Today’s Weather: High of 64. Low of 39. It was a really beautiful afternoon… until the wind came in (see photos below). Snow forecast for tomorrow.
Today On The Ranch: This morning Beau again met Brian at the water storage tank that’s buried on the pipeline between The Creek Place and Horse Camp. Water hasn’t made it to the tank at The Creek Place for about a month now, since the well in Section 22 went down for a couple days there in early January. The storage tank is about halfway along on the 4-mile pipeline between the well and the tank, and the water’s at least made it that far, enough to fill the storage tank to the brim. But for some reason the water won’t continue down the pipeline to The Creek Place yet. Today Beau and Brian used PVC pipe to poke around inside the 28,000-gallon storage tank, thinking the outtake might be plugged with sediment. But no. The other and most likely problem is that an airlock exists somewhere in the pipeline. The water in question is very gassy, which might seem like a weird thing to say but is pretty common for well water on the PV. Evidently methane gas is hanging out with the groundwater in these parts, and the Section 22 well brings up about as much gas as it does water. When Beau and I lived at Horse Camp 16 years ago, the house was tied to the Section 22 well (the house’s water has since been re-sourced), and if the tap had been turned off and the gas had had time to build up, you could honestly light the house water on fire when you first turned it on! Needless to say we didn’t drink it!
Anyhow, as you can imagine, this same gas can cause terrible airlocks in the pipelines the water is supposed to travel through. Basically, the long pipeline needs to be burped. Beau has already shared a couple hours on the phone with Rod Lee, the contractor who put the line in a few years back, trying to solve the mystery of where the bubble could be. After a month of tinkering with the project, Beau and Brian were both disappointed once again today. Another hypothesis disproven. They will try again next week.
Late this afternoon Beau and I tackled his office. When we moved into this house at PV headquarters three years ago, we knew that Beau would need an office space where he could keep ranch business safe from our crazy kids. So we converted what my mom had always used as a guest house in the yard to Beau’s office. Beau does a ton of office work in there, but I’m honestly not sure how he accomplishes anything, because we’ve never really finished unpacking. Besides all the ranch paperwork in the office, he stores a lot of his own stuff — his winter clothing, his hunting gear, tools and so on. On top of that, he is a very patient dad and lets our littles “help” him at his desk. The result is that his office is usually a total disaster. So today we were attempting to come up with some workable solutions for the space.
Today’s Best Pictures: On our walk this morning the kids and I ran into Ben as he was topping off a load of calf feed with cracked peas from the auger. Of all the guys who work here, Ben is the one who most hates having his picture taken!
Ben always writes messages on the back of his feed truck. Here’s a close-up of the current one:
PV Ranch: Home of Happy Cows.
Yep, that’s us.
Ben, who’s worked here since I was maybe 14, always has so much fun with our kids. He’s always roughing around with Asher and Em and threatening to take them home and put them to work, which scares 4-year-old Marsi to death, so she doesn’t much like Ben… yet. He doesn’t butter her up with candy the way Tawny (the other feed truck driver and Ben’s sister) does.
As I mentioned above, a terrible wind blew in this afternoon. Don’t know if it has to do with the snowstorm forecast for tomorrow or what.
About one day a week a custom hay grinder comes to the ranch and grinds all the hay and straw bales the feedlot calves will eat in the coming days. He was here today, grinding away, Beau says about 140 hay bales and 50 straw bales.
It takes an awful lot of hay and straw to keep things going around here.
Today’s terrible wind came from the west. Now, the silage pit, where the grinder was grinding, is west of the house. So (as often happens) the dust and chaff from today’s grinding project all blew… you guessed it… through our yard. It looked like the apocalypse around here for a couple hours!
Poor Little Neigh has been feeling pretty sad since his visit to the vet office earlier this week. We let him hang out in the yard this afternoon, hoping to lift his spirits, but the wind was just about strong enough to blow a pony away. He had to take cover on the east side of Beau’s office.
My dad has always said that the wind goes down with the sun, and that was true today. He also says that the wind comes up with the sun. Guess we’ll see about that in the morning.
© Tami Blake