Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Month Down - Eleven to Go!

This was a quick winter month! I think it had something to do with the great snow early in the month. Although there were some cold days, mostly, it was normal! I've added the monthly summary from Wunderground as usual.

01/31/2009 - Windy with mild temperatures overnight. The morning has that wind continuing as a forecast front is moving through the area. Strangely, conditions are mostly sunny, and although this is described as a cold front, the temperature is rising into the low 40's again after having fallen to just around 30 at sunrise.

Morning Clouds between the Twin Trees
Clouds highlighted between the twin trees

01/30/2009 - Today was a mixture of sun and clouds with mostly sunny conditions ending the daylight period. The horses enjoyed another blanket free day. I brushed each of them during the afternoon and they all seemed to just want to stand around in the sun and soak in the rays!

Harmony behind the Wood Gates
Harmony coat-less for sun input

01/29/2009 - Mostly cloudy conditions returned today. The temperature was fairly mild with the mid 30's melting the new snow so that it pretty much blended into the existing snow pack.

Horses Gather for Morning Treats
Horses gather for morning carrots

01/28/2009 - Well, yesterday's late afternoon and evening powdering turned out to be about four inches deep! Today, color in the clouds started the day, and the sun appeared during the mid morning, lighting up the new snow. Clouds mingled with sun throughout most of the day. The late afternoon saw the clouds nearly taking over the sky for a bit of time once more. Some wind blew through though late in the evening, and blew most of the clouds away again.

Colors and Changing Morning Light

01/27/2009 - Clouds drifted into the area overnight and brought along some scattered snow. The morning dose was less than one-half of an inch. Some reappearing snow during the late afternoon is bringing another powdering. During the day, the horses stood on the snowbanks near the barn when we came out for the mid day chores.

Morning Snow Flurries
Morning snow across the paddocks

Horses, near (and Standing on) the Snowbanks
Horses, with Corrie, as she stood on the snowbank

Corrie Standing Tall Against the Sky
Corrie as she stood on the snowbank

01/26/2009 - Clear sky and cold temperatures today. The horses enjoyed the sunlight by resting (both standing and lying down) as it crossed over their paddocks today.

Clear Sky Over the Trees
Clear blue sky over the Box Elder tree and east treeline

Horses Standing and Lying in the Sunlight
Horses resting, some standing, some lying down

01/25/2009 - Some sunshine has appeared this morning. There was a cost of course, that being temperatures in the single digits. It is well worth it though since the sun seems to have taken some of the dampness out of the air. ...time passes... The day stayed sunny, if cool. It made for a good day of ranch chores, and a walk with the dogs. The horses stopped along the walking trail for treats of carrots and half of a banana. After sunset, below zero temperature arrived, and is expected to stay as an overnight guest!

A Day around the Ranch - Sun, Horses, and Dogs

01/24/2009 - Another light dusting of snowfall overnight with just under one-half an inch that was very dry powder. Most of this evaporated during the day without going through any melting phase. The daytime temperatures hovered in the middle teens and the air continues to have a dampness in it without actually dropping much precipitation. Note: Updated the January 4th entry with a video that I created ... it took forever to trim it down to less than ten minutes and due to technical difficulties with the video production applications.)

Cloudy Conditions with Fog and Snow to the Southeast
Overcast sky and light snow and fog in the distance

The Dog Days of Winter!
Titan resting this evening

01/23/2009 - Full cloudy conditions returned to the ranch today. A light coating of snow overnight (very light, almost, just a trace, i.e. enough to track a cat). During the day, the horses decided to help again with the daily pasture pickup by gathering around the trailer and pulling the buckets out for us.

Horsing around the work Trailer
Horses mill around the trailer

Torrie and Aggie ... No tracks in the Snow
Torrie on the saddle pad rack
Aggie walking the floor

01/22/2009 - Mostly cloudy seemed like the ruling weather event again for today. However, during the early afternoon, the clouds broke open a bit, and the sun made an appearance. This was followed by another period of overcast, but, by late afternoon, the clouds had gone. The temperature is already showing the impact as at about 9:30 PM single digits are already here. It will be a cold one overnight! ... Oops, then, a reversal as wind and some clouds blew in causing the temperature to rise a little again before the final animal check. Time will tell what will happen if it clears again overnight.

View of Trees through the Fence Posts
View of trees through the fence posts

Sunny Afternoon with Blue Sky and Clouds Passing Away to the East
Clouds leaving a blue sky behind

01/21/2009 - Today, the sky showed just a little of the blue during the late afternoon. Before that, overcast, with some fog in the area continued for another day. Some of the horses gathered around the buckets during the afternoon chores to see if they could help with anything.

