Farm Life · Farmtastic Stories

Upwind vs. Downwind – It Really Matters

Admittedly, I didn’t grow up in the country, so it’s fair to say that I’ve had a learning curve.  In fact, I’m still learning every day.  But if there is one thing that I’ve learned for sure, it is this —  it is incredibly important to know the difference between upwind and downwind.

When I lived in the suburbs, I never gave too much thought about upwind and downwind.  But now that I’m a country gal and have regular large animal chores, such as mucking out stalls (for my city friends – that’s a nice way of saying scooping horse poop), I’ve learned to pay attention.

Picture it (totally borrowing a line from Sofia Petrillo here) …  It’s a hot, windy summer day.  Dirt is in the air.  Birds are chirping.  Oh, and another fun and pertinent farm fact, the hotter and drier it is, the faster the poo dries out and breaks apart.  Fascinating, right?  Anywho, I’m wearing my pink rubber boots and scooping stalls.  However, I make one fatal flaw when I start.  You guessed it.  Not paying attention to upwind and downwind.

I place my scooping wheelbarrow in front of me.  I get a good big scoop full on my muck rake and go to put it in the bucket, when a Texas-size wind kicks up and blows a big old gust.  My muck rake is poised over the bucket to unload the cargo, but I’m not fast enough.  It’s too late.  The wind covers me in poop particles and dust before I can dump it.  There I stand, muck rake in hand covered in dusty poop particles.  What’s a farmgirl to do? Laugh, simply laugh (with your mouth closed of course)!

It’s safe to say that I fully understand upwind and downwind now, which comes in handy in all sorts of ways in the country.  Skunk smell?  Best to be upwind.  Cows in the pasture?  Best to be upwind.  The bottom line, when in doubt, choose upwind.  You’ll be sure to stay clean, but I’ll warn you, it might not be as much fun.

A windy day.  Great for taking horse picture with flowing manes,  not so much for scooping.
A windy day. Great for taking horse pictures with flowing manes, not so much for scooping.

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