Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just Like That -- Month Two is Gone!

This was a short month, after all, just 28 days, you can't get any shorten than that in today's calendars. It also means another month of winter has been completed. That's both good and bad. Winter, as winters go, is not so hard to take most of the time. Sure, there are those days of below zero temperatures to deal with from time to time. The other major problem, is the transition periods: when the snow isn't that good for snow activities, but the trails and roads are mostly mud or slush. But, this time has gone quickly again.

Just this week, another good snow event took place. It gave a chance to strap on the snowshoes a couple of more times, and make sure the snowplow and tractor still worked. Even through there was about 9" of new snow, this time of the year, the daily temperatures tend to rise into the low 30's, so most of that settles down, evaporates, or melts away pretty quickly.

So it is with winter. Moving through it, a day at a time, and a month at a time.

Posting of my daily ranch summary as taken from Wunderground follows:

02/28/2009 - It was a clear cold morning at the ranch today. The horses were glad to see us for the morning feeding since there is not much left to graze on in the pastures and woods (especially with 9" of new snow covering whatever was left). The people and dogs enjoyed a morning walk in the new snow. With the ongoing good snow, another snowshoe outing rounded out the afternoon.

Icicle in Morning Sun Glow
Icicle in the morning suns glow

Taffy Up to Her Neck in the Morning Hunt
Taffy hunting for something in the snow

Horses Feeding at the Old Barn
Morning grazing by the old barn

02/27/2009 - The afternoon snow from yesterday continued somewhat into the late evening. This resulted in a total of about nine inches of new snow for the event. Since the paddocks were so full of snow, no attempt was made to do pickup chores today. Instead, the dogs and ranch workers went for an afternoon snowshoe trek. Afterward, snow plowing was done to clear the ranch roads and move the snow that had slid from the roofs.

Pause during Morning Dog Walk in New Snow
New snow and Patti with Taffy during this mornings walk

Mid Day Snowshoe Trekking
Daniel during afternoon snowshoe trek

02/26/2009 - Today showed a return to the winter conditions. A new covering of 3-4" of snow overnight placed its blanket over everything. Later in the afternoon, more snow fell, adding another like amount. The current snow pack is not going to melt soon. Historically, this is not much of a surprise, the weather logs show snow cover should be expected until sometime between the 15th and 20th of March.

Snow on the Horses and the Shadow Fence
Morning feeding in new snow cover

Weathered Logs Covered in Additional Snow
Logs show snow happens

Barn, Field and Distant Trees with New Snow
Snow across the valley

Afternoon Snow Covers Horses with another Layer (Slide show)

02/25/2009 - A mixed day of weather at the ranch today: Clouds, clouds with rain, clouds with snow, mild temperatures, slush, cold temperatures, frozen slush - pretty much the same old log information.

The Morning Log
A morning log along the walking trail

Morning Snow and Rain Mix (a Neighbor's Horses)
Morning snow a neighbor's ranch

Late Afternoon Snow - A View from the Deck South
Afternoon snow at the ranch

02/24/2009 - Yesterday's clouds remained overnight. With that protection, the temperature remained above freezing overnight. The clouds kept the conditions dark and gnarly for the morning walk. After a mostly cloudy day the sun was able to show just a bit on the hills to the southeast shortly before sunset.

Gnarly Tree along the Walking Trail
Monster like tree along the trail

Late Afternoon Sky Over the Southeast Hills
Late day sun shines on hills to the southeast

02/23/2009 - Today started with mostly cloudy conditions. This resulted in the overnight low staying in the upper 20's to low 30's range for a change. The last two days started with low teens or single digits. The clouds stayed around for most of the day and even dropped a bit of rain during the early evening.

Mostly Cloudy Sky in View East
Cloudy sky to start the day today

02/22/2009 - The day began again with mostly clear sky and full sunshine. Late in the afternoon high clouds slid over from the western hills and created an overcast sky for the ending of the day.

Jonah and the Morning Sky
Silhouette of Jonah before sunrise

Crossing the Pasture Snow on the Morning Walk
Early day pasture crossing

The Glow of the Morning through the Trees
Sunrise over the east hills

More Color at the Finish of the Walk with the Dogs
Morning walk ends in sunrise glow

02/21/2009 - Clear sky overnight and this morning for another bright golden sunrise through the trees and across the ranch. It was a clear crisp morning for the walk along the fence line.

