Today I ventured out on snowshoes to check all the "frost-free" field hydrants, on the off chance that I might be able to gather some water. (Our cold-water hydrant in the house stopped working yesterday, so now I really CAN say that I've given up plumbing--entirely--for Lent.) All the handles lifted easily, but none produced water. I'm beginning to suspect that all the frozen nights and a few power outages somehow fried our well pump, a possibility almost too awful and expensive to imagine. We've set a little milkhouse heater in the old house cellar, next to the pressure tank, on the off chance that will help. The chickens got warmed snow (water) from the old sap-boiling pan on our woodstove. The cows will make do with the snow I shoveled into the cattle trough (hooray for the in-tank heater).
In the meantime, I'm dancing carefully on the edge of the vortex of despair. Regardless of the purpose for my little snowshoe adventure, the wind was low and the sun was bright, making for a beautiful winter day. Here are a few scenes from my little journey:
Road to Nowhere?
The Windswept Plains of Maine
From the old cellar hole: Onward and Upward!