Sunday, February 14, 2016

More snow and very cold

It's cold. The high today may have been as much as 10 F here on the farm. The low last night was -7 F.

That's too cold for hens, dogs, and babies, so the hens have a heat lamp, the dogs only go out for short spells, and the baby doesn't go out at all except to a car that is already warmed up thoroughly.

The sheep just get an extra bale of hay and are fine with that. They don't even come in the barn at night, although they have an entrance and can do just that. They don't seem to mind how cold it gets. They do come in the barn for snow sometimes, and always for rain.

The Rover, which is supposed to plow the snow, is giving starter trouble. Part of the problem is the newly rebuilt and "tight" engine, which is hard to turn over when cold even with a good starter motor. I'm looking into getting a new one, but the replacements for the old Lucas "Prince of Darkness" motors are expensive, probably around $300.

Given that it will warm up to 40 F on Tuesday, and give rain, I'm not too worried. No new big snowstorms are forecast. Indeed, we haven't had a real nor'easter all winter, a typical El Nino year. Yesterday it snowed all day but only managed a few inches. I eventually got the Rover started and running today with a heat lamp, a magnetic block heater, and a jump from the Nissan, and plowed this small snowfall in a few minutes.

Inside all possible sources of heat are on, electric baseboards, the oil furnace, and the wood stove. It's nice and cosy. I don't like burning oil, and indeed try to burn very little of it under most circumstances, but I like frozen pipes even less than I like burning oil. I'm letting the old bathroom sink run a little to protect against freezing, and keep checking the temperature in the new crawl space under the extension, but that is steady at around 44 F.

Postscript: The well pump did eventually freeze during this cold spell, because the bulb that is supposed to keep it warm popped. That night it was -17 F, according to Aimee's car's dashboard temperature read-out. The well pump thawed after a half hour of an electrical heater. I'm going to fit a second bulb holder in there.

Here's your "moment of Zen", little Edana trying to make a phone call.

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