Sunrise through the Trees
Sun through the trees

Morning Light Reflections on the Snow
Morning sun reflections on the snow

Trail Along Upper Pasture
Snow trail along the fence line

02/20/2009 - This morning looked much like yesterday with a cloud bank just at the east horizon before sunrise. The day is currently showing a filtered sun through high streams of clouds. Last evening's forecast called for an Alberta Clipper to move through today. The clouds streams are likely sky ship waves from that clipper. The day was mostly clear after the passing of those clouds and the horses all were able to go without blankets for the afternoon.

High Clouds in Morning View East
Clouds resulting from clipper to the east

Horses and Patti Merge at Late Afternoon Feeding
Black horses and Patti at early evening feeding

02/19/2009 - A quick completion of the morning feeding of the horses and a cloud bank to the east, allowed the end of the dog walk to coincide with the rising of the sun above the edge of the clouds.

Morning Sunrise as the Walk with the Dogs Ended (Slide show)

Merged Images of East and Southeast Sky
Panorama joins to east and southeast images into one

02/18/2009 - There was another sky transition overnight with the stars of late yesterday's evening being once again covered with a layer of clouds this morning. The clouds persisted for most of the day. However, fairly mild temperatures allowed for completing the daily chores, while the ice chunks slowly melted.

Horses near Old Barn at Morning Feeding
Morning feeding as seen through the trees

Chore Trailer Ready to be Unloaded
Chore trailer with muck buckets waiting to be unloaded

Ice Chunk Slowly Melts while the Horses Roll in the Paddock
Ice chunk melting with horses in distant paddock

Horses Over the Paddock Fences
Horses Graze and roll in the paddock

02/17/2009 - The stars were out overnight but a morning layer of clouds drifted over just before sunrise. Mostly overcast conditions stayed around the ranch for the day. The evening saw clearing of the sky and the stars were visible at the last animal check.

Morning Sun Under Cloud Layer
Sunrise cloud layer and light fog in the valley

Corrie, Standing Tall Against the Sky
Corrie climbing the snowbank and standing tall against the sky

02/16/2009 - Light snow again overnight. It was sunny during the middle of the day. Clouds returned during the late afternoon and may bring some more light snow.

White Snow and Black Horses
Grazing behind the snow banks at noon

02/15/2009 - Clouds moved in overnight and as a result a light dusting of snow took place just at day-break. The day was a variably cloudy mix with the late afternoon becoming totally overcast. Light snow was falling again at the last feeding for the day.

Light Morning Snow and the Three Trees
Light snow and the border trees

Grazing at Mid Day Feeding
Harmony under Corrie at mid day feeding

Light Snow at the Night Feeding
Jonah at the final evening feeding

02/14/2009 - Another clear day for the most part today. The overnight low was in the single digits and the high rose to just about the melting point of water.

Floating Tree at Sunrise
Stump gives the impression of a floating tree in the paddock

Sunrise over the Morning Feeding
Morning feeding just at sunrise

02/13/2009 - Some clouds in the morning. Mostly sunny during the afternoon. A pretty nice winter day in NW Montana.

Blue Sky Over Corrie
Clear sky and jet streaks

02/12/2009 - Mostly cloudy today with light snow off and on. Not much accumulation, but just enough to hang in the air and line the pine trees.

Snow Lining Small Balsam
Overnight snow lines small pine

Light Snow Over Southeast Hills
Light snow during mid morning view to southeast

02/11/2009 - The clear sky of last evening was replaced with some clouds overnight (probably around 1:30 AM, since the low temperature of 6 degrees was reached just before then). Light snow fell from those clouds and just a trace of snow and light fog existed at sunrise.

Sun Showing through Morning Snow and Clouds
Morning sun through light snow and clouds

02/10/2009 - Mostly clear conditions overnight gave a low temperature this morning just above the single digits. Clouds made an appearance soon after breakfast and stuck around for most of the day. The late afternoon gave a bit of sunshine through some breaks in the clouds. During some of the indoor activities, a check on the kittens found them resting on the horse saddle pads.

Kittens on the Saddle Pads
Kittens Torrie and Aggie, now 5 months old

Evening Sun and Clouds over the Southeast Hills
Breaking clouds this evening over southeast hills

Evening Clouds through the Snow Chunks
Evening clouds to the south

02/09/2009 - Some sun with clouds at the ranch turned into mostly overcast conditions with fog down in the valley. A trip into town today revealed a coating of frost on the trees (not photographed) with the fog still hanging around as we returned to clouds in the ranch sky (but not foggy).

Morning Sky over the Treeline
Clouds over trees ... fog in the valley

02/08/2009 - A day of sun around the ranch today. It started with a fine sunrise during the morning walk with the dogs. Some morning clouds drifted through the sky early in the day. As the evening arrived, the horses coats were put back onto them to keep them warm overnight. The cool of the evening could be seen in their breath at the sun was about to go down.

