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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lousy weather

I'm seeing red.......lousy weather! Just look at today's graph for Anchorage (an hour and a half away)......
the dark gray is the annual averages....
the light gray above and below is just that - the record highs and lows.
See the red lines? We're not even getting warm enough to get to the AVERAGE temps.
My garden is chilled and limping along.
My greenhouses are ho-hum, but at least the tomatoes are turning red in there, the cucumbers are tasty, and the yellow squash is doing well. Even the sweet corn in the big greenhouse in pots is tasseling. But if it's OUTSIDE the greenhouse, it's.......ho-hum.
I know what my goats are them the cool weather signals breeding season. So that's what some of them are doing. I've never had successful breedings in July before, so IF we see kids in December, I won't be surprised at all. Don't worry, we have nice warm kidding stalls for birthing in the barn.
Now, the sheep......we'll see what September looks like. If it's still cold and gray out, bet we'll have February lambs again - eeek! That means by August I better have a line on some oat straw for deep bedding. But if it gets warm for some reason, then we'll have late lambs. Either way, good clean straw will be needed for comfort.
Because it's been so cool in the mornings, my thoughts have gone to heated water buckets and new electric cords for the winter. So I've begun looking at the different store's electric sections to see what they have to offer and at what prices. I also think I'll pick up a few cans of that spray foam insulation while I'm at can get a bigger bucket, fill it with foam then quickly insert a smaller bucket and let set to cure. Then you have an insulated bucket that won't freeze so fast. If you use a 5 gallon bucket for the base bucket, you can get really creative and cut a hole in the top of a bucket lid, then spray foam the underside of it. That helps a little bit too. Today at the store I even bought a covered outdoor timer to put in place for the stock tank heater. That way it can come on and go off for an hour at a time instead of being on 24/7 when the cold cold cold hits. They're so easy to use, you can always adjust it as the temps drop or come back up. I will NOT let my electric bill get any higher than it is...and everyone knows the electric companies are next in line to raise their rates too!
No, my sheep will still have their simple luxuries this winter to stay nice and cozy and's just going to take a little better preparation to keep the Shepherd's wallet from running dry!
At least I get to look forward to a few new sheep arriving in the next few weeks! There's a neat Sheltering Pines girl coming my way and then that rainbow boy below will also be flying in. They ought to help keep me busy this winter!

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