The beginning of true winter has started. For horse people, we knew it was coming months ago, as we watched the changes in our horses' coats-a direct result of rapidly changing sunlight as opposed to true temperature.
For myself, it is always marked by the first "drag out the hose and water" episode. I am not as good as I should be to the hoses we have, and I often leave it coiled up along side the farm hydrant we have. Me bad. Many an evening in the summer, it's ran out across the whole parking area to water the garden and the greenhouse too. After a while, dealing with a couple hundred feet of hose becomes as chore and I admit that I would probably use a hose reel, if we had one. But hose reels and Alaskan temperatures are not a very good mix. The best hoses are heavy walled and don't take kindly to being rolled up so tightly....and there is nothing so infuriating as coping with kink after kink at below zero temps (don't bother to ask how I know this, just trust me)
So in the winter I am able to get by with 150 foot of hose. It's what I have had out for about three weeks now, without any troubles. Naturally the temps turned off cold in the past week and I had the misfortune to trust my 8 year old son about whether or not the "hose was laid down the driveway and drained" Being 8, laid down hill on the drive means the end is pointing downwards-sorta. Last night I attempted to water and of course discovered the hose had a bunch of ice in it. I tried working it through the hose by hand, but there was too much to work it out. This meant that I needed to get the small pickup, coil the hose into the back, drive to the garage, make room for the truck inside, and wait for it to thaw. It did. Tonight the horses' stock tanks are topped, the hose is back in the truck, truck back in the garage and all is set until the next time. Oh, and I need to remmeber where I stuffed the rubber hose gaskets because sure enough, it leaks too.
Sigh. It's always somewhat of a chore, watering. I am extremely thankful I have the hydrant because it's a good 400 feet to the first stock tank from the closest bib on the house-I can't imagine dealing with *that* much hose! Tough enough to wrestle stiff hoses into a truck in the dark!