Apparently, the scurs still have the winter Studebaker thermostat in the Weather Eye. Will they get the right one before March 1? Starting Wednesday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper teens and lows near 10 below zero. Mostly sunny on Thursday with highs slightly below zero and lows near -20. Friday, a slight chance of snow. Partly sunny and warmer if you can call it that. Highs in the lower single digits above zero and lows around 10 below. Saturday March 1st, partly sunny with a slight chance of an evening snow shower. Highs once again just slightly below zero and lows near 10 below. Sunday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of daytime snow. Highs near 5 above and lows in the middle single digits below zero. Monday, another slight chance for snow. Mostly cloudy with highs near 10 above and lows near 5 above. Mostly sunny and warmer on Tuesday with highs getting back to near 20 above and lows in the lower teens above zero. The normal high for March 1st is 33 and the normal low is 16. The sun will set after 6 p.m. once again on February 28th. The scurs are banking on all that extra daylight to warm temperatures.
Thursday’s blizzard deposited plenty of precipitation as measured at the ranch. There was roughly a quarter inch of rain that fell in the a.m. along with 8.2” of snow. Melted down the wet slop was equivalent to .87” of water. For the month we stand at about 16.2 of snow at the ranch and 1.79” of precip in liquid form. It’s well above the long-term 9” average as recorded at the SROC and makes one wonder what March will do once it decides to warm up. The 30-day and 90-day temperature outlook from NOAA are indicating better than even chances of colder than normal conditions. For precip, even chances of above or below normal precip are predicted. Not going out on a limb with that one.
Last week’s blizzard brought back memories of some of the storms of old, although the winds had pretty much subsided by late Friday morning so one could begin digging out. It didn’t do a lot of good in some cases as plows wouldn’t show up until almost 6 p.m. Friday evening. Afterwards the roads were a fright as the heavy, wet snow made for a rutted surface and would pull a vehicle suddenly from side to side. Top this off with some people who were driving about 20 and some who seemed to think the speed limit was too slow as well as some like me who figured 40 would get me there in one piece. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents than there are some days.
One always wonders what storms such as these will do to our feathered friends. At the ranch it seems to make them more actively seek the supplemental food we provide for them. The pheasants in particular numbered 20 on Saturday morning. It even pushed some chickadees our direction for the first time in several months. The day before the storm horned larks were commonplace along the roadsides. Surprisingly enough the robins were still in evidence Friday morning with one male gobbling down crabapples from the Indian Magic tree.
The alien has struck once again at the ranch. Coughing fits, chills, aches and pains have been the order of the day. Of course enough sleep is being lost already due to the annual event known as lambing season. It’s not bad if you can sit still under a blanket and shiver. Unfortunately it’s tough to get much done that way. It has served as a wonderful appetite suppressant though. Difficult to find food one is interested in making it lucky to have consumed all of those holiday goodies
Lambing season is roughly half over and but it has been a battle. We’ve had some tough luck with lambs born dead and ewes not milking to their capability. The cold weather hasn’t helped. This all adds up to some bottle lambs. Bottle lambs seem to be very popular with visitors at the ranch. I must admit they are cute if you don’t have to head out there 4 or 5 times a day to feed them. However when the milk replacer is purchased and it’s your behind out there the novelty wears off pretty fast. That and seldom do bottle lambs ever amount to much. Lambs simply do much better when Mother Nature works as it’s supposed to as opposed to human meddling. A lot of things like that in life one finds.
The dogs seem to understand. They appear to know when we’re not feeling well and tend to stay quiet. Yet they’re the first there when a ewe decides to walk through an open gate or it’s time to move ewes with lambs to their loafing area. The natural instinct and non-vocalized communication of the dogs as they move the sheep with their eye contact and posturing is uncanny. It sure makes our lives a little easier. Now, if they just had opposable thumbs we could probably stay in the house.
See you next week…real good then.