Horses Helping with Afternoon Chores
Horse helping with afternoon chores

Traces of Blue through the Afternoon Clouds, and Fog
Traces of blue sky in afternoon view east

01/20/2009 - Just a little lower temperature again today. Fog in the valley and the conditions moving just a little higher as the days of overcast continue.

Overcast Sky Over the Neighboring Farm
Clouds and fog over neighbor farm

A Change in Leadership as a New President Looks Over the Ranch, and the Nation
(Click for Abba - I Have A Dream video)A new US President and ranch flag flying

The Horses Chat Far Out in the Pastures this Afternoon
Horses out in winter pasture

01/19/2009 - The repeating days of overcast with valley fog continue. So, today, I just moved down along the road a little bit.

Clouds Over the Paddocks, Once Again
Overcast sky continues at the ranch

Special Report: I received this award, Premio Dardos, from shoreacres on January 18th. (Linda, thank you for the award!) I have included some text about the award in the image. I will also update this blog entry with those I pass the award on to as time goes by.

Premio Dardos Award and Text Description
Premio Dardos Award with text embedded

01/18/2009 - Well, another day at the ranch that looked much like it did yesterday. To show a little passage of time, and to make sure I didn't use the same images over and over, the animals came into the picture from time to time today.

View East with Morning Clouds, and Dogs
View east with clouds, fog, and the pups on the snow

Vincent Sits on the Fence
Vincent on the workshop gate at morning animal check

Titan, Getting a Long Face (due to the sameness in the weather?)
Titan close up and cute

01/17/2009 - Overcast has arrived at the ranch after a three day fight to stay above the clouds. The temperature is holding in the mid 20's as a result, and may not increase much with no solar input...And so the day continued; without knowing the clock time, it was difficult to tell any time of the day from another.

Morning View East
Morning view east with overcast conditions

Late Afternoon View East
Evening view east with overcast conditions

01/16/2009 - Low morning clouds provided a colorful reflecting surface for the sun this morning. After the sun rose above some of those clouds, a layer of fog could be seen in the valley. Portions of NW Montana are under an inversion layer and the fog can persist for some time (even all day). Here at the ranch, the elevation is high enough that the inversion is below our level. As a result of the higher elevation, the weather condition is mostly sunny through most of the day.

Morning Sky Colors before Sunrise - East
Morning sky colors above east hills and trees

Morning Sky Colors before Sunrise - Over the Creek and Trees
Morning sky colors above pond

Morning Sky Colors before Sunrise - Above the Outer Pastures
Morning sky colors above pastures

Fog Layer Visible in Valley above the Tree Line ... Mostly Sunny at the Ranch
Morning fog in the valley after sunrise

01/15/2009 - Partly cloudy sky overnight gave way to mostly sunny conditions through most of the day. The horses enjoyed time in the sun without their coats so they could soak up some of the warm sun rays.

Wanita Catching some Sunshine
Winnie resting in the afternoon sunlight

01/14/2009 - There was a good amount of sun around today and the fairly mild temperatures continue to slowly reduce the snow pack and produce streams and lakes in the pastures.

Reflections on Ponds in Outer Pastures
Reflections in the pasture ice

Sun over the Old Barn during the Middle of the Day
Sun over the old barn and reflection in the ice

01/13/2009 - The setting moon was visible through breaking clouds this morning. Most of the day clouds dominated the sky. With a bit of sun, the temperature reached into the mid 40's for the high. The mix of sun and clouds continued into the evening with the last sun of the day highlighting the distant hills and some clouds over the ranch house.

Ending Day Sun on the Hills to the Southeast
Ending of the day sun on the hills to the southeast

Evening Clouds over the Ranch House
Clouds over the ranch this evening

01/12/2009 - Mostly cloudy conditions today. Some cloud breakup late in the day resulted in an interesting evening color to the sky and snow.

Colored Evening Light through the Woods and on the Snow
Colors through the evening woods

Barn and Pastures in Light Evening Tints
Sky colored in the evening light

01/11/2009 - Warming temperatures a some sunshine during the afternoon resulted in the snow pack finally sliding from the arena roof. The horses enjoyed the afternoon sun directly on their backs, since we were able to remove their coats for the afternoon.

Horses Dash into the Snow ... Sans Coats
Horses dash from the arena to the pasture

Snow Bank along Arena Building
Snow bank along arena

Barn and Arena Complex with Snow Covering Gone
Barn and arena roofs now snow free

01/10/2009 - A relatively mellow day around the ranch today. Just a walk along the trail and some minor chores. Temperatures are still mild and allow the creek to flow somewhat through the snow and ice.

Creek Flow through the Snow and Ice
Creek flowing through snow and under the ice

01/09/2009 - Today was mostly sunny with slowly cooling temperatures. Some sections of the pastures are still filled with water from the recent snow melt and rain event. Meanwhile, the snow pack is slowing making a slide off of the arena. The roads and snowshoe paths that had been water and slush for a couple of days are now mostly ice.

