Thursday, July 27, 2017
The Heat Is On; the Water Was Off
We're wading through gusts of grasshoppers and trying to avoid getting stung by nasty bees. With the latter, my batting average is not so good: four wasp stings in two days last week--one on the tip of my nose.
The heat of summer has come upon us, and at times it feels like a scorcher.
Every afternoon when I take the dogs down the lane where their playground is once again available---thanks to harvested hay---thousands of grasshoppers go into swirling motion, attempting to get out of my way, hopping to and fro, up and down and all around.
Glad they don't have velcro on their toes.
It's summer time, and stayin' cool ain't so easy.
With temps in the 90s by mid afternoon and hanging in there until well after dinner, we've been using fans, sitting in the shade and drinking lots of cold beverages.
My drink of choice in the evening is ice-cold water, which has melted in frozen water bottles from the freezer. Nothing tastes better.
Yesterday, I was down to one frozen bottle, and that was not so good.
I had just arrived home from picking up my newly sharpened horse-clipper blades from Carter Country.
During my stop there, I visited briefly with the clerk whose wife was one of my former students. He told me they lived on Colburn-Culver Road on a 145-acre farm, which had once been a dairy.
I asked if Pack River ran through their place. He said no, that a small stream which crosses Evergreen Road is near the back of their farm.
While mentioning the stream, he also told me they had an adequate well for their water. To which I told him we were on the Oden Water System, which, I added, is always good 'cept for when something happens, causing the water flow to stop.
Usually, that's during the hottest days of summer, I added.
After arriving home and putting my clipper blades in the barn, I walked with the dogs down the lane through the usual afternoon hopper storm. Liam was quite happy to hang out with me as I walked around, increasing my daily Fitbit steps and doing my best to forget that it sure was hot out there in that open field.
Lily whinnied a couple of times in the pasture next to the lane. I looked at her Richie automatic waterer to make sure it was working. It seemed fine.
Since I had worn my Crocs with bare feet, after arriving back at the house, I decided to step into the tub and wash off the grit that had gathered on my soles.
The bathtub faucet let out a big belch along with a brief splash of water, and that was all.
Within seconds, I was turning on the faucet in the bathroom sink. Nothing.
How ironic was this that just minutes earlier, I had told the clerk at Carter Country about water going down on hot summer days!
Well, it had, and I learned later from Carla at Oden Water that a pipe at the water plant had broken in the middle of the night. It would be well into the night, she said, adding "Go out to dinner."
That sounded like a good idea, but we just stayed home and grazed, using bottled water for washing hands, filling dog dishes, etc. Fortunately, the horse trough in the barnyard was full.
Happily, water started flowing through the Oden system around midnight. Last night's dishes are cleaned up, and horses could go to their pastures with automatic waterers.
The heat is on, and we've got WATER! That is good.
Still, it's dry and dusty and, as I saw on a Tuesday walk with my camera, the once lush green fields along South Center Valley Road have turned amber. Plus, there's a certain bluish haze hovering in the still afternoon air that says HOT.
Surprisingly, during that walk, I was surprised to see wild creatures out and about in open fields. While watching the turkey family, I detected movement a couple of hundred feet away.
A coyote came from Gary Finney's woods, stood still, looked around and then took a few steps along the edge of the pasture. It stopped again, looked over at the turkeys (I wondered if he spied a potential dinner plate among the group).
Then, he seemed to look directly at me but showed no coyote tendency to turn and run off. Instead, he just trotted to the south and went back into the woods, no doubt figuring that turkey and gravy could come at another time. I'm betting he was feeling the heat too.
Anyway, we're surviving this stretch of hot summer and hoping everyone is careful with any of their outings so that the film in the air only suggests "HOT" and not smoke from forest fires.