From Pipi’s Pasture: Getting ready for winter
Going from record warm temperatures to below zero—practically overnight—is a shock, but that’s pretty much what happened two weeks ago. The snow was a shock, too, especially when I had just been watering the trees and lawn. Now it’s warm again here at Pipi’s Pasture, and I’m enjoying the lovely days as much as possible before the next chance of cold and snow. One thing is for sure: I’m more prepared for winter this time around.
There’s quite a lot that has to be done when winter peeks around the corner. First, I had to dig out my snow boots. I tried wearing my tennis shoes out to the corral the first snowy morning when there wasn’t much snow on the ground, but ice balls formed on the soles of my shoes. I decided that wasn’t the safest situation so, like it or not, I started wearing those heavy boots.
Next was dealing with the garden hoses. I hadn’t gathered up the hoses used at the house yet (and still haven’t) so they ended up being covered up with snow. The hoses I use to fill stock tanks at the corral froze so I had to begin using my “retractable” hoses that I carry in a bucket , to the corral and back. My brother, Duane Osborn, gave me the hoses several years ago, and they have worked wonders for filling tanks.
I attach the hose to the hydrant at the large stock tank in the biggest corral and let it fill while I put out hay. The hose is not as big in diameter as the garden hose so it takes a little longer to fill the tanks. After the large tank has filled, I pull the hose to the other corral and fill the smaller tanks. After I’m done, I gather up the hose, drain it, and put it back in the bucket. Once back at the shop, I spread the hose out so that it will be dry the next time I need it.
One big winter job at the corral is installing the tank heater. Since the cold weather was predicted, my son Jody, who was here two weekends ago, helped me put the tank heater in the larger stock tank. It isn’t a big job to plug the heater into the extension cord and then outlet, but it is a big job to figure a way to keep the tank’s cord and extension cord away from the pesky calves (and even cows) that like to fool with everything. The animals have been known to unplug the heater and even pull it out of the tank. Even worse, I guess they could electrocute themselves.
And of course there’s more to getting ready for winter such as locating the snow shovel, getting ready to clean off and warm up cars, and arranging to have someone plow snow. It’s all about getting ready for winter.
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Morning is my favorite time of day here at Pipi’s Pasture — like this morning, for example. As I sit at the dining room table enjoying a cup of coffee, I notice that it’s beginning…