing there at the fence line. Poor thing is got it's head in the air, blowing out it's nose, and you can tell it's spooky. I tried to walk up slowly, but it just trotted back towards the road. I can just barley make out the palomino across the road trotting back and forth against Roger's fence line across the street. The horse I'm following in the bay mare that is supposed to be in with him. She walked back across the street and into Roger's yard. We can't get close enough to get a halter on her. I know she's not broke at all. Rusty walks with me over across the street.
Roger is deaf, he can only hear with his hearing aids in. Banging on the front door and calling his cell phone meet with nothing. I can't even see where the mare got out, or a gate to get her back into the pasture in his front yard. I'm prepared to stand and guard the driveway till either he wakes up, or it gets daylight enough to see. There isn't anywhere for her to get back out on the road except for the driveway. This is really not something I Want to have to do. It's freezing outside, and even though I have on my overalls, winter coats, insulated gloves, and my hat, it's going to be a cold, wet wait. It's something I Was Going to do though to make sure she didn't get hit.
My neighbor comes over to help Rusty and I try and figure out what to do. He's a big guy. He banged a lot harder on the door than I had. YAY! Roger wakes up. We got a halter on the mare, and found out where she'd busted through the fence. We put her away, they fixed the fence,and I finally went home and back to bed.
The fog continued through the early morning and made for a beautiful sight when I woke up. Be prepared for some picture spam.
|Tree behind the kitchen|
Boys, looking towards Will and Andrea's
|Boys, looking towards Dave's|
|Even Stormy's eyelashes got frosted|
|Ben, frosty mane|
|Pumpkin and Romeo, frosty tails|
|Trees out front, looking towards Rebecca's|