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: blizzard, cold, house, Ice, Minnesota, rain, snow, travel, weather, wind, winter | Tags: cold, Minnesota, rain, rivers and lakes, school bus, snow, south windows, southwestern minnesota, travel, weather, wind, winter
The weatherman was predicting blizzard-like conditions for Southwestern Minnesota this morning, but again the predicted moisture did not come. Our “snow” came mostly as rain, and fell not in the middle of the night, but just as the sun was starting to rise. Overnight winds waited until after the rain to change from south to north and we have ice all over again, including quite a bit of ice on our south windows. Morning temperatures were near freezing, but dropped quickly when the winds switched.
Last week we had an unusual occurrence for us, it rained over an inch in one day! It has indeed been a long time since that much rain fell in a 24 hour period. Since the rains fell on frozen ground, we will not get much good out of it. The rain melted a lot of the snow we had left and quickly ran down into the low spots. This meant a quick rise to our rivers and lakes. Most bodies of water now have open water on the edges, or in the case of rivers, could be ice free. Now we are going to have a few days of cold and wind.
This mornings driving was also tricky with ice on most roads. I had to follow a snow plow/sander as I left town on my bus route which made me late for a few of my stops, but I was able to make it up on the gravel roads. Paved roads were ice covered despite the attempts of county and state to remove the ice.
Now as the wind howls, the sun has come out. If you can find a place out of the wind it isn’t too bad out. I however have a few inside chores to do and will stay in the warm until I have to go.
Filed under: Farm, Minnesota, rain, snow, weather, winter | Tags: drought, farm, Minnesota, rain, snow, soils, southwestern minnesota, spring rains, weather, winter
We’re facing the last warm days of fall and for now our drought may be locked in. We’ve had no fall rains to recharge our soils here in Southwestern Minnesota and with December in the near future our soils will be freezing soon.
The records say that there is only a 5% chance of a third dry year in a row, but we may be looking at the 5% if things do not change before planting in 2013. All we can do is wait.
Filed under: Minnesota, Trees, weather, wind | Tags: Minnesota, nature, southwestern minnesota, tree trunk, trees, wind
The winds have been kicking up here in Southwestern Minnesota again. Anything loose is moving, and branches are breaking. I was surprised to see this entire tree had fallen It is not that old and should have been able to weather the storm in its protected area, and then I saw this.
I will be replacing this tree next spring. Since it is the anchor of some landscaping it will have to be replaced. With the dry conditions I don’t want to try getting a new one started now.
Filed under: Corn, Farm, Minnesota, planting, pond, rain, seasons, Soybeans, weather | Tags: Corn, farm, Minnesota, Planting, pond, rain, southwestern minnesota, Soybeans, weather
Here in Southwestern Minnesota, May 2012 will go down in the books as the wettest May in recorded history. On our farm we had 12 inches during the month with a mostly dry 10 day period in the middle that allowed some field work. Basically the month was a washout.
It truly is amazing how the weather has turned. In early April I was contemplating what we would do if the drought continued. We had gone since the middle of July 2011 with next to no precipitation, now river levels are at near flood stage and fields are filled with ponding water. In mid-April I had been asked if I expected there to be water this year for the crop, my response was that Minnesota always seemed to make up for dry periods with wet ones, man was I right.
I did replant some of my corn where water had killed off the young plants, and those areas are now under water again. Corn that is now standing is getting too tall for me to go in and inter-seed, and the areas are not big enough for me to go in and work them and plant again. I am just going to have to take what is left. I was lucky, I only reseeded 2% of my corn, and expect no more of the crop lost now.
I’ve not had a chance to assess the loss of soybeans. I know we did lose some to erosion, but I had no standing water to kill off large areas. I expect only a thinning of the stand which soybeans can cover up better than corn does. My largest soybean field has yet to be planted since the seed is not yet on my farm. These are beans that are destined for seed production and are still in transit from fields in the southern hemisphere. I’ll need some dry conditions so I can plant those when they come.
I have about an acre of alfalfa that I cut yesterday before the rain. The plants had passed 1/4 bloom and were ready to be harvested. I’m hoping for some dry weather now so the alfalfa can dry and I can bale it up. The ground was wet when I cut it and that will not help it dry any, but a little sun and some wind will do wonders.
Temperatures have switched to the 60′s now with mornings in the upper 40′s. This is too cool for much plant growth, but warmer weather will come, I’m just not sure when. In the mean time we prepare for the rush of work that will come when fields dry out. No man controls the weather, we just live with the hand it deals us.
