Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fire and Ice - Part 1

Hi, folks!  It's been tough out here these past few weeks, just off the one-lane road.  My friend from the next holler over commented that since December 18, the temperature has not risen above freezing.  (We may break that cycle today!)  Day before yesterday was the clincher.  The a.m. temperature read ONE degree F. (That's minus 18 C.)!  Unheard of--at least in recent years--for this little corner of the map.

Here on this self-sufficient farm, after a night like that in the single digits, the most glorious sight is a hose with water streaming out the end.  Most times it flows freely.  However, over the past 30 years, there have been a few times when we've opened the outside spigot only to hear a sort of intestinal gurgling from deep within the bowels of the hose indicating no water anytime soon.

That puts an ominous dark shadow over the day, because we know that 20 animals of varying sizes and needs must somehow be moved to the drink, or the drink somehow must be moved to the animals.  Moving our milk cows?  No problem with three Border Collies.  Move a 650-pound sow?  Unthinkable.

Aside from carrying water to the pigs, the destination drink is down at the creek and not surprisingly, also frozen solid which means, you bring along the splitting mall.  Stock tank warmers are the easy answer and oh-so-wonderful as long as the electricity is working.  A hair dryer, too, can sometimes perform miracles and dislodge blockages in an ice-o-lated circumstance...again, providing the electric is on.

But so far so good, this winter--single digits and all.  We've kept the water flowing, and instead, I've had the time to enjoy the artistic side of frozen water down at the creek.

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