A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Posts tagged ‘weather’

Activity in the Fields, at Last!

Our spring has been wet and cold.  Field work has been set back by weeks.

Yesterday, Lee was finally able to get into his fields and actually got some corn seeds into the ground.  It’s being done in a rush, because there’s more rain on the way.

Tonight, Lee is out there in the dark, trying to get more done and stay ahead of the rain.

When I was thinking about what I wanted to write in this brief farming update, I found some pictures that I feel are fascinating.

This first picture is pretty self explanatory.  The farmer is planting his corn seeds with what looks like a one row corn planter, pulled behind two beautiful draft horses.  It must have taken such a long time to plant a field of corn this way.  Times have changed.

The other picture I found is a sharp contrast to the draft horses plodding along, pulling the farmer and his little planter.

This picture shows several tractor and planter combos, working in unison to make short work of a large field.  I wonder how long it takes them to plant an acre.

Lee does all of his field work himself.  There have been times when he’s needed help, but usually not.

I’m happy that there is some progress in planting.  It’s stressful and nerve wracking waiting on the weather, but at least we’re in the fields now.  We’re grateful that we aren’t dealing with flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.


I Was Gone

But now I’m back…..

My laptop was in the hands of the Geek Squad for 2 weeks.  Longest 2 weeks I’ve seen!  I was able to use my very old desktop for emails and such, but it gave new meaning to Ramona’s “turtle time” expression.  How slow can you go??  You won’t understand that reference if you don’t watch NY Housewives.  The Geeks replaced my defective battery and all is well in my computing world.

This is Lee’s new (to him) tractor.  If you care about tractors, you can click on the picture to see it  full size.  He can’t wait to try it out on the land.  Oh wait…the land is still too wet to work.  Here we are nearing the end of April and not a lick of field work has been done.  It’s been cold and wet and spring has been a long time coming.  The wheat and hay fields that were already existing, have some concerning bare spots.  Crazy weather.  Weather is causing price fluctuations in the grain and livestock markets.  Purchasing corn to feed our hogs is not fun.  It’s really high priced right now.  On the other hand, the hogs are  getting a good price at this time.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing we’re not making a profit though :).  We’ve been using a somewhat local butcher shop to process the hogs we sell to private customers and the ones for us and family members.  Not long ago the butcher shop lost their supplier of hogs and asked Lee to do it.  He takes them a specific number of hogs each week, so that’s been a nice boost for us.  First because the butcher shop likes our hogs enough to want to sell them in their shop, and also because it gives us an easy weekly income to count on.

In other spring farming news, lambing season is over.  Our little ram must have been incredibly fertile because all of the ewes lambed within an 11 day period.  We had 3 or 4 single lambs, 2 sets of triplets, and the rest were twins.  Sadly, we did lose a ewe due to complications from a prolapsed uterus so her little son is an orphan and being bottle fed.  I named him Goldie because he’s worth his weight in gold!  We had the vet out twice for his mom.  On Easter Sunday.  Combine emergency charges with Holiday charges and you’ll understand the expense.  Plus, powdered lamb milk replacer cost $50.00 for a big bag.  I don’t think we’ll recoup our losses on this one, but he’s awful cute.

Anyone who knows me understands that I’m a serious fussbudget. When  I was a youngster, and the Peanuts characters became so popular, my Dad bought me a Lucy doll because Lucy and I were kindred spirits.  The thing is, that my family and friends continue supplying me with reasons to fuss, fret, and worry.  Lately it’s been the weather.  Tornados and floods and lightening strikes keep me on my toes.  If you live in an area where bad weather is happening, rest assured that I am here in my house,eyes glued to CNN, fussing and fretting about you.  Pestilence?  Bring it on.  I’ll worry it to death.  Some of my family have been inconvenienced by storms but they’re physically all right.  Some of my friends have lost possessions in tornados, but they’re safe and alive.  Maybe we all should move to a place where nothing bad ever happens.  No earthquakes or tornados or hurricanes or volcanos or floods.  Where would that be?  Most will say Heaven, but I really do wonder if there is any place on earth that is devoid of natural disasters.

