We have been worried about our dry spring weather. We could see the stress on the new seedlings in the forest, the dusty lane around the fields that would normally be swamp messes this time of year, and in the growing hay fields. The grass didn’t look as green as it should and had practically stopped growing. We had concerns that we would have to start mowing a month early to keep from losing the nutrients as the grass dries out. Continue reading
We are finally experiencing weather that feels like spring since the cold grip of winter is loosening a bit.
It is a nice break from the below average temperatures of February and first half of March. Which reminds me, it is time to get back to all the spring obligations now that the weather is cooperating.
The next few days should be interesting. Weather reports range from cold rain, an ice event or 8 inches of snow, making it hard to prepare for the upcoming storm. This cold February is not going to give up easily.
At the barn level of the property, we still have traces of snow left from two weeks ago. Up in the woods, several inches remain where the open areas of the forest allowed the snow to blanket all the new seedlings.
Our usual Tuesday firewood delivery has been moved up to today, just in case we are not able to get out of the driveway with the load.
This afternoon will be spent checking the drainage around the barns and filling stock tanks in case of power outages. If there is any daylight left after preparations, we will be out in the barn bundling wood for what may be an urgent need for firewood at the stores where we have contracts.
Local news stations were calling it a rain event, it seems that term was appropriate as we received just shy of 3 inches of rain from 3pm to 7am.
The river that had been so low now has white caps on it and it is wider than the main span of the bridge. This is what we would expect the Nehalem to look like in the last half of December. The trees on the hill, the fields and the river all needed this heavy period of moisture.
Since we are so close to the headwaters of the Nehalem, the water level will settle quickly when the rain breaks for a few hours. The turbidity of the water will also clear and within 12 hours of such a gully washer. the bottom of the river will again show beneath clear water, unless we get another slug of rain.
The small culvert that finally started running last week was full blast this morning and even overflowing and running across our path over it. It too will drain fast and be back within its boundary soon.
(Just have a fun fact that I need to insert here) Wikipedia describes headwaters as:
The source or headwaters of a river or stream is the furthest place in that river or stream from its estuary
If I read this right, that means the farm is near the beginning of the end, or near the end of the beginning.
Not long ago, Mike and I had been having a conversation about clouds. He looked to the sky and said that he could see virga. I don’t know how I have lived this long and not realized that there is a name for rain that falls from the clouds but doesn’t hit the ground. I had to look it up in Wikipedia to make sure he wasn’t pulling a fast one.
In meteorology, a virga is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation falling from a cloud that evaporates or sublimates before reaching the ground. A shaft of precipitation that doesn’t evaporate before reaching the ground is a precipitation shaft.
So with thunderstorms in the forecast for today, I thought it was high time that I enjoyed observing virga before the rain really starts in earnest.
And this way you can enjoy it also.
There is a brittleness in the dry lawn as it crunches underfoot. Dust seems to coat every surface. The cattle have given up on coming across green growth in the hayfields and are rummaging through the scrub brush growing in the fence lines for anything edible between hay feedings.
The weather forecasts have been teasing us with a chance of rain in the extended forecasts for the better part of the summer only to dash our hopes as the individual days get closer. Weather apps change hourly as the probability of rain changes from 4 days of rain, to 3 days of probability to 2 days of a chance of rain, to not much more than darkening clouds before the sun again overtakes the sky.
I did find 7/100 of an inch in the rain gauge Saturday morning, but it did little to do more than leave a trace in the dust. The forecast is again calling for rain to be moving into the area as of this writing. We are looking forward to the wet days with a little trepidation as all this dust is going to turn into something very messy.
The dust is beginning to be noticeable as the rigs travel on the logging road.
Time is short to complete the operation for once we start getting rain, the road will become impassable. The thick layer of fine powder will turn into a sticky, gooey mess with anything more than an inch of rain.