In the winter, at least here in the northern states, our average temperatures aren’t close to being above freezing from December through about March. Which means, that the water supply for our animals, other than the artesian ground water (which is about 90 degrees) is frozen until then. Because you see, even if it gets above freezing it would only be for a day or two and it’s hardly warm enough to melt off 6-12 (or more) inches of ice.
So we head to the river daily- at least one of us does. Right now it’s Zach’s brother Bud (and it will be me on Wednesday and Thursday this week), but this weekend, The Cowboy, his son, Ty and myself, went for a trip to chop ice. We took a trip to see the cows and open water when it was barely double digits- By the way you still open water if its in single digits, snowing, or blowing. It’s one of the beautiful things (or a curse) of living where we do, doing what we do.
Going through the gate into the pasture where the cows are currently living.
The river is completely frozen.
Looking down into the frozen river:
Walking out to chop a trough.
Ooooh! There’s fish down there! And there are- minnows!
There’s cracks in the ice everywhere (but you could still drive across it- I wouldn’t but people do!). I understand that it cracks sometimes because what is underneath it isn’t stable.
There’s the little man himself, chopping some “toe-holds”, because you know, ice can be slippery!
He is awesome help!
Dad took over and his trough is almost finished:
Once the hole is chopped and you let it fill with water- there was almost 6 inches of ice on the river this particular day, you have to scoop out the ice that you’ve chopped.
See the big chunk of ice that’s being tossed out?
Time for a lesson:
Zach is calling cows by wiggling the shovel around in the opened trough. Ty is goofing off, and you can see yesterday’s frozen trough in the foreground.
Ty gets to work on that one.
Dad comes in to finish, once again:
You’re welcome #121
Chopping ice is an excellent work-out. And if you’re wondering if I did anything besides take photos- the answer is yes. I chopped part of a new trough that they opened the next day. But this week it will be up to me to open water and call the girls to it on Wednesday and Thursday. I’m looking forward to it!