With the new year, winter finally made a (late) arrival. In January we got severe minus degrees and even had 3 snowstorms within just 2 weeks. One of them bringing almost a meter of snow basically over night. There was a lot of wind during the storm leading to snowdrifts and fallen trees, which in turn led to power outages that lasted for days because the conditions were so difficult to get through to the disturbances. After that the temperatures dropped immediately and severely to up to -20°C while some people were still out of power. What can I say? It was intense!
I got lucky and was hardly affected by the blackouts. There was only a little one the morning after the third storm, which lasted about an hour. Of course I didn’t know how long it would take and started a fire, collected water and tried to contain the warmth in the house in case it would last longer, but after a mere hour I had electricity back. What a relief!
As a result and direct consequence of the snowstorms, now the landscape is more beautiful than ever. So calm, cleann and bright and so so even. All of the trees and fields are covered in a thick layer of snow, surrounding them like a coat. At the same time though it has become challenging, almost impossible to go anywhere outside of existing pathways or snowmobile tracks, because that means sinking into hip-deep snow. After the snowstorm, Pixie hardly left the house. She came outside to watch me when I shoveled snow on my driveway and stared at me angrily as if to say „how dare you stop before all of it is gone?“ but oh well, I guess I am a very bad cat-servant who doesn’t shovel all of the forest and fields.
As some of you may have seen in Instagram, Pixie was gone in the last January weekend. I had driven to Övik, to stay with Tord for the night and had of course made sure that the batteries of her chip-activated catflap were full and she could without issues get out and in again (not that I think she would, because she hadn’t left the house since the snowstorm except for watching me). However when we returned on Saturday evening, we saw tracks in the snow and weren’t greeted by her as usual and we noticed that the batteries of the catflap mus have discharged over night. (This had never happened before, but I have observed it happen once more since then. They seem to be fully charged and with one more use of the catflap they are entirely discharged.)
I wasn’t so worried right then for several reasons. She is used to being outside, it wasn’t that cold (circa -15°C), she has quite fluffy fur and had been getting some „energy depots“ in her body lately. So I was confident that she wouldn’t take any harm being outside for a bit. We made sure to talk loudly on the driveway and open and close the car doors a few times to make sure she would notice our return and know she could come home now, but she didn’t come home. After a few hours we walked up and down the street a bit, shaking her foodbowl and calling her name, but even then she didn’t come home and not over night either. By then the temperatures had dropped to – 25°C and I was starting to worry but trying to calm myself with thoughts of the countless times I had been worried before and she came home unharmed.
To make a long story short: She didn’t come home until Monday night. By Sunday evening Tord and I were worried sick and by Monday morning I was convinced that she must have tried to hide from the cold somewhere but froze to death when she couldn’t find sufficient shelter from the cold. We went up and down the neighborhood and even into the forest calling for her and Monday evening we layed a trail with catnip spray in the last tiny bit of hope that we had left that this might lure her home in case she was just pouting somewhere over that she couldn’t come inside the house. Right after that we went to bed, exhausted from the worry and sadness of the last days. A few hours later we were woken up by a very hungry and very hyped cat, that apparently enjoyed the smell of catnip and we were so incredibly relieved to have her home again.
Since then Pixie has hardly been outside, again only to use the bathroom outside (aka my driveway ) and I am over the moon to have her back and still so grateful for all the love, support and understanding that came my way when I was in absolute dispair of her being out for so long in what seemed like deadly temperatures.
And with Pixies return, I also noticed the light changing. It started by the mornings not being as dark as they used to and the afternoons being a tiny bit longer. Now the sun is standing higher and higher in the sky during the days, the mornings get noticeably brighter and the darkness doesn’t set in until the evening. It’s amazing to see those changes and I am starting to feel the enegry returning that always lies dormant during winter. It feels like I will be unstoppable in a few weeks because the light is returning at an insane speed and from the last 2 springs here in Sweden I know that it’s only 2 more months until the nights won’t reach a full darkness anymore, so I enjoy it while it lasts.
While it’s still very cold on most days and especially during the nights (just today I woke up to -24°C on the thermometer again) the days are getting warmer and warmer and there can be a temperature fluctuation of up to 20°C between day and night. It is so amazing to see what power the sunlight unfolds now and we are having a lot of it. This is the most beautiful winter I have ever witnessed in full. So much snow covering the landscape, frost sparkling in the air, sunlight being reflected by the snow and creating an almost otherworldy brightness and all of this lasting for weeks. I almost never want it to stop!