So the other day when I said harvest was complete, it wasn’t quite accurate. I still had some corn to hand pick. Now that is done.
You see, I left a little corn out at the hog barn site to use as a snow fence. It’s not a lot of corn, an area of about 15 feet by 200 feet. Still it had corn in it and rather than let it hang out there until spring I decided to hand pick it.
For all of that, it is a bit of work. I used muscles that I do not usually use. It gives me new appreciation for those old timers who used to pick all of their corn my hand. Mom was quick to point out that they usually were at it all winter. Now I know that their corn was nothing like ours. It did not have all of the genetics to stand tall and strong so I’m sure some of it was on the ground and some stalks were broken over. My few rows will still be standing there after a winter of blowing snow.
So there it is, finally complete. Let winter come, the snow fence of standing corn, minus the ears, will be there to keep most of the snow away from the barn. Now I have to go take some aspirin.
Filed under: Farm, Minnesota, seasons, snow, spring, weather | Tags: farm, melting snow, Minnesota, nature, puddles, snow, snowman, southwestern minnesota, spring, weather
and soon puddles will outnumber snowdrifts.
The weather has turned warm quite quickly here in southwestern Minnesota. Just a few days ago low temperatures were in the single digits and the high didn’t make 20. Today the high is near 40 and the low will barely get below freezing. Warmer weather is forecast for next week. Hurray!
Filed under: Ag education, dust, Farm, Minnesota, snow, tillage, Trees, weather, wind, winter | Tags: Agriculture education, cold, dirty snow, farm, Minnesota, rain, science, snow, soil, weather, wind, winter
We’ve had a series of days with thawing temperatures and our snow is not white anymore, it’s very dirty.
Every snowflake has a bit of dirt in it, gathered as it forms, our snow here in Southwestern Minnesota has more than it’s share. The winds of winter have been moving dirt along with the snow. Now that it is melting, the dirt is left on the top.
We went into winter with dry topsoil. Then the normal process of freezing soil squeezed more moisture out. When our prairie winter winds come the soil starts to move. Most of that soil doesn’t move far. It falls behind some bit of plant material in the field or a low spot between dirt clumps. Other bits may blow as far as the road ditch or a grove of trees. Some little bits will stay airborne and help to start new snowflakes and rain drops. It’s all part of the process of wind rain and snow.
Farmers in our area have come a long way since the dirty thirties. Back then when you plowed ground you left it “smooth as a babies bottom.” Smooth soil moves easier. Today, farmers take pride in keeping winter soils rough with plenty of plant material sticking up. Many will not till fields so they can help hold their soil. We are well aware that soil is hard to replace, we need to keep it in place so our children can earn an income here also.
We’ll have white snow again before winter is over, it’s only January and there is lots of winter left. Still I enjoy seeing some of that snow melt before spring, I just don’t like dirty snow.
Filed under: blizzard, cold, Farm, house, Minnesota, school, snow, travel, weather, wind, winter | Tags: blizzard, cold, farm, Food, ground blizzard, Minnesota, snow, travel, weather, wind, winter
This morning when they called off school the weather didn’t look that bad. We had a bit of snow blowing around, but most of the snow was still staying put. When our mail was delivered about 9 a.m. we were surprised, usually mail doesn’t come until after noon. Now it is a different story.
Winds are holding at over 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. We have ourselves a ground blizzard.
If you are out of the wind, temperatures are not too bad. Step out into the wind and you have a different story. I have trouble seeing across my yard with all of the snow in the air, and yet, when you look up there is the sun in a mostly clear sky.
I can hear a truck out on the highway but he doesn’t seem to be moving that fast. I would not want to be in a car in these conditions. This is the time I am glad for a warm house and plenty of food. I’m hunkered down with a project or two and a book. It’s great to live in Minnesota on a day like this and have nothing that has to be done.
Filed under: cold, Farm, food, frost, history, house, Minnesota, snow, weather, wind, winter | Tags: cold, farm, Food, history, hunker down, Minnesota, nature, snow, weather, wind
They say it is time to ‘hunker down,” it’s going to get windy.
To look at the weather today you wouldn’t know the concern I have for the next days. Today the sun is shining and the wind is light. It may be below freezing out, we may have several inches of fresh snow on the ground, but it is not that bad being outside. Folks out here on the prairie of southwestern Minnesota and points north and west understand, this is not bad weather. Ah, but throw in some wind and things change. Tomorrow the wind is predicted to start up and then we will be challenged.
A commentator on the radio at noon reminded me of a three day blow from my childhood. I think back to that old house I lived in then with the inadequate insulation in the walls and wonder how we survived it all. I remember warming my body by the oil stove before bed to have a head start on the cold. It was not unusual to have frost on the inside of windows every day back then.
To keep warm doing chores then needed fuel! Salads need not apply, we had meat, bread and potatoes, and if we were lucky, some kind of canned or dried fruit with lots of sugar on it. It takes energy to stay warm for hours working or playing on the farm when the temperatures are low and the wind blows. That was real hunker down fuel. Starches and fats kept the body fueled, and hard work kept us lean.
So today, as I think back on those days of cold, I remember with fondness the high in fat, sugar and starch meals of yesteryear. They kept us fueled for labor. Today we sit in warm houses and cars and we can afford to eat salad. Go outside and you will freeze in an instant because the wind drives away all of your warm. Give me a hearty old fashioned meal any day before I head outside. I know the wind will not blow me away.
Filed under: cold, friends, Minnesota, safety, school, School bus, snow, travel, weather, winter | Tags: children, cold, friends, Minnesota, road conditions, safety, school bus, school bus driver, snow, travel, weather, winter
Wow, what trust to put in those of us on the road early in the morning or late at night. Yeah, we are out in the early hours on roads all over the country. In fact, I’m usually the first one on many of the county and township roads of my route, all to often I’m there before the snow plow. I have to know those roads because I’m asked to drive them in fog, rain and snow. I’ve had many a trip where I have known where the stop signs and corners are by counting the hills. Those are not the days I prefer to drive.
Winter here in Southwestern Minnesota can be a challenge at times. Knowing where the road is in hazardous conditions is sometimes a challenge. The fact is though that I will never take a child out on a road in my bus if I do not feel confident that I can get back to town. That’s not to say that I have always stayed on the road, but usually if I get into trouble it is not because of a blizzard, it’s ice or fog.
So, thank you for your trust. We want your kids home safe as much as you do. Besides, do you really want to spend a cold night in a bus with your child and all of their friends? Neither do we!
Filed under: Farm, snow, weather, winter | Tags: December, farm, snow, snow blower, snow fence, weather, winter
After the last two storms I decided that we needed one more snow fence. Hopefully it will plug a gap that has allowed snow to pile up just west of the house on the pond electrical box. I also tightened the end of one snow fence that was flapping in the wind. That should get my snow defenses all in order.
I also finally got to put the snow blower on my tractor. Up until now that tractor has been hooked onto a manure pump. The early snow and cold had made cleaning the hog barn pits a problem. Now after a few warm days that job is done.
The weather forecast is most un December like for the next few days. No snow in the near future and some days that get above freezing. This is my kind of winter weather. I may just have to go out and do some more tree trimming. Need to take advantage of the nice weather while I can.