Sunny View Early Afternoon
Some sun reflections in the mid day image of the roads, fences, and ranch buildings

Horses Join Us on Late Afternoon Snowshoe Trek
Horses along the fence line during walk

Snow Still Hangs Over Edge of Arena Roof
Snow hanging over the edge of the arena roof

01/08/2009 - The January thaw continued overnight with the low temperature remaining above freezing. This has resulted in the need to wear "Stable-icers"tm (sic, or at least close) or some other kind of ice cleat (like on a snowshoe) when walking the driveway to and from the barns. The arena roof still has not had a big snow-slide, but all other roof areas are mostly clear of the snow. Yesterday saw a decrease in the depth of the snow from 24" to 18" (today's measurement will show another 2" to 6" loss). Ponds are forming in a couple of the pastures and the horses are walking in a knee deep combination of snow and slush.

Water Ponds in Pasture
Water is beginning to pond in the pastures

View Across the Fence Line
View across fence line to hills with more snow

Horses Grazing in Melting Snow
Horses grazing under clouds in the melting snow pack

Footprints in the Snow and Slush
Footprints to the water below

01/07/2009 - The temperatures continued to rise and rain fell overnight. Some of the metal roofs have had the snow slide off as a result. It is wet, wet, wet, and the snow that fell yesterday is now a splashy layer of slush (The melted snow and rain total for the last two days gave 1.23" of precipitation). Because of the roof snow slides, today's chores will include a round of snow removal with the tractor to relocate the slide banks to new locations.

Snow Beginning to Slide from Horse Shelter
Snow layer slide on horse shelter

Closeup of Snow Layers in Roof Slide Snow
Closeup of snow layer slide on horse shelter

01/06/2009 - Overcast sky and relatively mild morning temperatures today. The forecast is calling for rain at elevations under 3500'. (That would be here, since the elevation is about 3300'.) ... Well, the forecast was at least half right. A combination of snow and rain started falling during the afternoon project of removing the snow load from the old barn. This changed to all snow for late evening giving a new three plus inches of snow.

Snow Layer on the Old Barn (about 20" deep)
Raking snow layer off of the old barn roof

01/05/2009 - Cloudy sky in the morning provided a little more snow for the area. The afternoon stayed mostly overcast and the temperatures were not so cold.

Snowshoeing in the Morning Snowfall (Image by Patti)
Daniel snowshoeing along upper fence line

01/04/2009 - Morning clouds gave way to mostly sunny conditions for the afternoon. A second snowshoe trek for the day was up the hill north of the ranch to get some views from there.

View from North Hill Above the Ranch
View of the ranch for mid level on the north hill

View East from the North Hill
View to Swan Range from atop the north hill

Snowshoe Video Clip and Still Images

01/03/2009 - The breaking clouds at sunset yesterday resulted in a further dissolving overnight and a bit of a cool-down. Morning temperatures hovered around a minus 10 just at sunrise and the thermometer did a nice climb to above zero values by mid day. Full sunny conditions and that is providing a crispy white wonderland around the ranch.

Titan Romping in the Snow (Image by Patti)
Titan, running on the snowshoe trail, and loving every second of it

Trees Along the Upper Fence Line (Image by Patti)
Trees are all totally snow covered after a calm deep snow that fell yesterday

Mid Day Feeding with Horses in the Deep Snow (Image by Patti)
Horses at mid day feeding in 26

01/02/2009 - Well, a bit more snow over the last day. This morning, about ten inches more covered everything. The morning walk was again with snowshoes. During the middle section of the day about three hours were spent in snow removal and road widening. More snow was falling on and off during and after the snowplowing work. After a short break for a late lunch, more snow fell with another inch or so adding to the snow pack. Early evening saw a breakup of the clouds of the day. A short evening snowshoe outing was done and the poking of the snow stick into the accumulated mass showed a depth of 25"! Quite a nice snowy look around the ranch as the year is underway!

Moving the Snow (Image by Patti)
Daniel moving snow with the tractor

Colors in the Clouds at Sunset (Image by Patti)
Snow glows with evening cloud reflections

Titan and Taffy Running in the Snowshoe Trail (Image by Patti)
Titan and Taffy run in snow trail

Daniel on Late Afternoon Snowshoe Trek (Image by Patti)
Daniel on late afternoon snowshoe trek

01/01/2009 - Happy New Year! A new year begins. The first day, like most before, like most after, is started with a walk with the dogs. The new snow of the last couple of days has added the need for snowshoes as the normal foot ware when traveling the trails. Beginning of the year snow depth is about 16 inches.

Morning Walk with the Dogs, at the Trail Wood Gate
Going through the wood gate ... snowshoes required during the deep snow period