Images of the Day Around the Ranch (Slide show)

02/07/2009 - The diminishing clouds of yesterday continued to breakup overnight. Some remaining clouds appeared to the northeast as the sun provided shadows on the snowbank. Later in the day, as full sunshine heated things nicely, the horses all groomed each other in pairs soon after their coats were removed. It was a bright and sunny day today, and a great day for a parade. (We walked three of the dogs in the Whitefish Winter Carnival Parade ... what great fun!)

Early Sunlight on the Snow Banks
Early sunlight on snow banks

Bright Sunshine Over the Paddocks Today
Sunshine across the paddocks

Horses All Grooming in Pairs
Horses all grooming after their coats were removed

Whitefish Winter Carnival Parade -- The Poodle Brigade, Plus (Slide show)
(Quite a dog and Pony Show!)

02/06/2009 - A light freezing rain fell overnight. The morning walk views captured this with the light mist and fog in the air. So, mostly, it was a gray day, however; late in the day, the sun began to show through the filtering clouds.

View to Neighboring Farm in Light Mist
Light morning rain and fog view east over the fenceline

Morning Mist and Light Fog on the View to the Ranch
Fog and mist in a view of the ranch

Afternoon Sun through the Diminishing Clouds
Sun showing through the clouds

Dual Purpose Sun Dial
Rain in the sundial

02/05/2009 - Frosty trees along the trail this morning. The fog has settled lower in the valley after passing though overnight and coating the ranch in a thin glaze. Later in the day, the horses enjoyed some afternoon snacks while catching some sunshine.

Frosty Trees (Slide show)

Grazing with Me and My Shadow
Winnie and Harmony graze in the afternoon sun

02/04/2009 - Another morning beginning with fog that was absorbed quickly by the rising sun. During the morning walk, many deer were seen passing through the neighbor's pasture.

Deer Passing through Neighboring Pasture
Deer crossing neighboring farm field

Sun Glowing through the Morning Fog
Sun burning through the morning fog

Goldstar Grazes in the Paddock Sunlight
Grazing in the afternoon sunlight

Snow Chunk Balanced on Top of Pile
Snow pile with melting chunk on the top

02/03/2009 - Some overnight fog under otherwise high overcast conditions. A bit of icing on the trees this morning. The fog lowered during the early morning and then soon dissipated as the sun rose higher. Mid morning through the end of daylight was mostly clear. Temperatures quickly dropped into the middle teens this evening and may bottom out in the single digits overnight.

Changing Scenes from Fog to Sun (Slide show)

02/02/2009 - No groundhog shadows early in the day as snow was falling this morning. When he did show up, he had to dig through about 10" of snow to make an appearance. Depending on his timing, he might have seen his shadow, since there was some sunshine during the middle of the day. I've always wondered about the "six weeks of winter" thing, though. Is that good or bad? In my experience it would be good. However, that's based on my life-time of living either in Minnesota or Montana ... only six more weeks of winter would be a GOOD thing! So, I guess we'll see how it goes here, this year.

Light Snow during the Morning Walk
Snow highlighted by camera flash

Balsam with Snow Framing the Ranch
Balsam snow covered framing distant ranch

Dogs Adding the only Color to a Snowy Morning
Titan and Taffy run along snow covered trees

Mid Day Sun across the East Pastures
Sunlight for groundhog shadows during the middle of the day

02/01/2009 - The second month of the year began with the soft light before sunrise highlighting the clouds. Clouds continued to drift over the ranch but the sun punched its way through for much of the day. It looks like a super start to a new month!

Almost Sunrise
Clouds with some color just before sunrise


Anonymous said...

I shouldn't be so quick to look only at the WU site. I love the photos there, and seeing other folks admire them, but there is something about the setting here that is far more appealing.

It is amazing to see two months gone. My time sense was completely destroyed by Ike. I KNOW that it's March, but I have no sense of time passing. I feel as though time has stopped, until I look around me at the dandelions coming out and listen to the ducks and doves getting ready for their spring rituals, and I think - where did it go?

bionicdan said...

shore: Indeed the time passes in an ever quickening step. I just checked to see when I last posted here, and realized I have not done my normal conversion and reposting of the WU month. In addition, I have had a couple of blog entry ideas that I have meant to add to One Day at a Time, but let the days go by without making the post. The scary thing is that this is wintertime, and I have more at the computer time now than I will have in a couple of weeks as winter becomes spring and the "real" ranch work resumes!