Down to 22 degrees at daylight this morning here on Dry Creek, compared to yesterday’s temperature of 25. Though it’s supposed to warm slightly tonight, I would guess that the bulk of the citrus crop that wasn’t damaged Friday, froze last night. Ken McKee, (pictured in the Greasy Creek branding crew below) indicated to me that his remaining crop is lost, temperatures down to 20 degrees in the Elderwood area Friday night – presumably in the teens last night. Undoubtedly, there are a few warm pockets that survived, but those would be an extremely small percentage of the crop still on the trees. The fruit can tolerate up to 4 hours at 26 degrees and a lesser duration at lower temperatures. In the mid-teens, the trees are at risk.
Two miles up the road, we branded some of Craig Ainley’s calves yesterday. Though I had wrapped most of our exposed pipes, I had to leave about 9:30 to address a rainbird sprinkler that had frozen and thawed into a geyser. A fairly quick fix with the plumbing parts at hand, but today being Sunday, I’ll have to wait to see what I need – hopefully it won’t necessitate a trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s in Visalia. Ugh!
Along with our inability to drive in the snow, which we didn’t receive with this cold front, Californians aren’t prepared for frozen plumbing, most new homes on slabs with plumbing above sheet rock ceilings. Likewise, most trenching is fairly shallow. Comparing notes at Elko in 1998, this practiced recipe for problems brought lots of grins from friends from other parts of the West.
We leave for Elko in a couple of weeks, but not before we gather another bunch of calves to brand Wednesday. With a little luck before we leave, we’ll get some rain that will give us time to get our stuff together. Short of any plumbing disasters today, I plan to work on my new chapbook, April Bullfrogs. For the most part, it is an edited selection of poems from this weblog that ought to be available at the Gathering, or through Dry Crik Press when we get home.
Robbin took quite a few pictures at Craig’s branding yesterday that christened Jody Fuller’s new pipe pens. I’ll add a couple of these later in the red-lettered “Continued” section.
Fuller Corrals/Craig Ainley Branding
Horseback Head: Ted Ainley - Heel: Chad Lawerence
Calf Head: Craig Ainley - Holding heel rope: Corrine Ainley (our sweetheart)
Coaching (with broken ribs): Frank Ainley Sr.
Riding Towards Supper
or Chuck & the Kids
Though nippy by California standards, it was warm with family and community.