“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dusk

I just went outside to feed the animals and take some pictures.  It is sleeting.  As the temperature falls that should turn to snow.

Those white things hanging down off the metal roof of the porch are icicles. We are not having much evidence of ice, but there is some here and there.

For the most part, we had snow last night, then this afternoon it changed to just plain old rain. Now that the sun is going down, the rain is turning to sleet.  ATL weather says that will turn to snow tonight and we should get a lot of snow before morning.  The amount outside at the moment is not excessive, although it's frozen.

I don't expect I'll get out of here until the weekend, and only then if the weather warms up significantly during the day and melts some of this off.










This was taken about half an hour ago.   The two sky lights over the study are frozen solid with a thick coating of ice and snow.



The dogs don't mind the snow.  They get very excited and run around on the hill side. A couple of years ago, they came running off the hill, ran into me and knocked me up into the air. I fell on the frozen snow and broke two ribs.  Bad dogs!


The chickens still have to eat. The snow has a coating of frozen sleet over it, so I just threw their food out on that.

If the snow is soft, the food just sinks into it, and when they try to scratch it up they bury the grain in the snow.

I feed them under the old solar panels because that acts as a shield and keeps the snow from getting too deep. Unfortunately, it also means that when it snows, the weaker chickens don't get much to eat. You have to spread the scratch out .


That's the beginning of the trail down the mountain.  I tried to walk down slope to where the truck is parked and nearly did a Humpty Dumpty.  Under the snow, there's a layer of ice and walking on it is tough.


The chickens are sitting on the dogs straw house.  Once inside the small opening, it's pretty warm in there.  The floor is made of hay, and the thick bales prevent any wind or moisture from getting in.  With two dogs and miscellaneous cats all squashed inside, they stay pretty toasty even in low temps.




A satellite dish covered with ice isn't going to work.  You lose the signal.  Periodically when this kind of weather is transpiring, you have to go out with a soft brush and clean the ice and snow away.  You have to be very careful in doing that, because the dishes are exactly aligned with the satellite. Move them just a little, and you won't get a signal again until you go through the tedious and exacting realignment process. Since I can't do it without another person inside watching the signal strength and giving me the information on a radio, I try to avoid moving the dish at all when I clean it off.



This is all that's out there.  On three sides of me the national forest stretches away for miles.  Downslope, I own the woods as far as the bottom of the mountain.  Although it's under snow right now, you can see the Jeep trail on the right hand side of the picture, going down the mountain.


The outbuildings have to be climate controlled because there are lots of supplies and equipment stored out there.  Also, Itty Bitty Kitty, the shop cat, doesn't like to get cold.  


18 comments:

  1. Looks pretty. Do you just let the chickens wander around where ever?

    I saw your post come right up yet for some reason when I make a new post it takes hours for it to update. I wonder what is going on with that?

    keep your head warm and ride it out I bet it is nice and peaceful there.

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    1. Blogger has been acting up. I had the same problem with comments not long ago. It should fix itself I think.

      My chickens are free range. They wander about and sleep in the trees at night. I had a chicken pen with a chicken house, but it was constantly being raided at night by bobcats or maybe feral cats. Once I let them roam, they stay pretty safe. I lose some to hawks sometimes.

      It's pretty calm. In a bit I am going up to the study with a cup of coffee and listen to the radio for awhile. I stayed up all last night, slept some today but I'm still bushed, so I figure to go on to bed shortly.

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  2. We're losing satellite signal here - heavy rain and cloud cover. Temp is dropping by the minute. My wife just left for choir practice...she's a very stubborn woman. You've a nice place, Harry. Do you own a hand held blower, if so try it on your dish. Be careful and blow from a side angle.

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    1. I do but it's electric. The dish is down on the far side of the house so I'd have to run a cord a long way. I have another dish up at the apartment. The two systems are 100% unconnected, so if I lose one for some reason the other should be unaffected. I saw on the tv that your area was getting some massive rain, that will sure knock out satellite signals.

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    2. With this HD Dish system the rain doesn't dint our signal...now that thick heavy cloud cover will for a few seconds. The old system, dew would knock it out. Can't beat a gas blower.

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    3. I don't think I have an HD system. If I ever buy an HD tv maybe I will get one. The system I have now is very vulnerable to any kind of atmospherics.

      Gas blowers are a lot better than electric, but they cost a lot more. I only use a blower right at the end of Fall, and only then, so I never spent the money for the better machine.

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    4. What about a propane tank 'cane' (the type that burns out plants out of ground), something that will put a heat source close enough to snow to melt. Would that work ?

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    5. It might but propane is awfully expensive and I have to be circumspect about using it.

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  3. Question: you keep mentioning falling on your butt due to ice and whatnot. have you thought about getting yourself a set of ice creepers to slip on over your boots? I use YakTrax and they're pretty good, although not as aggressive as Id like. There are some *very* aggressive and toothy slip-on ice creepers out there that would be just up your alley, I would think.

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    1. I never heard of ice creepers. From context I gather they must be spiked shoes, or something of that nature. I'd like to have something like that if so, but I have never seen them on Sportsmans Guide, which is where I buy about 75% of my gear. I bought some snow shoes once for the same purpose, but you can't go in and out of the house and buildings without taking off snow shoes so it didn't work.

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    2. Get an old pair of boots and glue felt to the bottoms. I used it on waders when I lived in the Pacific Northwest. Slick river rocks will try a man's soul. It works.

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    3. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. Think it will work on ice?

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  4. Harry, what does it cost you to feed all those chickens?
    --Troy

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  5. They eat one 50 pound bag of scratch a week. Usually, the bag costs $11.99 at Walmart, or if they are out and I have to go to the Farmers Depot, it costs $13.99.

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  6. Harry, Great photos thanks for sharing. Have you tried some kind of deicer on the dish?? isopropyl alcohol may work or something like it ???

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    1. Rob, sorry I just caught this comment. I'm nervous about putting deicer on the dish because it houses a lot of electronic gear like the down block coverters. If I corrode or otherwise trash that, I'm in trouble.

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  7. Harry,

    These are examples of the ice cleats.
    They do work well on snow as well as ice.


    http://www.amazon.com/Stabilicers-Original-Heavy-Traction-Cleat/dp/B009ZPVZRI/ref=pd_sim_sg_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0GPSE8VQR7MTBB3GC279

    http://www.amazon.com/Yaktrax-Extreme-Outdoor-Traction-Orange/dp/B003EM8UNU/ref=sr_1_6?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1415296944&sr=1-6

    http://www.amazon.com/Yaktrax-Traction-Cleats-Black-Medium/dp/B001CZEYGI/ref=sr_1_4?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1415296944&sr=1-4


    - Charlie

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  8. Charlie, that's not a bad idea. Especially if I am going to keep walking down the mountain to get the mail when it snows.

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