Monday, January 10, 2011

Easterly Winds

   This past week has been quite busy, mostly not at the farm. We took a jaunt down to Springfield for the Specialty Crop Conference this past Thursday and Friday. Sitting in on the social media seminar was helpful and solidified my feelings that the internet is a foreign language for me. Unfortunately I'm not seven years old anymore and am still struggling with learning a new internet language. But, we also found the organic soil and weed seminars helpful. And, it is always enjoyable spending time with our farmer friends that we get to see once only a year at conferences.
   The weekend proved uneventful at the farm except for minor pig mishaps. Sam decided he would take a chunk of Swee's ear off to get her away from his hay and turnips. He did that a couple of mornings in a row and her ear wasn't healing. Then Swee decided he had a good idea and took a bite at his. Okay! Time to separate them. Obviously they are getting tired of each other. We pulled our spare cage up next to Sam's, gave him an apple, opened the cages, and offered her an apple in the new cage...she walked right in. Wha-la...separate. Then we put her cage beside his so they could still talk and not bite. Other than that we collected more firewood, put more hay in the small barn for the cows, and enjoyed the pleasant weather.
   Then the easterly winds came. On the farm we pay attention to the wind and the birds to tell us the weather. Well, not entirely. Marty gets the weather report on the internet and that tells us what is coming seven days out...maybe. But, if we didn't have internet we would still be able to tell a day or two ahead. When the wind is from the south it will get warmer, maybe rain or thunderstorm in a day or two. When it is from the north, bitter cold and put more firewood in. When it is from the east...well that is bad weather coming. The stronger the east wind, the worse the storm.
   Today was strong east wind all day. And...the birds were really creating a ruckus this morning. The birds get really worked up if there is snow or ice coming, getting ready for it by flocking and eating as much as they can find. Marty looked at the internet and sure enough they were predicting 100% snow tonight and up to six inches of it. It will blow from the east until the storm gets here and then swing around to the west and blow through.
   We are looking forward to a little more snow. Sounds crazy, but it blankets our wheat and garlic and insulates them from the cold, keeping them from freezing out. As long as it is only a few inches we can still get firewood easy enough. And, it is much better than ice that breaks the orchard trees and is difficult to walk and drive on. (Remember those ditch divers?) Besides, it gives us a great excuse to keep working on fixing the inside of the house and begin our planting downstairs. So...come on snow!


  1. I like how you summize the impending effects of the wind from different directions--all true! Interesting correlation between the wind direction and the bird reaction too...I hadn't made the connection quite as strongly before, but I can see you're right. Is it only the birds that you notice giving weather related predictions from, or do any of the other farm animals show traits of weather forecasting?

  2. Actually we've noticed others animals behaving different when bad weather is predicted. The deer dig in our yard more before a storm and we see them more in the alfalfa field also. I'm sure they are all stocking up before the bad weather, just as we do with our firewood. I wonder if any famous nature writers have written about animals and weather.