Yet Again

This winter has trifled with my organizational skills. Actually, A LOT of things trifle with my organizational skills, but for today, this winter is on my list.

This post was supposed to start by saying that the last of the snow has finally melted from the gigantic piles that were formed where the massive amounts slid off the metal roofs (?? would that be rooves?) of the barns. See what I mean? This winter is even unsettling for my words.

Anyway, back to may rant…

Fresh snow at daybreak looking at yearling Black Angus bulls in barnyard.At daybreak, a new skiff of snow greeted the animals in the bull pen, with the chance of 2-4 more inches during the day. It was barely 24 hours since we had finally melted the last of the snow here at the river level of the farm. I was reluctant to climb the hill to check out if we still have snow at the top of the ridge, but I would have assumed that it would of either been gone or close to it by now.

It will be detrimental to move the main herd of cows to the far pasture today as planned since they cannot graze when the snow covers the grass. The move will have to wait at least a day or two.



Threat Of Flooding Passes

Even though the river is still pretty high, the threat of flooding has passed for our area.

The high water of the Nehalem River as the snow melts.The snow that is left is still melting, and high up where the River starts still has a lot of snow pack. The river will slowly settle back inside its banks.

Patches of snow are hanging around in the shady spots in the fields, the road banks where the snowplows scraped great quantities off the road, and the sides of the barns have piles where the snow slid off the roofs.

Disappearing Snow Pack

With our foot of snow and the constant thawing from the bottom where the ground was a degree or two warmer, the river started to rise.

We were still dealing with sporadic power issues, and barely getting around downed trees that still clogged the county road when we started watching the water levels as they rose above flood stage.

Tracks in the driveway melting from the ground up.My driveway only had the Gator tracks from the mandatory two feedings a day for the herd across the river. The tracks were nothing but slop at the base. The water was rushing under the snow pack toward the river.

From daylight til 3 pm the river crept past the edge of the bridge and into the field, inching its way toward the county road.

The tracks you see on the left are made from the Gator when we cross the county road, beyond is the river. On the right is the small filed between Timber Road and the bridge. We had to drive through water to get to the bridge.

We tuned in to the Co-0p Facebook page for updates. The electric company posted the expectations for crest time of the river since so many customers are subject to the devastating effects of this one stream.

Just as predicted, the river crested and started to fall shortly after 3pm on our stretch of the waterway. Those neighbors that live closer to the coast, out past Jewell and Mist, still had rising waters for the next two days.

Minor damage was caused on our farm, although we did lose some of the stream bank areas, several old alder trees and some fencing along the grazing fields.

Cats in the Snow

The kittens have grown and are nearly full size. The winter weather has only slowed them down slightly from romping around. Less than a minute out in the weather had the big flakes splatting and covering the critters.

They learned to shake the snow off just like the dogs do. Before long, the game of playing in the snow became tiring and the kittens moved into the barn to continue pouncing, running and lounging around.

A Bow To The Weather Guessers

OK, I think it is time for me to eat a little crow.

A couple of days ago, I was lamenting about the weather forecasters and their description of snow in the forecast of being 1 inch to 1 foot of accumulation on the Valley floor (meaning Portland). To me that was not much of a forecast, it would be as if I made a broad statement such as ,”we may have a calf born this year, or maybe 12 calves, we will just wait and see.” I don’t think it would go over well with our cattle buyers.

This forecast did not go over well with me. Usually we listen to the news for the Portland area, then adjust for the cooler 1000′ feet of difference and the wetter difference of being closer to the Pacific Ocean. From the news on Saturday, I had no way of telling what we would be in for.

It started raining in Portland in the middle of the night as well as here on the farm. But before daybreak, it turned to a wet, sloppy snow as Portland continued with downpour rain.Early morning snow covering driveway and trees in the background.

By 8 a.m. the driveway and county road looked like a winter postcard. The ground was warm enough thaw much of the snow as it landed, but it was coming down so quickly that it could not melt fast enough to keep it from piling up.

Looking back over the weather forecast that had me in such a tiff, I have to admit the guessers were right. Portland ended up with over an inch of rain on this day. We had over a foot that had not melted.

Snow Lingering In Spots

Even though the winter weather has warmed and the deep freeze has moved on, we still see small snow patches lingering in the shady spots around the farm.

A soggy grass field in foreground, snow on another field beyong treeline.In the foreground, the water is running freely through the pasture. Beyond the treelineĀ  where the river flows, is located on the shady dark side of the hill and still has a covering of snow.

Once we got past the first blast of warm, tropical air that carried with it many inches of rain, the moderation of temp and moisture allowed for these small snowfields to melt slowly. The slow melt adds much needed fluid to the dry ground and it soaks in deep so it will sustain the vegetation for a long time.