I happened to be the first one up this morning. I went outside to let the horses out and found a layer of ice almost an inch thick on their water trough. No surprise there. Yeoldfurt had to break and remove ice from the trough twice yesterday.
When I let the horses out, I decided to walk to the pond and see how frozen it might be. I expected ice around the edges but it's over 10 feet deep in the middle, so I didn't expect it to be completely frozen over. Wrong. It looked to be frozen all the way across. There was a chunk of wood the size of a small fireplace log laying at my feet, so I picked it up and lobbed it out toward the center of the pond. The log had to weigh at least 5 or 6 pounds and it dropped from a height of about 6 feet when it hit the pond... kerTHUNK! Didn't even crack the surface ice. I'm sure the ice is not thick enough to bear my weight so don't suggest ice skating ...but it was a good deal more solid than I was expecting.
On my way back to the house, I stopped to let the chickens out. I was worried they might have frozen feet from something MMPaints told me in chat last night. But they were okay. They had each left me an egg and were walking around like normal, anxious to be let out. Their water was frozen though. Not in the reservoir, but in the trough ring around the bottom where they should be able to drink. I broke and removed the ice from the ring and moved the waterer closer to the heat lamp in the coop. Tonight will only be in the 20's (versus last night in the teens) so maybe their water will not freeze tonight.
When I got back up to the house, I took the eggs inside and was going to fill a bucket of water to carry outside for the dog, cats and chickens in the yard. That's when I discovered OUR water was frozen ...in the house. Uh-oh. I've never had frozen pipes before and Yeoldfurt was still asleep. Didn't want to wake him with bad news, so I went online to do some research. Every site I read suggested checking all the taps to determine if water was frozen at some juncture in the house ...or outside between the main and the house. None of the taps would even drip so, according to the online information, that meant water was probably frozen somewhere outside. This house is very well insulated, even in the attic so it would have surprised me if the house pipes had frozen. The online sites said to open the coldwater taps halfway so I did.
Thank goodness for Yeoldfurt's prepper mentality. He had about a dozen old clorox bottles labeled drinking water stored down in the shop. I took the wheelbarrow down and brought six of them up to the house. Two for each of the bathrooms for that all-important flush water. And the other three so I could make sure all the little critters had water until things thawed out. We also have several cases of store-bought bottled water down in the shop. So we're fine.
Yeoldfurt was up and drinking coffee by the time I finished all that and I got to give him the exciting news ...frozen pipe adventure. Hopefully it will not morph into a busted pipe adventure. He did some investigating of his own and he agrees, the the problem is most likely close to the water main up by the road. That makes sense because the hole around the water main is about 2 feet by 2 feet, with about 12 inches of pipe exposed to the air inside that hole. The hole is covered over by a piece of steel plate. Steel is an excellent conductor of cold and so is open air. The pipe coming to the house is buried at least 18 inches in the ground so it is probably the exposed pipe at the main that froze.
The temperatures should be close to 40 degrees by noon today and 45 degrees for a high around 3:00pm. Hopefully, that will be enough to thaw the pipes. In the meantime, we'll be grateful for a warm house, stored water and plenty of food stores. No worries.