Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Last Straw

It’s official; this winter goes down as the worst on record, in my book anyway.  Sunday we were treated to an ice storm with howling winds. The frosting on the cake wasn’t the inch of accompanying snow but the fact that we lost all power at the farm at 11:30 p.m. No problem, we were sure it would be back on in a few hours.

In the morning after a call to the power company a few hours was apparently a fantasy. We were told maybe Friday or Saturday would be more like it. Two entire counties were hit by this storm.  There were numerous wires, trees, and telephone poles down as well as flooding. It would take days to fix this mess.

Shelters were opened for people with no heat or power in another town not hit as badly. We told them we had seven horses with no water, they told us to make alternate plans.  Like what? Should I bring them to the shelter?

Luckily, we have a small generator that will provide enough power to heat the house and allow us to run water. No lights, stoves, hair dryers etc. We have automatic waterers inside the barn and out in the paddocks that work on electricity. So it was down to the garage to search for the troughs and water buckets.

The horses seemed to be in a panic to get out because they had no water all night and then discovered there was no water outside either.  Dusty was mauling the waterer and the rest of them were galloping around spooking. I should mention their hay nets were coated with ice and when they tried to take a bite it would crack and set them off again. Their smaller nets were found, filled and hung on the fences. There were also frozen limbs breaking off trees and hitting the ground on the property tree line.

Since there is no window to light the bathroom closest to the side door we put candles around the rim of the tub and sink. How romantic, filling buckets by candlelight. Meanwhile, outside the herd decided to play with the empty trough or beat it into submission, I don’t know which, but it was wallowing on its side in the middle of the paddock when the rescue troops arrived with water. After being retrieved it took 22 buckets to fill it. Then we filled 8 more to put in the barn: seven for the stalls and one to top them off.

The next day was a repeat of the water brigade except we enlisted the help of the Kawasaki mule to transport water buckets and left the wheelbarrow in the shed to recuperate. As we loaded the 30th bucket onto the mule the garage lights came on. So without further ado we had power again. We hung the water buckets in the stalls just in case the finicky power gods shut us down again. The trough was filled to the brim and we scrubbed the automatic waterers. The crowd cheered, but quietly, you never let on to the power gods how much you really depend on them.

Here are some pictures of the ice coating the trees. The photos don’t do justice to how beautiful it looked when the sun hit the crystals and turned them into rainbow prisms.  If I wasn’t so exasperated I might enjoy the beauty of this landscape nestled in front of a roaring fire with a glass of wine.

" I thought you said winter was over "

Until next time
Quote for Today
You never get the pleasure of owning a horse; you only have the pleasure of being its slave.

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