Last night I started a draft of this post, then held off. “What if it doesn’t get cold after all?” I thought.
It appears I needn’t have worried.
What looked like a brief cold snap, with our “homestead’s” temperatures somewhat higher than predicted for our area, may turn out to be the first hard freeze of the winter. Daily highs may be in the teens over the next week.
I muttered all the way up to the summer water creek a couple of days ago, hiking through balmy breezes and gentle rain to pull the water diversion hose out of our collection bucket. This is the first step in changing over our water system for the winter (see Fresh Water: Collecting and Conserving a Precious Resource). I figured we could draw down the summer water tank for awhile before switching over to the insulated winter water tank. I prefer that to simply disconnecting the hose from the house and draining the tank onto the beach. It’s not wasteful—at most we’re delaying the flow, and shifting it a few yards north of its natural outlet—but it feels wasteful. Besides, with no practical way to check the water level in the winter tank, I’d prefer to use the summer water until the last possible moment. It seems as if I play this game every winter, with varying results (see Every Last Drop”: Trying Not to Waste Water).
I at least wanted one last shower and dish washing on the summer water, and it looks like I’ll get that before we make the switch. I’m happy about that.
Once that’s done, though, I guess we’d best not mess around. Winter’s here, and it’s time to act like it is, rather than trying to bargain for a few more days of last season’s water.