Like a large portion of the country, we have been having our share of Weather. Since December began, we’ve had snow, rain, ice, extremely high winds and bright, sunny days. This past week has been c-o-l-d with wind chills below zero and the livestock water troughs would have frozen had it not been for the new de-icer placed in the middle. The de-icer is electric and can only be used near the barn were it can be plugged into an electrical outlet. There’s also a blue bucket, with an electric line, and that’s filled with water that will, eventually, warm for the sheep. I’m at the age where it’s cheaper to pay the electric bill than chop ice every day yet even in the depths of winter, I’ll still have to chop ice as the de-icer simply cannot keep up.
Winds have approached 60 plus miles per hour and it’s taken extreme energy to do battle to walk to the barn for morning and evening chores. The neighbors came and put the hay spear on the tractor so now two round hay bales have been set out for the horses. I throw out bats of rectangular hay bales for the sheep but my work load is still cut appreciably.
The wind storm has knocked down trees onto power lines and portions of our county and southern West Virginia have been without power for three or four days. Electrical line-men earn their pay…and then some!…because no matter the weather, they are Out There fixing lines so the rest of us can blow dry our hay and watch television. Thanks, guys and gals, you’re appreciated, as they say ’round here.
We’ve been flooded IN due to the amount of rain we’ve had. Falling Rock is the name of a local cave and it’s a beauty. I’ve been in it once, about fourteen years ago, and, even then, it was difficult. I had to first wade through two foot of muck and manure then duck walk fifteen feet, or so, under the cave lip. After entering the cave, I could stand up and appreciate the thirty foot ceiling over the underground river. There were blind fish in the water along with all sorts of fossils and other interesting bits and pieces. Anyway, that’s where our water comes from and a couple to a few times a year, it floods. When it floods, it crossed the road at two separate places and if we’re home, we’re home for a while and if we’re not home, we better find someplace to hole up.
In the above two photos, please note…this is not a true river, creek or stream.
This body of water is formed only when Falling Rock cave is so filled with flood water it can’t keep pace. The result is, the water exits the cave, floods the pastures, spills over the road then goes behind Thistle Cove Farm and onto the next low place. Eventually, after sometimes flooding the road another two or three times, the waters spill to the lowest point and come to rest and the water’s journey comprises some several miles, even as the crow flies. Sometimes the water goes back to the earth in a day or two, sometimes it’s much longer but always, Mother Earth and Father Time have their way with us and we can only grin and bear it.
The dining room looked beautiful by candlelight.
The oil painting was a gift from a local Russian government authority when I taught there in 2004.