I’m posting this photo because so many people have told me they’ve never seen or heard of yellow headed blackbirds.  Well, here they are.  They’re similar to redwings in their habits and habitat.  Larger than redwings and very noisy.  We see them every spring.  Some hang out here and nest, most move on to the marsh.

Now that I’ve cleared my head of all the flotsam and jetsam that is on my mind, I’m finished with this post!

March Musings




     Getting closer to Wisconsin spring, but not quite there yet. I don’t let my winter guard down, don’t get my spring hopes up until May. I’m encouraged to see so many migratory birds back home on the farm. I’ve seen an abundance of sandhill cranes and Canada geese. Robins and killdeers are brightening my mornings with their songs. The cardinals are singing their mating songs. I’ve sighted Tundra Swans 2 days in a row. They landed at the back of the farm, near a very large puddle. There’s a lot of water standing due to snow melt and recent rain. I always worry about the birds when we get the inevitable return of winter. This week will be very cold again, with wintry precipitation. Living just on the edge of the Horicon Marsh is a bird watcher’s dream.

Yesterday I found Tiger, dead, behind a bale of hay.  Tiger was Lee’s favorite kitty, who lived in the hog barn and followed Lee around like a dog.  Sadly, farm cats don’t live long lives.  Tiger was probably 4 years old.  We don’t know what caused his death.  RIP Tiger.

 Payten turned one year old on the 20th.  She’s so precious.  Paige and Lucas had a party for her, and she had her own little cake to smoosh, which was the top layer of the birthday cake.  She really wasn’t interested in  eating or smooshing that cake and had to be coerced to dig in for the photo op.Eventually  Payten did make a little mess and was  removed to the bath tub before opening her gifts.

Click on the photo thumbnail to see the full size versions.

How Cold is It? and More…

*It’s SO cold that  if you wear glasses, they will freeze your face wherever they touch skin, causing serious pain.
*It’s SO cold that the layers of clothes we wear make it nearly impossible to move, and forget about hurrying.  Thank goodness for cell phones, because I truly did fall backwards into a deep drift and due to the deep snow and my cold weather attire I was stuck.  Called Lee, who came to my rescue and hauled my butt out of the drift.
It’s SO cold that the balls of horse poo freeze hard as rocks.  The disadvantage is that it’s like stepping on rocks, and ankles will twist.  The frozen balls also get stuck between the tines of the stable fork and have to be removed by hand.  This slows the process of stall cleaning considerably.  The advantage is that the cats get some rousing games of horse poo hockey going and if you can stand being out in the cold long enough to watch, it’s very entertaining.
It’s SO cold that, after being outside for a while, a hot shower is a good idea, but  the hot water turns cold as it runs down your body!
I could go on, but you get the idea.

In other news, Nikki, Ken, Alora, Cameron, and Connor have arrived safely in Scotland, where they have relocated from Wisconsin.  In this picture, they were in Copenhagen during a layover and a plane change.



And here they are in a train station (I think).  They spent a couple of days doing touristy things in and around London.  They’re now in Scotland and we’re waiting for them to get internet and phone service hooked up so we can communicate.

Snow? Sure! How Much do you need?

This is Wisconsin.  The weather is easy to predict.  In winter it’s cold and snowy.  In summer it’s hot, humid, and buggy.  Guess what season this is….

We had a blizzard, which we shared with several other states.  It’s early for blizzards here, but we got it anyway.

I took a few pictures of the farm, after Lee had pushed snow out of all the paths, pens, and yards.  It took him a full day to get it all moved away, in seriously frigid conditions.  His reward for all of his hard work was to get out his snowmobile and go play in the same seriously frigid conditions.  The man is crazy!

I chose to stay in as much as possible, doing some Christmas baking (which warms up the house).

It’s going to be a long winter.

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