Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Day in West Marin

Christmas Eve morning, and the day dawns with barely pink clouds and crispy, crunchy frost everywhere. 

The thermometer on the porch measures 28 degrees, which means it is probably 22 to 25 degrees out in the open air.  I worried about my pipes, so last night I walked down and shut off the well, drained out all the hose bibs, and left on the taps in the house.  With the well shut down, I didn’t have to worry about the pipes freezing, but it did mean I had no water running in the house.  Better dry overnight than broken pipes and 
service calls in the morning.

When I went out to see the sheep, I was amused to see the tops of the  Shetlands frosted as delicately as if they had been to a fancy salon.  

I turned them out, and they sniffed the frozen grass, and one of them tried munching on a bit.

On the other side of the barn, the Corriedales licked at the frozen water in their tank. 

I had to take an axe to break the 2-inch thick ice.  It is winter.  

The chilling hours are good for the fruit trees, helping to insure a summer crop of apples (good to remember when your fingers are so cold they feel they are falling off.)

No water until I started the well at 10am, but I have a five gallon container I use to fill pots and pans and coffeepots until water runs again.  It is rather like camping indoors.

Wish me a Christmas present of rain, to warm up the air, nourish the grass, and start the creeks running.  I have enough water in my well so I don’t have to worry now, but not come summer.  Think rain to help the farmers, please.

Cherish your friends and family, and celebrate the lengthening days together.  

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