Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yo-Yo Temperature

As I said yesterday, the temperature dropped 30o over the course of the day.  I canceled an appointment with the accountant to put out straw for the cattle. 

It was still five below when I went out to feed this morning.  The cattle had been enjoying the straw I laid out for them yesterday, but came running when they saw the pickup.  They were eager to replace the calories they had burned off staying warm through the night.

Through the biting cold I caught a puff of warmer air as I stacked the last load on the pickup later in the morning.  I looked up and could see the air shimmering against the backdrop of the mountains around me.  This isn’t really Chinook country like the Rocky Mountain Front where I had lived for 20 years, but there was no doubt that there was warmer air blowing in.

When I returned to the house at 10:30 the thermometer read 17o – and in half an hour it was at 37o!  This was really fortunate as I had a mechanicing job to do, and you can’t handle tools well with mitts on.

My new fuel pump had been leaking, and it was getting worse.  I took advantage of the heat wave to fix it.  A short length of 3/8 rubber fuel line had deteriorated at the end so it was no longer sealing well.  I dug through my crate of hose, and pulled out a new piece.  Then I stirred through my can of hose clamps and found one the right size.

My hand tools, as well as all the rest of metal and tractors in the shed, had a thin layer of frost on them.  The moisture in the warmer air condensed on the metal that was still at zero.  I was able to work in cloth gloves to swap out the hose and tighten the connection on the metal fuel line.

There was a flat tire to change, and some salt & mineral to stack in the shed – both of these jobs made easier by the moderating temperature.  The cattle were enjoying the respite also.

The temperature continues to fluctuate – obviously we’re on the edge of two conflicting weather patterns.  It had dropped to 14o during the evening as I reconciled my checking account and made some phone calls, and it is back up to 33o at bedtime.  I sure hope the warm air wins!

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