Friday, January 8, 2010

Hey Baby! It's Cold Out There!

What a day!  Iced over water troughs, frozen water hoses, frozen water lines and a frozen nose to boot!  I would include a photo with this blog, but I don't want the camera to freeze.  Can camera's freeze?  Everything else seems to be quite capable.  Including the pump on the tank sprayer.  Not sure about that though, would have to go back out into the cold and inquire just how that very major problem has been resolved, if it's been resolved.

The entire day has been focused on busting an inch plus deep layer of ice on all of the water troughs every few hours, and figuring how to get the tanks refilled.  It was apparent the water lines were quite comfortably frozen and the sun wasn't going to show up and give us a thaw.  Two of the water troughs are close enough that we can string together water hose and refill them.  But, it seems we didn't leave them in the old trailer with the heat running quite long enough to clear them completely, so it's a slow fill of those tanks right now. 

The biggest probems was the BIG herd, as I call them.  My bright idea was to fill the tank sprayer with water and haul it to them.  Sounds plausible.  We've used it to haul water for lots of other things, and that antique tank sprayer has always been reliable.  But not today!  Not so far!  The last word on that, before I hustled into the house to tend the fire (I like that job), was an old-fashioned syphoning of the water from the tank sprayer to the trough.  Hopefully, if that is the last resort, it works.  We have a spare pasture and water trough we can move the BIG herd into, but my plan was to leave that for tomorrow. 

My weatherman, Mike, says it will be even worse tomorrow, and so no guarantees the two faucets we managed to get running will give us the slightest gurgle tomorrow.  Worst case scenario, I'll pull all but one bull, open up all the gates, and let the herd meet and greet each other and go to the pond to water. Kind of an Open House at the ranch for my British White girls, let them graze the buffet in one another's pastures.

All this effort and worry about the cows and the extreme cold!  They're enjoying every minute of it!  Getting extra alfalfa rations, seeming to grow longer fluffier hair right in front of me, while my own is in a perpetual squashed down bad hair day deluxe. They look at me in my heavy insulated coveralls and strange hat pulled low, and just about shake their head in wonder and I swear think I look kind of scary.  It could be that I'm kind of walking like the little bundled up boy in A Christmas Story -- definitely not the normal human they are accustomed to.

If this is Global Warming and more is yet to come, I'll definitely start making plans for more stock ponds.  Or maybe lay in a mile long supply of water hoses and provide them with their very own heated storage area.  Of course, we could have thought to drain a few of the ones we own before this hard freeze hit.  But, hey, we aren't in Alaska for crying out loud!  Who knew they'd become so vital today -- a simple water hose, or rather, several simple water hoses, preferably thawed.

UPDATE:  Just came back in from feeding Donny, my old horse (who has a new stable coat thankfully!), and checking on the water situation.  Mike and Brian were filling the last water trough with a big blue fire hose looking thing hooked up to a generator, which was all hooked up to the tank sprayer somehow, and with major water pressure!  I was very impressed to say the least. 

On my walk back to the house I remembered a couple of things I intended to mention here.  Cow Patties.  I picked up somewhere along the years of my life that Cow Patties/Paddies? can be used as fuel for a fire.  I have never stopped and thought that through at all.  Today, it hit me.  Frozen Cow Patties, they are like bricks!  You could probably use them to clobber somebody - I know they kick across the pasture pretty well.  I've always thought, yuck, about using cow patties, actually picking them up and piling them up?  Couldn't figure it.  Now I can figure it.

Muddy Boots?  If you live in frozen country, it's not a problem!  The big plus to the past couple of days is walking on in the house with your boots on, and leaving them inside and warm and ready for the next trek to the troughs for a little ice-breaking.

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