The Storm Blows in At Four O'Clock
Or pretty darn close to it.
Had a half day of school today because we have to go back tonight for Open House. I dropped by the supermarket for a few things and got home around 2:15 or so. Fed the kitties, did a chore or two, and popped on to the Internet to check the weather forecast because I knew some thunderstorms were on the way.
3 PM, partly cloudy. 4 PM possible thunderstorm.
I got into my riding gear and went out to the barn. Toby was being very loveable and clearly wanted some attention, so I saddled him up for a quick trail ride. I was breezy but the mosquitos were out enough to annoy him, so we made it the short trail and were back in about 15 minutes. I gave him his obligatory carrot and collected Tucker from the paddock.
Saddled up, warmed up a bit and then decided to try a facsimile of First Level Test 3, or something akin. Rode through that with a few little glitches to correct and started off on an approximation of Test 4. The wind picked up. Heavy gusts, enough to set Tucker to spooking at wildly waving tree branches. He is usually not bad in the wind but this was WIND!! I opted out, dismounted, led him out with me to close the pasture gate--I keep the Boys out of there when it is thundering as the pasture is on a hill and very exposed--and he bounced around a bit more.
What time was all this? Just about 4 PM. Uncanny that the forecast could be so accurate.
I settled Tucker down and took him into the barn to untack. At that point things were really stirring up outside. Chance was galloping around, Toby was bouncing and then I heard a crash and a cracking sound.
Fortunately, Kenny's training taught Tucker to tie really well, so even though he jumped, as soon as he felt the tie rope, he stopped. I took off his tack in short order and let him back out.
And what did I find? A big limb had broken off the apple tree by the fence and landed on the top rail, cracking it. I couldn't budge the branch by myself so, as the rain began to fall in sporadic drops, I hooked up a chain to the tractor and dragged it off the fence, across the lawn and finally decided to drag it onto the paddock out of the way.
I opened the gate, dragged the huge thing in and lost all three horses out onto the lawn a fraction later.
Next step? Secture the driveway gates temporarily until I was back outside with the tractor and then gather up the happy little herd back inside the fence.
Fortunately, despite the lure of nice green lawn grass, the temptation of feed buckets full of dinner was much more appealing and soon everyone was safely back inside.
That done, I went over to have a good look at the broken fence rail. Of course it was one Bill had secured in place with three huge screws and despite my best effort, I couldn't unscrew them to replace the rail. Bill says he will send his son over once the rain passes. I did manage to get one screw out, but the other two won't turn at all. I have some brand new replacement rails, so that's no problem. It's just getting the broken one out.
This is slip board fencing which should be a cinch. It's just that nearly every man who repairs it thinks the more nails or screws to hold things in place the better. In the pasture, the fence installers used a nail gun. Then the nail head have all ended up inside the holes of the fence posts where the boards slide through so it's almost impossible to pull them out to change a broken rail. I have spent many an hour using a hack saw blade to cut through the nail instead.
But, by then, it was raining pretty hard, so I just surrendered and came back in to take a shower so I can go back to school and greet visitors. (And parents, who will probably want reports on their children. *sigh*)
Where there's a will, there's a way. And even when there's a Bill, there's a way. *G*