Monday, February 13, 2012

Wishing we could predict the weather.

Nope - didn't take this picture recently, it was actually taken a few years back, but it seemed appropriate today as I was thinking how I wish I could predict the weather a little better.  Impressive isn't it, the power of weather. 

You see, we have a TON of things that will need doing this spring and while we've had lots of offers for help, to truly get the help you need to PLAN.   Something the weather doesn't always allow you to do.

We've got to coordinate with Scooby to do some dirt work, coordinate with others who have volunteered to help move the high tunnel, the shrubs, the fruits and other things so that we can get them all moved to our new location.  We've got to prepare for moving these things - like building a new arbor for the grapes, hops and bittersweet.  Like mowing and tilling and building a new wash/pack into the barn so we can move the cooler before moving the shed.  We need to prepare, till, and mark out the beds for the fruits.  None of which can be done when Mother Nature keeps her weather plans to herself. 

Over the years we've been really lucky with weather.  Everyone of our planned events has had great weather - never been rained out yet - but I don't like to count on luck.  I'm usually not that lucky.  That might explain my reluctance to visit a casino, dog track or even friendly poker game.  Usually when we've won something, it was because Barry bought the ticket.

There's lots of old wives tales out there about how to predict the weather.  Just a couple weeks ago we were told of one I hadn't heard before.  It requires a North Dakota grown onion cut into pieces and waiting to see what rots, what wilts and then predicting the upcoming moisture based on the results.  This gal told me her onion predicted significant moisture in March and April.  Rain I could take, snow storms - not so much. 

There's the whole ground hog thing - which of course doesn't ever work for us in the northland because from ground hog day to spring is ALWAYS more than 6 weeks up here. There's the one about the width of the bands on the woolly worm caterpillars.  There's something about when you see the first robin or when the first pussy willows show up - that might be a little more predictable but with the geese coming back already across ND, I don't think I'm willing to bet my tilling schedule on them this year.

My weather predictions are usually more short term - like sending the dog outside.  if she comes back in wet, it's raining.  If she comes back in white - it's snowing and if she doesn't come back at all - the sun is shining and her nose has found a squirrel to chase. Speaking of the dog - she has a new suit to help keep the cockleburs and thistle out of her long hair, she's not real thrilled about it, but that's a story for another day...

It's hard to plan when you don't know when the frost will leave the ground, when the snow will leave the field and when the ground will be dry enough to till.  Maybe there's a lesson in there somewhere.  A lesson about living in the moment, making hay while the sun shines or learning to be flexible.  All I know is that my to-do list is always longer than the 24 hours in a day and the best laid plans (schemes) of mice and men often go awry.  So if there's anyone out there with a fool proof way to tell the weather - say about four months out - please publish it so we can all PLAN our spring!

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