Pipi’s Pasture: The getting-close-to-winter storm

Diane Prather/For Craig Press
Pipi's Pasture

On Saturday evening, a little snowstorm came through Pipi’s Pasture; in fact, there was a blizzard for a short while. A couple of other snows have fallen here this fall, but this one was a little different. It felt like winter, with the cold temperatures and all. So I named it the getting-close-to-winter snowstorm.

When I got up Saturday morning, I peeked at the thermometer — 8 degrees above zero! I opened the door just enough to feed the cats by the back steps. Then, I took a little extra time over my morning coffee before getting ready to go to the corral for morning chores.

I found a long-sleeved shirt to wear under my three jackets. I put on an extra pair of pants and dug my boots out from under the chair in the little room in the front of the house (a bonus — they were warm after being pushed up next to the furnace vent). Then, I pulled my hood up over my head, and, in the absence of hood strings, I put my rain bonnet over that and tied it down. It looked goofy, but it held my hood in place.

I was ready to go outdoors. Bob, a black male cat, wasn’t waiting by the front door, as usual, for his food — not that I blamed him. I found him at the carport where I keep the grain. It was nice and dry there, so I put out the usual catfood (there, too). I filled up my buckets for the steers and Ucky.

I was surprised there wasn’t a lot of snow or that the little bit of snow hadn’t drifted. I was able to get all the gates open and find the grain pans. The bales of hay didn’t have much snow on them, and they were easy to roll to the corral. The animals were in good humor — even old Ucky.

We hadn’t put tank heaters in the stock tanks yet, so I knew the ice would be an issue at 8 degrees. I decided to wait until after feeding the main bunch of cows to chop ice.

When I finished spreading the hay, I broke the ice on a tank that is shared by cattle in the pasture and those in the bull pen. The problem occurred when I went back to the pen shared by Ucky and two steers. The big tank wasn’t so bad, but then, I tried to remove some ice from small tanks (the animals seem to prefer it). I used an old coffee can to take the ice off the water and tossed the ice to one side. It was muddy around the tanks, and I’m not sure if I slipped in icy mud or on a piece of ice that got tossed. Either way, I went down — right on my bottom side.

Remember steer # 65 that I wrote about earlier this year — the pesky steer that pulled on the garden hose and sometimes nearly pulled my pants down? Well, he’s still here, and he’s still just as pesky. When I fell down, he and his mate, a black steer, came to check things out. It was hard enough to try to get up in the slick mud but even harder to try to keep them from interfering. I was a muddy mess by the time I got back on my feet, so it was good that I was ready to go back to the house.

These getting-ready-for-winter storms warn us to put tank heaters in stock tanks and to buy jackets with hoods that can be tied.

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