Filed under: Ice, Trees, winter, wood heat | Tags: Bobcat, Bobcat 3400, chain saws, chainsaw, farm, ice, Stihl, Stihl chainsaw, trees, winter, wood, wood heat, wood pile
My wood pile had gotten kind of small with all of the cold weather we had this year so a strong wood cutting season is in order. To do this you need tools. Chain saws, wood splitting equipment and some way to get the wood from point A to point B.
I have three chain saws. This Stihl professional duty is my biggest, I also have a smaller one for cutting smaller limbs and a pole saw to reach up and get some of those branches that broke off but have not yet let go of the tree. Then I have the Bobcat 3400 to either carry or drag branches to where they need to go.
I really have only gotten a start on the job of clearing broken branches, the weather has not been very good for outdoor work. So I work on the ones that are in the way now and go back to the others later.
When the log is too big, I need a variety of splitting malls, hammers and wedges to break those logs down. Yes, I do have a motor powered hydraulic wood splitter, but that means I have to have a large pile of big logs to split. If there are only a few, I start swinging. It’s good exercise.
Since my main source of heat is fallen branches and dead trees, I always have a bit of work to do each year. The wood needs to dry in the pile at least six months before I use it, so what I am cutting now is for later in the winter. It sure is better than just piling them and burning them for no purpose.
Filed under: cold, Farm, Minnesota, planting, rain, snow, spring, Trees, weather | Tags: cold, Corn, farm, ice, melting snow, Minnesota, nature, Planting, pond, rain, signs of spring, snow, spring, trees, weather, winter
My wood pile has really taken a hit this winter as springtime temperatures seem to be on hold. When you wake every day to frozen ground it is hard to understand that we are nearing the end of April here in Southwestern Minnesota and could be planting corn, wheat or oats. There is none of that planted because it seems to be snowing every week.
A month ago I posted this picture of geese on a pond and it seemed as if we would be seeing open water and no snow in just days as temperatures were allowing the snow to melt away every day. The water lilies were putting forth some hopeful leaves and the marsh marigolds were turning green, sure signs of spring!
But what’s this? A forecast with 70′s in it? Could it be we only have one more night of freezing weather and then summer like temperatures will arrive? Hurray!
Yes, winter does end here in Minnesota, eventually. With warmer temperatures, a farmers heart will turn toward planting and tillage. We only have to wait a bit for the fields to dry and then we can begin. The calendar is not quite to the dates where we are concerned about planting being too late, so we will hold out hope for only a few more days of delay. Warmer weather is in sight!
Filed under: cold, Farm, Ice, Minnesota, planting, rain, seasons, weather | Tags: cold, farm, frost, frozen ground, ice, long term weather, Minnesota, Planting, rain, southwestern minnesota, spring, weather
The past months have been a challenge here in southwestern Minnesota. It seems that every bit of rain just skids by leaving us with little or no moisture. We have watched major storms move both north and south of us for almost a year now. The weatherman will say we have a 90% chance of rain, and we stay dry. I really am beginning to wonder if we will have enough water in the soil to do more than get our crops started. The next few days are giving me hope. It has been raining all morning and more is forecast for the next few days, a real spring soaker.
The yuck factor sets in as the temperatures drop and our soaking rain turns to ice again. I do not remember a year with so much ice in all of my 60 years here. We’ve had enough warm weather here to thaw the upper part of our soil, but I’m not sure if the frost is gone yet or not. A cold rain will not help to thaw our frozen ground. At least the forecast is for several days of moisture, then some warm weather, planting time is fast approaching and we need some warm.
Leo, our local weather prognosticator, has put out his long term weather for our area and it is cold and dry. Leo uses the first full days of spring to forecast the years weather. I have been amazed at how often he is right. His forecasts are a bit vague, but anytime you are forecasting for a full year in advance it is hard to be specific. I can only hope he is wrong about the dry part of the forecast.
No matter what the weather, we will do our best here to get a crop in the ground, after all, we have a world to feed.
