The scurs continue to score forecast success with their AMC Gremlin Weather Eye powered by the Studebaker thermostat. Must still have the winter thermostat in it however. Will they switch it over this week? Starting Lincoln’s Birthday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow. Highs near 25 and lows in the low teens. Yes, above zero. Mostly cloudy on Thursday with a slight chance of snow. High near the freezing mark and lows in the single digits. On Valentine’s Day, mostly sunny and colder. Highs near 15 with lows around 5 above. Partly sunny and warmer on Saturday with a modest chance of snow. Highs around 25 and lows in the lower teens. Sunday, partly sunny with a slight chance of evening sleet and snow mix. Highs in the upper 20’s and lows around 20. Monday, partly sunny and warmer with a chance of a rain and snow mix. Highs near 35 and lows close to 20. Mostly sunny for Tuesday and warmer again. Highs near 40 and lows in the lower 20’s. The normal high for Valentine’s Day is 27 and the normal low is 9. The scurs will be taking their sweetie pie out for a spin in the burnt orange Gremlin X to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Honest Abe.
Another cold week and frost continues to move down in the soil, 27” deep as measured at the SROC in Waseca on February 10th. February has been a dry month thus far with only .6” of snow as of Tuesday morning, melted down to a measly .02” of liquid. Snow cover in the fields is variable although in general not very deep on worked ground. Most of what we have remains in the ditches, fencelines and groves. The old saying that the fields aren’t fit until the snowbanks are out of the fencelines may be put to the test. We shall see.
The Full Moon happens to fall on Valentine’s Day this time around and generally goes by the name of Full Snow Moon. It was at this time of year that snows became deep and food became more scarce. It also goes by the Full Hunger Moon for that same reason. The Ojibwe called this the Sucker Moon for the suckers running in the rivers and streams this time of year. The Sioux called this the Raccoon Moon as raccoons commonly awaken from their slumber to forage about to find food. Fortunately there was not as much traffic in those days. At the ranch we can officially call this the Full Lamb Moon after this past week.
Yes, we had lambs show up during the coldest days last week. It happens every year that some hit the ground before shearing. One would think we’d learn how to use a gestation chart so that wouldn’t happen. Oh well, the main thing is that the lambs are doing well and there shouldn’t be a lot more before shearing on Saturday. After that all bets are off.
This stretch of cold weather seems to zap the energy right out of a person. Day after day of starting out below zero and then struggling to get much above that takes a toll. By nature however I am a napper and utilize cold weekend afternoons once indoors to examine the inside of my eyelids. The Winter Olympics generally make for good napping fare although Sunday one announcer became boisterous over a cross country skiing final. I might’ve murmured something about the strategic location of a ski pole. Enough of that. This is why I stick to watching golf or bowling. Not only is it boring to watch, the commentators are quiet so as not to wake anyone.
Ruby had a rough several days of TV watching. First, the Westminster Kennel Club Agility Trials were held Saturday, sending her into several barking fits. A red and white Border Collie named Kelso won so we were cheering for him while we were trying to keep Ruby quiet. Sunday, bull riding was on and again Ruby was not amused, growling at the bulls as their riders bit the dust. Then the Westminster Dog Show was on Monday night and more of the same. That’s OK. Ruby spends much of her time sleeping while we’re away and tormenting Fudgie when we’re not. Nice to see the shoe on the other foot sometimes.
The birds have been letting us know it’s cold, consuming what we’re putting out there at a rapid pace. Particularly noticeable has been the amount of suet devoured. There are a lot of woodpeckers this winter and there are usually several waiting in line to get on the two suet feeders. We did see a new bird for us anyway: a northern shrike. These are predators and shortly after it appeared, everything else disappeared. Not to worry. It didn’t stay and if it does, there are plenty of house sparrows for it to eat.
Last Sunday marked the first appearance of the Beatles in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan Show. That’s a while ago and pretty sure we weren’t watching. More likely the dial on the black and white set at the little old farmhouse was on Bonanza or some other high quality programming. As a result of their visit though, the Beatles had a major impact on me and my generation, something subsequent generations haven’t always been able to fully grasp. The Cold War world as we knew it at the time would be changed forever. Beatles lunchboxes appeared at school, crew cuts became mop tops and as the Beatles changed from their skinny ties and suits, so did clothing styles. As did the music. Gone were the days of the greasers, Elvis and rocking around the clock, replaced by a newer, more modern sound from across the pond. At least many of us thought so despite the naysayers. And as it turned out we were right.
See you next week…real good then.