Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Cold Coffee Clutch"

Howdy Folks,

Kessy's breath streamed upward around her frosted whiskers as she greeted me at the porch. A chicken pecked fruitlessly at a frozen puddle, others strutted about complaining about my slow pace. From its perch on an oak branch watched a chilly Chickadee who looked like nothing more than a gray-black ball of puffed feathers. The past two mornings have been the coldest in two years, according to the news. Of course what's really cold here in central VA is not nearly as cold as other places. Kessy and I understand it's all relative, but here yesterday's 20 was plenty cold. This morning's 12 made that seem warm! I told Kessy a friend in northern PA who told me it was 2 below there yesterday morning. She nodded.

Scattering chicken scratch, checking the heated chicken waterers, and Kessy's too, took longer than Kessy and Saturday liked. Saturday bounced and howled in his silly beagle fashion. It’s a dance he's perfected, sort of, certain those ungraceful moves and notes will get him breakfast quicker. It doesn't. Kessy followed my every step, occasionally offering a stomp of a hoof or a well timed snort. You see I've got a few things to tend to each morning before we pull up the Coffee Clutch chair and crack open the thermos, and though the routine almost never varies, Saturday and Kessy try every day to hurry me.
Finally the chickens were feed and watered, Kessy's hay bag, filled and her bedroom straightened up. Saturday has inhaled his breakfast, and Kessy's had her 4 ounces of grain. Ready for coffee.

This morning I strategically position my chair in the corner, to be behind Kessy and out of the wind which seemed to be building. Should have worn my earmuffs. My gloved hands hurried to open the thermos and pour that all important first cup of black gargle. Steam rose from the thermos like smoke from a fire. Saturday huddled behind me. Where are Tigger and Miss. Kitty you might be wondering?  They both had stopped at the door and never made it outside when the saw the steam raising from Kessy's breath. Kind of fair weather Coffee Clutchers, they are.

Mr. Chickadee, I noticed as I sipped, had been joined by several Doves and a small herd of Juncos, and they had taken possession of the West end of the chicken feeding station. A few squirrels joined them, too. Half the chickens strolled into the barn, a few joined Saturday and me behind Kessy. We were a cozy group. Kessy munched, I sipped, Saturday dug deep in the hay, and the chickens pecked, scratched and clucked all around Kessy's feet. Until Kessy, with her ear pinned head toss, invited them to leave. A Nuthatch called in the woods. A faint train whistle drifted in.

Most of the weekend's snow was already gone. Kessy and I had enjoyed riding in it Saturday and Sunday, but it had been near 50 then. Our forecast calls for a few days of this 20 to 30 degree business so I reckon we'll get used to it. Ah the seasons of Coffee Clutch. Won't be long until we are hanging the hummingbird feeders. And Phoebes start new nests in the barn.

Gitty Up
Dutch Henry


  1. Its been COLD here too Dutch. The last couple of mornings its been in the teens when I head down to my barn to feed the various critters that hang out there. My guineas are not wanting to venture outside, but choose to spend the day in the barn scrathing,and dusting themselves in the warm dirt, in the sunshine that steals itself throught the half open door.
    The horses are waiting by the gate looking anxiously at me as walk down to open the door to their feed room.
    The ducks are hiding under the trailers, quacking as they hear me approaching, knowing that breakfat is about to be served.
    I hurry along so I can return to my chair and 3 rd. cup of coffee, that by now has grown cold, and needs a nuking in the mocrowave. My 2 dogs Shiloh, and Bella are hanging out, hoping I`ll give them their well deserved treats, or so they think. I settle into my comphy chair to read you stories every morning,wondering what kind of story I`ll see today. I always enjoy your stories, and think back on my childhood, when, my momma would tell me stories from a well read book.
    Thank You Dutch. Although I don`t often respond to what you write, know that I`m always here. God Bless you, and have a great day.

  2. Thanks for being part of our Coffee Clutch, Anon. We're thrilled you enjoy our visits and adventures. Love your ducks! Our guineas do the same thing, digging deep dust craters, that sometimes the banties use too. Cold mornings make the barn a great huddle house!

  3. Dang!!! -7 here this am and with the wind its -15 not very cozzy!!!!! Everyone stayed in today!!! Mostly cause I didn't wanna bring um out!! LOL

  4. I'm afraid I'm with Tigger and Miss. Kitty... and I am also so very glad I can join the Coffee Clutch from the comfort of my living room. I just keep reminding myself that each cold day brings my favorite weather one step closer.

    Thanks Dutch I enjoy sharing my coffee with you and the gang every morning!

  5. Thanks for the nice post, Dutch. I just joined your site and this is my first Coffee Clutch. It was 50 this morning here in California, across the bay from San Francisco. So I'm not complaining! It's raining a bit. I won't be riding today but tomorrow is supposed to be fair and in the 50's -- the perfect weather to ride in.

  6. Chris-Sure is cold up there in NH! Stay warm! ...

    Darlene-Thank you for joining us at Coffee Clutch every day, we love having you! Tigger and Miss Kitty think you're really smart!

    Patti- Great to have you part of our Coffee Clutch! Thanks for joining! ... We have a friend just moved here to VA from the Bay area and Sunday she rode in snow for the first time. This morning she said was the first time she ever saw frost on her horse's whiskers!