by Charlene Burgi
As many of you know, my retirement brought a move to Lassen County for my husband and me. The last to travel up to our new home were our five beautiful donkeys. We held off on that task until the very last minute while their home to the north was sufficiently secured. Corrals were complete, but the pasture fencing needed a final check. However, with the threat of the early winter weather we couldn’t put off their move much longer. The early rain prompted us to move them this past Saturday before the early snows stayed on the ground.
The stock trailer used for the move was set in place earlier that week so the donkeys would become accustomed to it. Unfortunately, getting them into the trailer turned out to be a rodeo, and one I am not so eager to repeat anytime soon. After two-plus hours, and with the help of friends and neighbors, we managed to finally close the tailgate and get on the road. Seven hours later, we opened the tailgate into the new barn so they could make tracks from this “wicked cage” that they were forced into earlier in the day. To our surprise, they stood staring at the big open barn and didn’t budge. I couldn’t understand it. They had nothing to lose, except cramped quarters. All the coaxing with apple-bite cookies (made for equines), water and hay didn’t change their minds about this departure. We finally agreed to go to bed that night and let them figure it out. The next morning when we checked on them, we found the five longears freely milling about the barn like this was home.
Their behavior made me think about why we tend to resist doing things that are better for us, or that we would gain by the experience. In the donkeys’ defense, I know the move was traumatic for them and the territory was unfamiliar until they felt it was safe to venture out.
But why do we, who have more rational minds, tend to be resistant about installing rain shutoff devices on our irrigation controllers, for example? Without a rain shutoff device, the intermittent rain and warm weather we’ve experienced will cause our irrigation systems to continue operating unless we physically turn off the controller. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to run outside to turn off the controller if it starts raining in the middle of the night. The devices are not costly and are easy to install.
These little devices will save water, save money and allow sleep to come peacefully knowing this simple attachment is doing its job. The real bonus is that as a MMWD customer, you can get a free rain shutoff device by calling our Conservation Department for a Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) survey. One of our specialists will provide—not only the free rain shutoff device—but other suggestions for winterizing your garden. Call (415) 945-1523 to schedule your free appointment.
Do you have a rain shutoff device on your irrigation controller? If not, what is holding you back from installing one?