The scurs did well in the near term and not so well in the longer term last week. Can they make amends with their latest prognostications? Starting Wednesday, partly cloudy with highs around 55 and lows near 35. Thursday, cloudy with a good chance of rain. Highs of 45 and lows of 35. Mostly cloudy on Friday with a chance of rain developing by evening. Highs of 50 – 55 and lows of 35 – 40. Cloudy on Saturday with an increasing chance of showers. Highs of 50 – 55 and lows of 35 – 40. Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers once again for Sunday. Cooler with highs of 45 – 50 and lows near 40. Mostly cloudy for Monday with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs of 45 – 50 and lows near 30. Cool with a wintery mix for Tuesday. Highs 40 – 45 and lows around 40. The normal high for April 10th is 55 and the normal low is 32. We will experience 13 hours of daylight on the 6th, the first time since early last September. The scurs will be hoping the forecast April showers will not produce snowmen.
The weather was on everyone’s mind last week. With the ground freezing in the mornings, spring was approaching ever so slowly. With Saturday’s warmth, one could sense the pace picking up as temperatures made it into the 50s. Just seeing the number of tractors pulling farm implements by the ranch was an indication that people were starting to get anxious. We were fortunate that March precipitation was relatively light. At the ranch we officially measured 1.16” which isn’t all that much. So far in April, as of this writing, we’ve only accumulated another .2” so the drier trend is continuing. The only problem has been that until Sunday, we hadn’t hit 60 degrees. Cloudy weather has been a hallmark of the spring thus far, further slowing drying. Last year at this time small grain was seeded and field conditions had allowed for fertilizer applications. The ice was off St. Olaf Lake the end of March and is not off as of April 4th. Many snow banks remaining in the fencelines and in the groves as well. Not to worry however. Given some breezy, sunny, warm days and the spring could turn on a dime. The only problem is getting it to cooperate.
The weekend made me antsy, that’s for sure. I got tired of waiting for the snow banks on top of the electric fence in a couple spots to melt so I dug it out with the scoop shovel. Afterwards it was time to check the fence to see how winter had ravaged it once again. About this time Ruby decided to disobey a key command in her operating system so, as we went strolling along fixing the fence, she was in learning mode. By the time we finished we came to an understanding. Charging the fence once confident that all the wires are back on the insulators and the wires are up off the ground is a little like the scene when Clark Griswold plugs in the Christmas lights: it usually doesn’t work the first time you plug it in.
Oddly enough, it did work this time, so the next step was to let the ewes with lambs out for the first time this spring. Removing the wire holding the overhead door down caused quite a din as they were convinced they were going to be fed. When the door opened up it was mass pandemonium as about 90 head surged out into the afternoon sunshine. Soon the lambs began to run and the ewes kicked up their heels as well. It was definitely a moment we had been anticipating for far too long. Of course with 70-degree temperatures Sunday, all the snow melted, making me think I should’ve shoveled that fence out back in January.
There have been some positive signs that spring is edging closer. Last Thursday evening while coming in from chores there were over 50 swans in various small groups of a dozen to 20 or so flying in formation to the northwest. A meadowlark was heard Saturday morning after getting the hay unloaded. As we made our way around the fence on Saturday afternoon, one could make out the slow, faint croaking of one western chorus frog down near the pond. Over half the pond surface was still occupied by ice so that must’ve been one chilly little frog. Two days later, however, and all the ice was gone, so the first warm night, the sound from the pond should be deafening. The juncos are everywhere. It seems there’s one in or under just about every brush pile, automobile, grill or any other place they could possibly hide. Some of those brush piles need to see a match before much longer, but will wait until the juncos are done with them first. Male robins are fighting for territory. Watched a couple of them tangling in the yard while grilling one evening. Obviously hadn’t heard the “plenty of fish in the sea” line yet.
At the Mall for Men, the little fat buddies were the beneficiaries of a colossal error. When Mrs. Cheviot got a birthday cake to share last week, the bakery where she purchased it misunderstood her order. The little fat buddies wound up eating the better part of a whole sheet cake. It was amusing watching a group of a dozen grown men sitting around a table peering at the cake like a flock of vultures. Sure, it was torture and took a couple days, but somehow they managed to struggle through it. Quite a feat considering one of the best eating little fat buddies was away on business in Atlanta. Luckily, it was pretty good cake and the only complaint was there was no ice cream to go with it. Oh well, sometimes we must sacrifice.
See you next week…real good then.