Minnesota Farmer


Over the river

My early morning bus route yielded another close encounter of the deer kind, both deer and bus are OK.

My bus route follows the Des Moines river out of town and crosses the river twice, and several of it’s creek and marsh areas also.  As I wend my way from house to house in the early morning darkness I’m always on the lookout for wildlife.  Deer can be found anywhere along the route, but are most common in just a few areas.  The warming weather has moved deer out of the protecting trees to forage in the fields.  During the coldest weather I would see few if any deer, now it is not unusual to see 50 to 75 in a morning.  Mostly they are back in the fields and grasslands, but sometimes they choose to cross the road right in front of the bus.

The rain of two weeks ago had left the roads covered in ice.  The county and state maintained roads had been cleared after just a few hours, but the gravel township roads have been ice covered for too long.  Coming to a stop at a stop sign has been hazardous, and sometimes starting again after stopping is difficult.  Any kind of an incline can keep you from moving forward.  Yesterdays warm temperatures and south wind finally removed most of the ice from the gravel and I’m hoping the forecast warm temperatures will finish the job this week.

We have more snow forecast for the weekend.  It’s not that I want snow, but we are so short of moisture in the fields that I will take anything.  The local weather people say we have had 12 inches of snow so far this winter, but that translates into very little water.  Several of our snows this year have looked very promising, but when melted down they have yielded little or no water.

Despite several very cold days we’ve had a good Minnesota winter.  Travel has mostly been easy and schools have only had a few late starts and no cancellations.  Here’s hoping for a bit more moisture before planting, and could it please be in rain, not ice or snow.

Michael

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