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Warmth of Wool

Posted 12/8/2008 5:04am by Catskill Merino.
Ewes on frozen ground
 
Sunday was cold, 25°F with wind gusts to 46 MPH. At these temperatures the semi-permanent over-ground  lines to the water tubs freeze.  Water from the barn must be delivered via an auxiliary hose and to protect it from freezing we walk it out, running it over a shoulder, to drain it after filling the tubs.

This is cold work, your gloves get wet and  your hands scream...sheep are not bothered by these temperatures with their 2½  inches of fleece as long as they've had enough to eat.  You curse the frigid bitterness and the ewes look at you curiously.

Last night was to be 12º, I fired up a propane space heater in the shepherd's room to keep the market garlic from freezing.

Tonight will be a little warmer with a low of 16º and on Wednesday it will be much warmer with a high of 56º.
 
The cold brings a solitude that is loud with remembered words.

"It’s this crazy weather we’ve been having:
Falling forward one minute, lying down the next."

 
John Ashbery
Houseboat Days, 1977