Even though the scurs were disappointed the Weather Eye couldn’t put two nice days back to back, they still were happy no snow appeared. Will the scurs’ elation continue or will we see more white stuff? Starting Wednesday mostly with a slight chance of rain. Highs in the low 50’s with lows in the low 30’s. Thursday, sunny with highs in the upper 40’s with lows in the low 30’s. Sunny on Friday with highs in the low mid-50’s and lows in the upper 30’s. Saturday mostly sunny with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s.Partly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Monday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain showers. Highs in the upper 50’s with lows in the mid-30’s. Partly cloudy on Tuesday with continued slight chances for showers. Highs in the low 50’s with lows in the low 30’s. The normal high for April 11th is 55 and the normal low is 34. The scurs may be able to sleep in the hammock without a blanket soon. A sheet of plastic might come in handy though.
The Full Moon for the month of April falls on the 11th and typically goes by the Full Pink Moon, not because the moon is pink but rather for the pinks or ground phlox wildflowers blooming during the month, especially in the woodlands of the northeast. It is also known by The Sprouting Grass Moon and The Full Egg Moon. The Ojibwe called it The Broken Snowshoe Moon and the Sioux named it The Moon of Greening Grass. Indeed, at the ranch we also know it as The Moon When Hay Feeding Slows. The pastures green up and the ewes can once again enjoy those tender blades of new grass.
Another week behind us where we got two nice days and several of the not-so-nice variety. Since the end of February, Mother Nature has put her foot on the brakes. Both January and February gave us false hope that we could expect spring any time. Trouble is that’s where we appear to be stuck. While disheartening, it’s not to be unexpected. The month of April is fully capable of producing cold, snowy weather. So is May as some of us discovered in 2013. While precipitation has been moderate, temperatures are simply not warm enough long enough nor has it been breezy enough to produce much drying. Getting the ambition for those without heated shops to go outside and roll around in the cold damp conditions id difficult. Saturday trying to move some hay the ewes had wasted I quickly discovered why I wasn’t getting any traction: There was still ice underneath yet. Usually by this time we’ve also started to hear the western chorus frogs in the wetland area. So far nary a peep from that direction. And if that isn’t bad enough, the buds on the trees are not swelling very rapidly, something that will also need warm temperatures.
There are still signs that spring is here. Saturday morning it was very loud at the ranch. It seemed like the waterfowl and upland game birds were having a contest to see which one could be loudest. First up were the sandhill cranes. They were mobile and after hearing from them in the wetland area, they could be heard in the field across the road from the barn. Canada geese decided they were not to be outdone and two pair were whooping it at full volume from the pond. Then the rooster pheasants got into the act. Just by the loudness, I knew they had to be close by. They were. Some were in the ash tree by the house, vacating their perches as I came around the corner. Some of the smaller birds added their two cents including the goldfinches and some house finches that had apparently figured out what their little rapidly yellowing brethren were up to.
Saturday was one of those days that was a sin to stay indoors very long. It made the task of picking up all the brush from the recently completed tree pruning project seem almost enjoyable. Likewise with walking the electric fence, again, to determine where it was grounded out. There was evidence in a couple places something had run through it. Near the CRP there was a post with an insulator popped off, possibly from a deer or other animal large enough to accomplish the feat. It still was a nice day for a walk even if it meant making work out of it.
The lambs also took advantage of the nice Saturday, motoring around like lambs will do. Even the last born lamb after being moved last week to the main group was spotted eating creep feed. Once that happens the lambs just seem to pop. Some are nearing their mothers in size so warm temperatures would be just what the doctor ordered to move the pasture along and allow weaning to commence. It would help a lot of things, wouldn’t it?
Bugsy the one-eyed tomcat continues to keep his own schedule. He’s taken a shine to the lambing barn where there are few nosey sheep to bother him. He can also get away from them if they do to the privacy of the empty lambing pens that remain. Tincture the gray calico cat continues to look like a football with legs and a tail. One of these mornings she’ll show up at the food dish skinny again meaning an all-out search to determine where she has her kittens. Sort of our version of an Easter egg hunt. Odds are this early brood will end up someplace like under the mean ram’s manger. That means a built in security system for her. She’s no dummy.
See you next week…real good then.