The Pryor Times

Agriculture

December 19, 2013

Is it winter yet? Cold weather blues

PRYOR — If you know me, you’ve heard me say I hate winter. Actually it’s not winter so much, it’s the cold.

Even the simplest chore is difficult when the temperature has not been above freezing for days.

I shouldn’t gripe. Don’t have to break much ice. There are tanks with heaters in the pastures at the house and as long as the power doesn’t quit and the hoses are thawed to fill them, life is good. Should be easy, right?

Well, it takes three hoses. So taking them apart and draining each one separately before rolling it up is bundlesome, especially when the connections freeze together before you can get them apart. When the mercury refuses to get out of the teens even in the daytime, hooking them up again requires a jug of warm water to melt the ice from the threads.

I get milk from Ford’s dairy in glass bottles. If you don’t return the bottle, the milk is pretty expensive.

For some reason, it made sense to me to put the warm water in the milk bottle. I don’t know why. A plastic coffee can, plentiful at my house, would have been a much better choice.

On a morning with single-digit temperatures, by the time I got the connections thawed and put together, the leftover water had frozen in the glass milk bottle. While I was finishing chores, the bottle broke. There goes the refund.

Our gigantic cake feeder holds a ton. (No - we will never need a feeder that big, but it was a good deal.) The switch has not yet been wired, but to feed just a few head at the house, raking the feed out the spout into a bucket should not be too much of a chore. Unless, of course, the spout is frozen shut.

Since the warm water was already frozen in the milk bottle, this required another trip to the kitchen, which dragged at least 10 pounds of snow inside.

All this work with water got my gloves wet. One gloved hand froze to the feed spout. The other hand froze to the spout trying to free the first hand.

I ripped a hole in one glove finger getting my hands loose. I had more gloves in my pocket, so I took off the soggy ones and put on the dry pair.

Finally I got a bucket of feed - so much for not much trouble - and headed to the troughs.

I used my hands to clear some of the snow. My gloves, again, absorbed the soggy brunt.

On my way out the gate, my right glove froze to the latch.

The weather forecasters say the first day of winter has not yet arrived. How many days does winter last?

Too many.

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