One of my favorite quotes is "The first rule of hole digging is knowing when to stop". It applies to just about everything from politics to actual hole digging. Well, yesterday was one of those days. You know the ones - the tasks that have been put off for awhile but winter is coming and they can't be postponed any longer without dire consequences. So....yesterday was the day for digging up the frost free water hydrant down at the barn before the ground freezes and it can't be repaired until spring. Well another rule of life on this farmstead is that if one has to dig a hole in the fall - inevitably the ground will be at least partially frozen and it will snow.
So the day started off with me trying to corral my sheep so they wouldn't fall in the hole trying to figure out what is going on. At the moment they were all in the pen except one, my neighbor from behind and her 4 yr. old came up to the fence with a hearty "Hi haven't seen much of you all summer - how ya been?" and with a start and a quick thunder of little pointy hooves out they ran and that was then end of that. Anyone with sheep knows you get one shot and after that - well let's just suffice it to say they know there is something up your sleeve besides goodies in a pail. It continued on in like fashion with half frozen ground down all of the 4 feet, requiring the use of a heavy bar, post hole digger and lots of shoveling small amounts of clay/dirt mix in the wind and rain. Then moved on to water starting to fill the hole.....you get the picture. By the time we got to actually putting in the new hydrant, the wind was howling and it was snowing like a blizzard.
Gluing the fitting in a snow storm
Adryon and Tim installing the hydrant
By the time it was glued, allowed to dry and then tested to make sure it worked and the hole filled back in, darkness had fallen. There was a good 2 1/2 inches of snow on the ground. We were muddy and frozen. Of course today - It's sunny and 48. I think we need a second rule of hole digging. "The second rule of hole digging is knowing the weather guessers are gamblers - they spin the wheel, spit out a scenario & we believe them -don't." Thanks guys for braving the elements. My sheepies thank you too!