Driving through Siberia, we often wondered how animals survive through the winter (see here). For us, at the time, it was a kind of happy question because it was summer time and we didn’t have to find out the answer the hard way or anything. Now we’re in Canada, living through the coldest part of the year, and on the short excursions outside, passing the same animals standing in a field day after day or, perhaps, going to feed them – the question is more pressing – not that we really have an answer yet although we cannot deny that they do, indeed, survive. Just standing there, existing, in double-figures-below temperatures; waiting for their food (more patiently than I would, that’s for sure) and, further north where Conny and Radka are, waiting for some unfrozen water. How do they do it? Anti-freeze in their blood like some deep-sea creature? I always thought that a cow had to be a yak to cope with these temperatures but, no, some of the animals we see are hardly hairy at all. As Dunia said, from the warmth of a car as we hurried back home, looking at a bunch of horses slowly turning to white as yet another fall of snow came down, ‘if you put me naked in that field, I wouldn’t last 5 minutes’. To manage the whole of winter like that, to me, seems heroic.
British Columbia seems to be all about animals – after the emptiness of Russia, the crowded humanity of Korea. I’m sure you’re going to see a few posts going up about the ones we’re meeting. Here’s a video of Dunia feeding a whole bunch of them as we were house sitting a place that doubled up as a rescue home: