Cool Toe Nibblers

Tadpoles Nibbling My Toes

Actually, I think they may be toads but I’m not sure. The pond was full of tadpoles from frogs earlier but I think the fish ate most of them. Then there was a new crop of eggs, long ropes of gelatinous masses which I think came from Eastern American Toad.

These guys are up on the edges of the pond where the water is warmer. At first I thought they were trying to get algae or get away from the fish but after closer observation I think they just liked the warmer water at the rim of the pond. The clue is they were in the sunnier spots and along the sandy beach where there wasn’t much in the way of food.

At the end of last week our upper pond was about 45°F. Cold swimming although highly refreshing after chores. Now the water is up to 53°F which is much more comfortable. The water coming in from the spring is still quite cool but the pond with the shallow depth (~4′), rock and sand is more mellow.

If you are not so fortunate to have a farm pond to cool off in after chores then fill a bathtub or even a bucket with four inches of cold water from the tap. No, don’t stick your head in it, instead sit with your feet in the water. The water coming from our tap is about 45°F. Sticking my feet in it chills me right down in a few minutes.

Another trick is to put your hands in a bowl of cold water. Smaller than the foot bath and thus perhaps more manageable.

Even someone in a city apartment could do this and avoid heat stroke and save some lives. It is a shame the government no longer let people into the public fountains – a traditional summer cool off for urban folk. Just think if they reversed this trend and built more public fountains for summer bathing we would perhaps have more community in the city. Is it too late?

Note that the above doesn’t even have to be wasteful of water. The incoming water is about 45°F and it feels cold even after 24 hours when the water was 75°F. The water conducts the heat away from our bodies so even with it warming it is still an effective coolant. This means the same water can be kept for for several days of foot cooling. Then use it to water the plants.

Our bathtub which is made of ferro-cement so it is fairly massive. I think that 75°F water temperature must represent our average house temperature, at least in our bathroom. Our cottage is made of about 100,000 lbs of masonry inside four inches of insulation so it heats and cools slowly. Right now the roof is not insulated. When that is finished and bermed the house will be even more thermally stable.

My next favorite way to cool down is crushed ice drink. Blended ice cubes, yogurt, a tsp of sugar or honey and a little of what ever I have got for fruit, old frozen bananas, mint tea, lemon juice, etc for flavor. It is almost all ice water and chills the core quite nicely.

Outdoors: 82°F/60°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 78°F/69°F

Daily Spark: Worry often gives a small thing a bigger shadow… -Swedish Proverb

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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1 Response to Cool Toe Nibblers

  1. Marc says:

    I came across this as I was reading through all the back posts that I’ve missed, and while civic units aren’t letting people into existing fountains, they are building new ones that do allow play, called splash pads! Quite a few out here in the west, and a great way to cool off! Some are disguised as a simple fountain, while others are like a small water park. The best ones are free!

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