Saturday, September 27, 2008

The long-term forecast

The people who cut persimmons in half to predict winter weather have been finding spoons, which signals a lot of heavy, wet snow. I gather the woolly black caterpillars are saying the same. I haven't heard from the ant hill observers, hedge apple oracles and acorn counters yet.

Spoons are better than knives, in my opinion. I don't mind shoveling, but a knife winter yields cutting cold and ice. A quarter-inch of hip-breaking, power-line-downing ice is worst than 18 inches of snow. Even with stock tank heaters, heat lamps, generators and well-maintained and shedded tractors and trucks, an icy-cold winter is tough on stock and their tenders.

I did some pasture mowing this afternoon. It was in the mid-80s, dry, sunny, and most peaceful. I get a lot of thinking done while going around in circles. Sometimes I kick up a coyote or see a hawk swoop down on its prey.

Ruby finds a place out of the way and watches. From time to time, she'll run to the creek for a drink and to swim. Ruby can swim and lap up water at the same time.


Ben said...

The ice is always worse than the snow. I remember the ice storm of wasn't the snow that shut down the state for three weeks, it was the two solid inches of ice that made roads impassable and pulled down power lines.

A cool memory from the storm...the blue flashes in the night sky reflected in the ice as transformers exploded in the distance.

Somerled said...

We had one like that here in early 2002, I believe. So many trees were lost, and the utility poles broke in many areas just from the weight of the ice-coated cables.

I had a lot of firewood the following winter.