Filed under: cold, Fishing, house, Ice, Minnesota, snow, travel, weather | Tags: cold, cold minnesota winter, ice, icicle, icicles, icy roads, Minnesota, nature, rain, snow, transportation, travel, trees, weather, winter
I used to like ice. Going fishing on the ice with my grandfather, running and seeing how far you could slide on the ice, anything that was fun in winter was made more fun by ice. Now I’m older and ice doesn’t hold as much fun in it. I think of falling and getting hurt on the ice, of cars sliding on the ice, or braking through the ice, not fun activities in the cold Minnesota winter.
Some roads have gotten really bad this winter. We had some snow and rain, and now some really cold weather that turned un cleared roads and parking lots to polished ice. I’ve had several times where the rear of my vehicle tried to pass the front on ice in the last week. Especially bad are gravel roads, which are not a high priority for townships and counties to clear, but some city streets are bad also. Just think of coming down hill to a stop sign and putting on the brakes, only to have the vehicle start to slide almost onto the crossing road. Once you stop you now have to get moving, usually up hill, on that ice. Here’s my least favorite road of the week.
I do like icicles. I find it amazing how they can form even in very cold temperatures when a bit of sun comes out.
Filed under: fish, pond, water garden, winter | Tags: cold, ice, Koi, Minnesota, pond, snow, water plants, weather, winter
It’s December in Minnesota, my pond has had several days where it has iced over, but I have pushed my luck far enough, It’s time to winterize the pond. My floating plants died out with the first freezing day and they have long ago made their way to the compost pile. Now it’s time to turn off the water circulation pump and take it out.
The air pump has two long hoses to get air down into the pond, a pair of metal nuts are needed to keep the hose down in the water. I have a cover for the pump made from an old plastic juice bottle so that snow and rain is kept off of it.
Now I can be sure that fresh oxygen is getting to the fish when the pond is iced over. The koi hang out around the heater appreciating the extra warmth.Here’s where I hang the pump. I have a screw to hold it all on the board beside the electrical outlet. The pond is now ready for winter.I’ll set some of the flower pots in deeper water so the ice will not damage them and the pond is ready for winter. There are no flowers in bloom, but the koi keep a bit of color as the ponds settles in for winter.
Filed under: Ice, Minnesota, rain, snow, Trees, weather, wind, winter | Tags: farm, ice, icicles, Minnesota, rain, snow, trees, weather, wind, winter
So, Leap Day, 2012 dawns to an icy world.
It’s rare to see icicles hanging from the trees. Unfortunately the heavy load of ice leads to broken branches, of which we now have plenty to clean up. Temperatures are to remain close to freezing as the wind picks up, so I expect more broken branches.
Small bushes are also pushed down under the load of ice.
We will not get warmer weather for a few days, so this coating of ice will not go away soon. Back roads are slick with ice, some times covered with water, and driving can be interesting at times. A light coating of snow now will not help, but that is what we are getting. Gotta love Minnesota in the winter!
Filed under: cold, Fishing, Ice, Minnesota, rain, seasons, snow, weather, winter | Tags: cold, ice, Minnesota, rain, snow, weather, winter
It snowed last night, but look quick, it will not last. Already the snow is dripping off of tree branches and the sun is barely up.
It’s December 30th and we’ve had very little snow here in southwestern Minnesota. This is not normal. We have temperatures in the 40′s and rain forecast for the upcoming New Years weekend. Ice on Minnesota lakes is unpredictable and area anglers are losing vehicles and fish houses to thinning ice. How did we get such un Minnesota weather this year?
The weather prognosticators are talking about North Atlantic and Mid-Pacific temperature changes, and how they affect the jet stream, it’s all just greek to me. I do know that we have had some weather changes around here, and this winter weather is a whole new animal to me.
Looking back at this year’s weather, we started with some really nasty snow storms. We had gone into 2011 with lots of water on the ground and snow continuing to fall. Winter was long cold and snowy. Spring brought more rain and trouble getting the crops in. Then the rain stopped, and we have only had a few drops since then. We are in the grips of a drought, and the lack of moisture is keeping the snow and the cold at bay.
