Around the Farm: Can You Hear Me Now?

By Kim Carr:

As a Missourian, I often go through life with the “Show Me” attitude. Just because someone says something is true or a certain way does not mean I will necessarily believe it unless I see for myself.

In addition to the Show Me attitude, I also enjoy testing things to see if they really work as stated. For example, I tried filling milk jugs with salt water and placing them in my livestock water tanks to prevent the water in the tanks from freezing. This tale is false and a waste of time. Or how about stuffing brown lunch bags with paper and hanging them where carpenter bees like to hang out. The stuffed bag is supposed to mimic a wasp or hornet nest, thus keeping the carpenter bees at bay. This one I am still on the fence about. I think it has some merit, and I have been hanging stuffed lunch bags around my high bee traffic areas for a couple of years now. Does it keep the bees away 100%? No, but it really cuts down on the number of bees I have buzzing around my chicken shelters. I do not mind bees—I love bees—but these guys can get extremely aggressive, and they like to hang out in areas that I spend a lot of time in. Getting stung by one of these guys is no fun, so I am going to continue to hang the lunch bags even if it is just a placebo effect for me mentally.

Something else I have decided to test recently is the waterproofness of my iPhone XS Max. I got it maybe two or three years ago. I had fried an iPhone a couple years ago when I got caught in a downpour at an art show; did not think about pulling my phone out of my back pocket as I scrambled to salvage my art. Apparently my phone just could not handle the rain. I now carry a bag of rice with me to all shows, just in case.

Well, my new phone that I got a couple years ago stated that it was waterproof up to six feet for like thirty minutes! That is hard for me to believe as a Missourian—and just as a regular person in general, not just one with an extra chromosome of doubt that is inherited by all Missourians. So, being ever curious about the waterproof statement, I did what any good investigator would do . . . I tossed my phone into the pond. That's right, I tossed my phone into the pond.

Now to fill in some of the holes to the complete testing scenario: Last fall friends gave me a super-nice three-seater canoe. It is great for when we have guests out who do not feel comfortable in a kayak, or you got little ones. It is a great addition to the pond but is very heavy and hard for me to move or handle by myself. The kayaks are light enough that I can easily lock them away at night. The canoe, not so much. So, to keep it safe, I pulled it ashore in the cow pasture. This way it would be a challenge for someone to grab and go, though the security cams have been a major deterrent for such things. Anyhow, I had parked the canoe on the pond bank in the cow’s pasture. I put it in a spot where the cows do not really hang out much. All was well and dandy for a week or so, then Sunday I look out to see the canoe missing. Upon inspection, I discover the cows had pushed it into the pond. This would be okay because I could wade out, grab the canoe, and pull it back on shore. Problem is, when the cows pushed it into the water, it landed upside down.

I figured I would get to it at the end of my chores since I knew I would need to get in the pond to retrieve the canoe. So, I went about my day, planted trees, did some push mowing, weed eating, picking up brush, moving the cattle rub, opened a new pasture for the cows, and other odds and ends. By the time I went to fetch the canoe, I was tired and hungry, which means I am not at my best, but I wanted to get the canoe out of the pond and back on dry land. I had on my muck boots, which I figured would help me navigate the mud without losing a shoe. The water's not that deep in this part, so I was hoping to keep it below my boot tops, even though my boots are old and leaky. I was hoping there was a slow, gradual walk into the pond, but this was more of a step off right into