You would think I would be certain because of the snow on the ground. You would be mistaken. The reasons I know it is winter has little to do directly with the amount of snow on the ground. My dogs are all the warning I need to know it is time to hunker down and wait for spring.
Reason 1: I could tell it was starting to be winter when I called the dogs for a walk and Madison left the room. I don't know why this takes me by surprise every year, but it always does. For 6 months of the year, Madison loves walks. Then it starts to get cold. Abrupt 180 and now she looks at me like I'm ripping out her womb over and over again. I can force her outside on her leash and pull her down the street for her walk, but it becomes a bit tedious and, besides, the neighbours laugh at me.
Reason 2: At night, Madison demands to be let out at 4:30 am. She promptly runs to the middle of the yard and rolls in the snow. Stretching out on her back and rubbing back and forth in the snow for ages, it's like she's saying "It's too haaaaaaaaaaawt inside. Why is it so haaaawwwt?" Then she runs back in the house, into my bed, and throws snow all over my nicely warmed spot.
Reason 3: Vicki has started eating poop again. The rest of the year, she's just not that into it, but once the frost hits the ground, the poop is fair game. Poop-sicles. Poop-sicles for everyone!! We only have about one month before she starts putting her head under the other dogs bums so she can get the poop fresh from the source. I hate this dog.
Reason 4: Sound carries best over a fresh blanket of snow. This means that every dog in the neighbourhood can hear every other dog in the neighbourhood. It also means that some dog 15 kilometres away sees a cat and, 10 minutes later, my dogs are barking about it. Nothing like just being on the edge of sleep when all three dogs jump up and scream like I've stabbed them with something sharp.
I wish it were spring. Of course, then I will have mud to contend with.