Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Big Chill 2013 Edition, Day 1

The forecasters keep saying it's coming.  We are starting to see it.  We also keep hoping that the forecasted temps in the low teens might not materialize after all, as they keep pushing those numbers back a day or so.  But, we don't get these freezes often, and usually we get plenty of notice to prepare.  For us, it was mostly making sure the water was all taken care of - hoses disconnected, faucets covered with their little hats for the winter, and putting the water tank hose in the greenhouse to keep it ice-free.  After we break the ice on the tanks in the morning, if it's not going to get above freezing all day, we use that hose to refill the tanks a few times during the day.  Animals MUST have water to drink during cold snaps, otherwise they will die of dehydration.  It's much more critical during freezes than during hot spells for outside animals to have ice-free drinking water at all times, so we pay close attention to the tanks.  Dale installed all frost-free faucets to the stock tanks, so we don't have to worry about the faucets freezing up.
Otherwise, we are enjoying the cold sunshine, the first sun we've had in days, and some of the beauty that comes with the cold.  There is also the whole sitting in front of the pellet stove all night, and the dogs all snuggled up against us in bed.  Gem the BC rarely moves from her spot on the dog couch in front of the pellet stove, curled into a little black and white ball of fur with a tail-covered nose.  Hoke seems to like the cold; it doesn't bother him at all to be out in subfreezing temperatures at night, checking the perimeter of the ranch for any threats at a leisurely pace.  Cricket and Sybil go out, do their thing, and are right back in, sacked out in front of the stove, Sybil usually sharing the couch with Gem, Cricket in front of the brick hearth.  Who knows - we might even get a little snow later this week.  We never know, as it takes exactly the right combination of weather conditions for that to happen, but if it does, we have fun with it for the short while that it's here.  Enjoy!

 The big galvanized tank doesn't get as thick an ice cover as the rest of the tanks
 The maternity pasture tank is usually the thickest
 The rhodies always look like this when they freeze, but as soon as it warms up, they go right back to normal

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