Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow Angels?

Angel wings left their tracks in the field across the road, or so it seemed to me as I trudged through the foot of light snow that covers the earth.

The wing prints were dotted in three places over the smooth surface of the snow, with no connecting walking tracks between. Though they weren't really angel wings (except in my over-active imagination), the snow cover on fields certainly has been a blessing.

It's a little hard to determine the impact of the foot of snow (or so) we have gotten in the past week. The snow has been fairly dry. And there is not an inch-for-inch correlation between the snow that falls and the moisture it leaves behind as it melts.

Randy estimates that the snow will eventually yield about 1 inch of moisture. The blanket of snow has helped protect the wheat crop from sub-zero temperatures.
Some people will tell you that farmers are never happy. They don't know my optimistic husband, I guess. As grain producers, we are thankful for the moisture. Last week's U.S. Drought Monitor showed that Stafford County primarily remains in a severe drought (orange color), with just a sliver in the moderate drought category (peach color). Northwestern and southwestern Kansas are still in an exceptional drought. Even though conditions have improved, the whole state could use a nice big drink of water.

Click on this link to be able to read the chart more clearly.
In Kansas, the state-wide average precipitation for January was only 34 percent of normal. Reassessment of drought conditions will be made after the aftermath of this February snow is tallied.

But any moisture we receive is beneficial to crop production. On the flip side, the snow and sub-zero temperatures have made calving a challenge. We lost a calf Monday night, despite Randy's best efforts. He tried to warm it up in the pickup and gave it a bottle of warm milk. But it still didn't make it.

Temperatures are supposed to make it above freezing later this week, so the cattle lots will be an even bigger mess. In any situation, you take the good with the bad, I suppose. 

But, there's been beauty in the snow, too.
People should probably not stand under these icicles today as the temperature rises, though they sure made for a spectacular "art" installation as I went to my accompanist job at school yesterday!


  1. That first pic is way cool!
    Yep, moisture in any form - we'll take it.
    All our snow melted, water seems to be running up hill! Looks like the creek is running along the roads. We are at 50* with a wind. Perfect.

    1. Thanks! It's kind of weird that it happened fairly close to where I walked into the field, since it's a huge area. Otherwise, I wouldn't have seen it. It is definitely going to get a little sloppy around here as the temperature moves toward 50 this weekend. It's been awhile!