Without moisture, we have no snow on the ground to reflect the sun’s rays. This means that the earth is actually absorbing the sun’s heat and giving us weather more like the dryer high plains areas east of the Rocky Mountains. There it will snow and then melt in a day or two. Cold does not last when there is no snow to reflect the sun.
This weather will not last, after all we live in Minnesota the land reputed to have 6 months of winter and 6 months of tough sledding. It will snow again, and we shall have winter. Just when it will come, no one knows.
Filed under: cold, Fishing, Ice, Minnesota, rain, snow, weather, wind, winter | Tags: cold, ice, Minnesota, rain, snow, weather, winter
Last night the temperatures did not dip below freezing. Today it’s raining. The ice fishing season is in trouble. Is this Minnesota?
We’ve had some crazy weather this month. I’m beginning to wonder if I still live in Minnesota. Last week was more normal. We had bone chilling cold, days that did not even get above single digits and a harsh north wind. Lake ice froze down to decent levels and fishermen started moving out onto the ice. This is what I expect from a Minnesota December. Today is just not right.
We do occasionally get this crazy weather here, just not too often. The weather forecasters are looking back to the 1960′s for similar temperatures. I remember the mid 1970′s when farm folks in my area planted wheat and oats in January because of the warmth. We do need the moisture, and I’d rather have it in the form of rain than snow, but I’m not used to it in the middle of December.
So what do we have to look forward too? The next two days will to be more normal, with north winds and temperatures never getting above freezing, then it changes. We are supposed to get back to warm days for the weekend. Weather forecasters are talking of a blocking jet stream that is keeping cold weather north of us. I’ll be watching with anticipation, Why?
This weather started to change on about the 10th of the month. What is so significant about that? December tenth was full moon. We could see this weather hold on until the next full moon! I know many of you are still skeptics, but I have seen weather patterns do this so many times before. When weather makes a major change at full moon, it holds that pattern for at least three weeks. I like the idea.
Filed under: Christmas, cold, Ice, Minnesota, snow, weather | Tags: cold, ice, Minnesota, snow, thaw, weather
It started with a strong south wind several days ago. Last night the temperatures never made it below freezing. Most of our snow has melted, and lake ice is covered with water, or gone. This morning I needed to use the windshield wipers as I drove through the fog. Continued above freezing temperature are forecast for the rest of the week. We may not have a white Christmas after all. Isn’t Minnesota weather wonderful! I love a December thaw!
Filed under: cats, cold, family, Farm, frost, Ice, Minnesota, seasons, snow, weather, wind, winter | Tags: cold, farm, ice, Minnesota, snow, Thanksgiving, water, weather, wind
This mornings temperature was 9 degrees. Baby it’s could out there. My morning bus trip got me thinking about how the cold affects water ponds of different sizes and types.
As an example my small (200 gallon) fish pond was frozen over, with ice thick enough to hold a cat on sunday, with only 30 degree temps. The cat was looking for a drink and found the ice in the way. I got out my pond heater and we now have an open water pond again.
Many of the ponds and small lakes were showing ice on their edges on Sunday. Until we had the cold this morning it did not take too large a body of water to resist the freeze. Last night the temperatures went down and a cold north wind blew all of the smaller bodies of water to ice covered by morning.
The river has been interesting lately. There have been some areas of ice on the edge that formed in the last few days. Today small icebergs had broken loose and were floating down the river. In places. where a river bend or bridge could capture those ice chunks, the whole river had been covered with ice. A few more days like this and we’ll have ice on all of our water bodies.
This is shaping up to be an early freeze up. The ground is getting a good depth of frozen earth now. I don’t have my snow fence in yet, but it looks like I had better get those posts pounded in soon or not at all.
A cold Thanksgiving is forecast. We still have some ice covered roads and the weather tomorrow will not help. We could get more ice and snow wednesday. Be careful as you travel for thanksgiving.