Filed under: Minnesota, rain, school, snow, weather, winter | Tags: farm, Minnesota, puddles, rain, rain gauge, snow, southwestern minnesota, weather, winter
Well, this is different. This morning started out with snow, then it started to rain. By 6p.m. my rain gauge had three quarters of an inch of water in it and most of the snow was either melted, or turned to ice.
The gauge also had ice hanging from it.
We have water running across the yard, something that is not typical of a Minnesota February.
Even the goldfish pond is running over.
They are calling for possible thunderstorms tonight and more rain. It may start to snow tomorrow, or it may just continue to rain. We sure are lucky this is not snow. Now we get the call that school will start 2 hours late. What a winter for southwestern Minnesota.
Filed under: charity, church, family, Minnesota, Music | Tags: children, Christ, family, God, hymn, Minnesota, politics, South Africa, southwestern minnesota, welcome
I was raised in a house and a church where all were welcome. Because of that I still have no problems with hosting and talking to people of different backgrounds and beliefs. I have been known to avoid conflict with those who are “intense” in their belief and have a hard time understanding those who call “hateful” anyone who does not believe exactly what they believe. Because of my beliefs and upbringing I was really shocked when I heard of a church group that was banning the hymn “All Are Welcome” from their church.
When our church home suffered a fire and was a year in rebuilding, we used this hymn as a promise of what we were doing and what was to come. When I traveled to South Africa a year ago with a group from Southwestern Minnesota, we used this hymn as a bridge between cultures and a promise of unity for all believers. I have used the sentiments of this hymn to argue for the inclusion of women as pastors and the inclusion of gay/ lesbian members of our community into our church. I am a firm believer that all are welcome in Christ’s church.
My firm belief is founded in the actions of Christ himself. When Jesus walked this earth he was not found with the churchgoing folks of his time, but with those most reviled and downcast. He walked with the lepers and ate with prostitutes. He called the tax collector, fisherman, prostitute and all others who were not welcome in the church of his day to follow him.
It is hard to be all welcoming. As fallen creatures we are prone to want to be with those who are most like us, especially if we are living comfortable lives. We separate into “us and them” groups to help ourselves cope with the hugeness of differences in this world. To welcome all would make us feel less important. Some do manage to live out their lives with their warped convictions intact, others do not.
When I was growing up, I remember an individual who was constantly voicing their feelings about those they despised the most. The rants about the divorced, those living together without being married and above all gay/lesbian people were frequent. For this individual, karma is a bitch. As their children grew up, one married a divorced person, another moved in with a person of the opposite gender and never married, and the last has come out of the closet as gay/lesbian. They were taught one relationship at a time to love those they had once despised.
The lessons we are taught are not always that personal. I do indeed hope that you are not so warped to be one of the haters in this world. We are called to live in a world of God’s grace, God’s inclusiveness. How can we love God and His son Jesus if we are not welcoming to all. I’m going to end with the first verse from the hymn “All Are Welcome” by Marty Haugen, I encourage you to look up the hymn and check out the other verses as you contemplate your place in God’s world.
“Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace; here the love of Christ shall end divisions; All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.”
Filed under: frost, Minnesota, Trees, winter | Tags: farm, fog, frost, frost on trees, Minnesota, southwestern minnesota, trees, winter, winter magic
Our area of Southwestern Minnesota has turned magical after three days of fog. This morning the sun came out and added some sparkle to the trees.
The tiny spears of frost were everywhere, even on a few rocks.
The frost was perhaps most striking when it was on the green of pine boughs.
Some branches held a lot of frost, others held only a little.
Soon the wind and sunlight will remove the frost from the trees and we will go back to our monochrome winter world. For now we have a bit of magic in the trees. Hope you enjoyed this bit of winter magic.
Filed under: Ice, Minnesota, pond, snow, weather | Tags: january thaw, melt, melting snow, Minnesota, open water, pond, snow, southwestern minnesota, weather, winter
Here it is January 26, and the temperature is almost 40 degrees. That may be cold for some others, but for our part of southwestern Minnesota, it is wonderful. We’ve had a few days lately where the temperatures were just below freezing with cloudy weather, but today the sun came out and snow started to melt.
The snow melting off of the roof was making a lot of noise coming down the spout from the rain gutter. Anyplace with only a little snow is now free of snow.
Our pond got some welcome recharge as water covered the ice and infiltrated the snow. I had placed a bubbler in the pond to keep up the oxygen level and with the warmer weather the open area has really grown.
Yes, we do have snow left. Anyplace where snow had piled up over three inches deep is still covered and not likely to go away today, but less snow covering is welcome. This January thaw has gotten everyone in a good mood. Winter will not linger long now.