Just when we were starting to think that this would really be a never-ending summer, the chill in the air has brought summer to a close. The leaves are falling are here. When a strong breeze blows, it looks like it’s raining leaves. Fall is definitely in the air.
It seems a bit surreal to think that just a few days ago, it was warm enough to comfortably dress in shorts and t-shirts, even in the morning, to do chores (mind you, it’s shorts, tees, and rubber boots – no sandals or flip flops for farm chores!). With the still-warm weather, the biting bugs lingered, unfortunately, and grabbed a few last meals.
It was only 37 degrees this morning, and the heater inside the house kicked on. The back field was frosty, and there was frost on the ducks’ pools. Soon, it will be too cold for wading pools and we’ll be hauling 5 gallon buckets of warm water out for the animals. That’s right – we’ll be getting our workouts without having to spend time on a treadmill: a 5 gallon bucket of water weighs more than 40 pounds. That’s a respectably-sized dumbbell at the gym. When it’s really cold and liquid water turns to ice during the day, we’ll be breaking ice out of containers and pouring in warm water. Rubber tubs work well for cold weather because you can flex the ice out without damaging the tub. For the rabbits, we switch to stoneware crocks because they withstand icing up and the ice can also be pushed out in a solid chunk; plastic water bottles freeze solid and even if the water is still liquid in the bottles, the metal spouts freeze quickly. Ice is no friend to the farm.
For now, though, we’ll enjoy the crisp fall air and the ducks will happily frolic in their pools (30 degree weather notwithstanding). The frozen, sluggish water hose will be a reminder that wool-appropriate weather looms on the horizon – perhaps a few months away, or maybe just around the corner. Summer’s shorts will be packed up and put away until next year. Good riddance, biting bugs!