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Walking on Water, Frozen Water

February 14, 2022

My search is over! Sue, at Bootleggers in Meredith, found a pair of my size Nex Grip boots. Not only are they warm, but they have "ice-gripper" soles that help keep me safe on the ice.

This winter has been extraordinary for its freezing temperatures and rain. We did have a proper snowstorm one Saturday. I even closed the farm store in anticipation of the snow. That time the forecasters got it right. Then came the rain.

Usually, I'm a fan of rain. It makes flowers bloom in the spring and grass grow in the summer, but winter rain seems to bring only trouble. 

This time, loose hay formed a dam that trapped a foot of water in the alleyway beside the holding pen. Despite the warmer weather, some hay was frozen solid, so I couldn't completely remove the dam. I had to slosh around in the ice-cold water, bailing it out with a bucket before it froze into a sheet of ice. 

Ice is Dangerous

The other problem with freezing rain is that ice is dangerous for cattle. Two of my cows slipped on ice a few years ago and fell. One died immediately. The other split her pelvis, and we had to put her down. So it's worth the extra effort to spread sand to make it safe for cattle and humans.

Even though husband Bruce does his best to spread sand in the barnyard, some years, like this one, he can't keep up. Meanwhile, I resort to ice cleats. They are metal cleats attached to a stretchy harness that fits each boot. But they tend to pop off and get lost in the snow, and I'm walking around with half-traction until the spring thaw reveals the missing cleat exactly when I don't need it.

Also, cleats are not house-friendly. They gouge the floors. But I'll sacrifice the floors before I'll take off my boots and step through snow or freezing rain in my socks. 

When discussing my dilemma with Loudon Postmaster Susan Colby, who owns The Loudon Station, she said, "I have the perfect solution: Nexgrip boots. They are regular boots with cleats that flip out when you need them. I pop open the cleats on the boot heel to walk on ice, then pop them shut when I go in the house."

The Boot Hunt

I tried to order a pair online, but my size is out of stock, so I'll wait until they restock and hope the ice goes away soon. Does anyone else have a way of walking on frozen water besides moving to Florida?

Warm weather is coming. I know because it's still light at 5 p.m. To help welcome spring, I invite you to visit the farm to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, March 12, and Easter on April 16 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can reserve your spot here.


Carole Soule

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