Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Farm Photo: Surf's Up!


The
No Crossing Zone Is Back

This is where everybody usually crosses when our usually meandering little wet weather creek is running. Not today. It isn't quite the raging river it turned into last month, though there is supposed to be another storm hitting tonight. We definitely won't be driving through this anytime soon.

Fortunately earlier today I was able to ford the creek further upstream on foot, but only after taking all sorts of safety precautions as demanded by my visiting and very concerned mother. I was decked out in ratty sneakers (so my rubber boots didn't fill with water and drag me down), thin summer pajama pants (so my heavy denim overalls didn't fill with water and drag me down) rolled up above my knees, and my old glasses (so my new ones didn't wash downstream).

I was holding an enormous stick to keep me from losing my balance and washing downstream and had two syringes full of penicillin for the ewe battling mastitis poking out of one shirt pocket and a bottle of milk for her lamb in the other. I was quite the vision.

My mother also gave me instructions on how I should position myself when the water did start carrying me away - on my back with my feet out in front of me - which is apparently what you they tell you to do if you fall overboard when you're on a white water river rafting adventure. She goes on those sorts of adventures; I don't.

The good news is I survived - and barely got my knees wet. The better news is that all the animals are okay, and none of our very pregnant ewes decided to have a baby (or two) during the seven hours I wasn't able to get down to the barn today. Just cross your fingers that they cross their legs until tomorrow, because my mother says I'm not allowed
to cross the creek for my nightly 3 a.m. lamb check, even though I told her she could come along and hold the spotlight so she'd be able to see if I was in the correct position when I started to wash downstream.*

© 2008 FarmgirlFare.com, the soaking wet foodie farm blog where the action and adventures never stop when you're living the so-called quiet, peaceful, simple country life.

* All lightheartedness aside, venturing into moving water can be extremely dangerous, and I know this from firsthand experience. The reason my mother was extra concerned today is because several years ago while she was visiting, the creek got up about 70 feet wide, and it rose so fast during the short time I was down at the barn that on my way back I was knocked down, pulled underwater, and seriously thought I was going to drown - and that was while holding onto a guide rope tied to two posts. It was only because she and a friend were holding onto either end of the rope and were able to lift my head up out of the water that I survived.

It only takes a foot of fast moving water to wash away a car. When you come to a flooded area, the rule of thumb is this: If you have to stop and ask yourself if it's okay to cross, then it's not okay to cross. Stay safe.

12 comments:

  1. As a new mom currently breastfeeding I thank you for making the trip to help out your mastitis-battling ewe! Good job taking care of all of those new moms (and moms-to-be).

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  2. I so love your blog. Especially your funny and whimsical bits in the copyright line. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

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  3. Wow.... that is something else.

    Oh.....I am a having my first contest. Pass the word and stop by my blog and enter!!

    Carolyn

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  4. Susan I'm glad your mother is there! Although you are quite capable and careful, it is good to have a mother's concern to bug you (I should have said caution right not bug?) into being extra careful. Amazing about all the rain - we've had our share but nothing like your torrents! Awwww about the mama with mastitis.

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  5. You should get a kayak, because that looks like great kayaking water. And I'm sure your mother would have no objection to THAT. :-)

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  6. Too bad your Mom didn't get a picture of you crossing the creek - or maybe she did and you are just not sharing...? That's ok. We all have pictures in our minds.....
    Stay well, Farmgirl! Thanks for the updates.

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  7. "even though I told her she could come along and hold the spotlight so she'd be able to see if I was in the correct position when I started to wash downstream."

    Your mom is a saint! I know this because it's something I would have said to my own mom at which point she would tell me that I've made her a saint.

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  8. All seriousness aside (and you are so correct on the dangers of flood waters), I love this post. Mothers--you gotta love them--they think of everything! All worst case scenario. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you you made me laugh with this post. And I hope your ewe gets better quick. We are battling mostly mud here from all the rain, as we live on 'high ground' AND only one more ewe to go this year, and I'll be so glad when its done.
    Take care,
    Tammy

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  9. Nice 'creek' Susan!

    I am glad you put the warning in at the end. We arrived home at midnight a couple of years ago to find the entire valley multiple feet deep, except it just looked like this one little spot in the road at first and we almost went for it...yeah, the little creek that empties into the Columbia River just down the valley. The next morning, I was really glad we hadn't tried it!

    Stay safe yourself! We need you to keep the cute coming.

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  10. Glad the sheep were all ok! Bet they appreciate having such a dedicated caretaker.

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  11. Your wee river reminded me of being at an island lighthouse in Maine... they have a little container sort of thing that you can pull yourself across the inlet in during high tide, when it is impossible to cross the 20 or so feet from mainland to island due to the particular current pattern.

    Perhaps construct something you can zip-glide with?

    We get floods here as well, where the main rule of thumb is that you dont cross water that is above your ankle. It takes a foot of water to sweep a car away, but less than six inches of water to sweep a person away.

    And next time you do decide to cross... wear a life vest, just in case. I'd add a neoprene wetsuit, because most people tend to suffer from hypothermia before actually drowning.

    If you install a zip line... think of how cool that'd be!

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  12. Love your blog, read it every time. LOVE your recipes, have tried many. About the raging stream
    I am not sure if you are bragging or complaining,
    up here in the great white north (Southern Ontario,Canada)we are still white and only a little sunny.
    Thanks for the chuckles, keep them coming.

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