a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beating The Weather

There are always last minute things you think you need to do before a cold front arrives.  Storing water hoses, wrapping faucets, winterizing items you KNOW you're not using until spring...the list goes on forever.

Monday when it was summer, we worked in short sleeves and high seventy degrees.  A south wind attacked the valley the entire day.
The water gardens were deleafed and topped off.  The Koi in this and the perch in my other garden will survive the freezing temperatures just fine.  I place a board or small post in the ponds to keep an air hole for the ammonia to escape.  It also makes it easier to crack the ice without harming the fish. I'm sure there are more leafs today. I will make my rounds with a net and remove as many as I can. The leafs containing tannin will make the water brown and my Koi do not thrive in that.
The boat has been tarped and winterized.  It's in the pasture because the barn will be filled with other working machines and the boat shed has been reassigned as the truck garage for winter.
All hands on board for a full clean up.  Of course with pecan trees in the yard clean up is an ongoing event.  

The chickens and all the animals have fresh deep hay beds.  Tools are in their respective spots, mowers winterized, and anti-freeze added to vehicles. 
The crew headed to our main spring.  This is the source of our home water.  Conveniently it is pumped to the houses.  We no longer have to carry water like we once did many years ago.  The spring needs its last "cleaning" for the winter.
Here Andrew is post hole digging the sand out of the rock "barrel".  Placing the sand in the tractor bucket is far easier than carrying it away in a bucket the way we have done it.  Through time the sand builds up but the pump is submersed yet suspended above the bottom.  We lower the level of the sand so we don't have to do this on a cold day. 

The pipe from the barrel to the pump is insulated and covered for winter after all the grass is cut, the water cress removed and the spring is given a general stir up to move clippings etc on down the creek.

When the family first moved here they capped a wooden barrel over the spring source and water would fill up the barrel and fall into the creek.  Dad remembered helping his dad build the rock surround when he was very young.  One year when I was cleaning the spring I found old barrel staves in the very bottom, a piece of history in my hands.
The right equipment makes the job far easier than it was.  Andrew is practicing being a worker by leaning on the handles.  The spring is clear and fresh in a short time. The pump is turned on and like magic water is in every faucet again.

In the past a spring cleaning day was an event attended by all members of the family.  Mom cooked while we all got down and dirty in the spring branch, pulling cress, cutting grass, moving the sand on down the stream while capturing crawdads for fishing in the evening. Yep, an all day event for six to twelve people is now a four hour job for three.  I ran the camera and did some straw bossing, so make that two.

20 comments:

Vandana Sharma said...

ah! I love countryside, farms, the farming activities and everything that is related to a country side.In a heaven you must be living!.

Though I live in a busy city of New Delhi, but my ancestral home is in the hills in Himachal Pradesh and it was really fun and an amazing experience when we used to visit our village back in our childhood days. The fields, the crops, the mountains,cattle everything I still remember and miss all.

Terri said...

Jobs well done- and supervising is the toughest..I know..I am straw boss at my house too.

Saucy Kodz said...

It was very interesting to hear how you prepared your pond for your fish as I was wondering why you removed the leafs. Now I understand. I don't think anything is going to bother the boat way over there in field, eh. Andrew is doing a fine job raking while Den is probably moving to burn pile eh. Yes, I remember earlier posts on those never ending pecan tree cleanups. Kinda neat that you found history in the bottom of the main spring. Now I am wondering what you made with that find. Boys working, work done and very interesting post. I put lights on the back deck yesterday after I got home from Service and I did thank the fellas I was talking to for you all the way from Arkansas. Earle said "Bless er heart". lol Hugz to M

Bethany Carson said...

Looks like you are ready for winter! Working in short sleeves is a wonderful sight; the cold season has just started here, but I'm already ready for summer again. Looks like Andrew is a hard worker!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It sounds as if you are ready! Because winter is coming...

Linda Kay said...

I remember well those days when we were preparing for the cold winter. We don't have to do much in Texas, except to disconnect the hoses and cover the faucets, just in case. There are a couple of plants to cover, but for the most part, we wait to January to cut everything back in preparation for Spring.

Sandra said...

YOWSA! all this every year PLUS spring cleaning After the cold. count me in as leaning on the shovel. LOL... hope you are not frozen this morning and are able to get on line to 'talk'... i am exhausted reading all the 4 of you did. make that 3.. the only winterrizing Daddy did in Savannah was turn the faucets on to drip, the 6 times a year temps went to freezing.. and here we don't even have to do that or cover the plants. stay safe and off the roads.

Karen S. said...

How super fun, your photos are just great, and it's all a replay of my weekend! My last hose was wrapped up and put away just hours before it finally happened, sort of. Our place was lucky, just a dusting at first, but my daughter and her family just a mere 72 miles away got 16 inches of snow! Yep, it's winter again and being Minnesota anything can happen, anywhere, at any moment! But these are the kinds of things that make us tought and strong willed folks right?!

TexWisGirl said...

i like that - when you say spring cleaning, you really mean spring cleaning. :)

Mary Ann said...

Oh gosh, next year will you get down there and really get good, close pictures! (dodging the dozer of course).... I thought the first picture was the koi pond, and I think now it was the spring!

Farm Girl said...

I was thinking about all of my blogging friends getting ready for winter this week.
So much to get done to batten down the hatches. You know you guys have so many skills, that I wish I knew. I wish I knew about getting that spring ready. Getting your Koi pond ready too.
I am glad you were the boss. :)

Linda Wildenstein said...

Gosh, so much to do, but it looks like your crew had a weather eye out and got it done just in time. Today is the day for us to begin that Polar Vortex. Already a 20 degree drop in temps and there is that nip in the air that usually comes much later in December. Maybe things work out the way they are supposed to, eh? Brrrrr.

Dreaming said...

I am thinking there are fewer and fewer homes that rely on spring water from a spring they maintain. Wow! We, in mighty suburbia, take our water for granted.

LindaG said...

Great post, Gail. It's amazing how much you need to do for your farm there.
Have a wonderful day. ♥

Far Side of Fifty said...

I wonder if this is just the first of the cold blasts of the winter. Sounds like you are ready! Stay warm!

Sketching with Dogs said...

Such hard work for you all. You sound like you have got everything well under control.
Love the family pics at the bottom of your blog!
Lynne x

Susan Kane said...

Thank God for machinery! From my childhood to now, machinery makes it possible for so much more.

I always wondered how koi survived a winter. In Switzerland, the owner of our rental suspended a substantial net over the pond, hanging from posts to catch the leaves. Always meant to ask him about winter. Now I know.

It was 67 yesterday. Maybe we will actually have some sort of winter?

Country Gal said...

Hard work but worth it lol ! We had all our stuff done for the winter a few weeks ago and here in Ontario Canada one never knows when we will get freezing cold and snow lol ! Lovely post and photos . Thanks for sharing !

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

How interesting to see it all being done. I love it.

C-ingspots said...

*sigh* My sentiments exactly!! Both the never-ending tasks to prepare...and wasn't it just summer, like a couple of days ago???

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