Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 2009 - Monthly Weather Summary

So quickly another month zipped by! I didn't actually complete the Trilogy the way I had planned, but, I did get all three steps represented. Some baler problems resulted in the actual step three being mostly a working period and not many images or videos were taken during the baling.

As usual, the monthly weather summary and daily summary is from my blog at WeatherUnderground. The blog at that location is updated "almost" daily, and I later capture the summary and place it here. It has been a wonderful summer so far and I look forward to the next month of ranch activities.


Friday, July 31, 2009: A light rainfall overnight resulted in some lingering ground fog this morning. This fog soon disappeared and resulted in a clear and pleasant day. The evening was spent with a wonderful tour of Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge. Some friends from Minnesota had stayed at the lodge for a number of years more than 40 years ago, and had also spent their honeymoon there. The owner was gracious and spent a couple of hours with us this evening.

Lingering Morning Fog
Morning fog above the east tree line

Visiting Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge (Slide Show)

Thursday, July 30, 2009: A sunny mild day today. This made for a great day trip to Glacier National Park and a drive up the Going to the Sun Road.

Touring Glacier National Park (Slide Show)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009: Clear sky and sunny conditions at the ranch today. The overnight low managed to end up in the 40's! Quite a cool morning, in-fact! The afternoon was sunny and mild. Just right for a late afternoon trail ride for my wife and a visitor from Minnesota!

Morning Sun Streak
Small streak through the morning sun

Afternoon Trail Riding
Patti and Roxie returning from an afternoon trail ride

Tuesday, July 28, 2009: There was a mixture of weather again today at the ranch. The morning was started with the sun peering under a cloud bank that covered most of the sky. This disappeared during the middle of the morning giving mostly sunny conditions. The afternoon began with this sun being replaced by a thunderstorm cloud and some rain during the early afternoon. A mixture of clouds continued for most of the afternoon, just giving enough sun to dry the clothes that were on the line. It continued to be mostly cloudy through the evening with the sunset sky beginning to break the clouds apart.

Sunrise Under the Cloud Bank
Sunrise under the bank of clouds

Morning View along the Fence Line
Sunny view along the fence line this morning

Afternoon Clouds to the Southeast
Clouds during the afternoon

Monday, July 27, 2009: Mostly a sunny day today. There was a rouge rainstorm that moved through late in the afternoon. The weather cleared again and it was a good evening for a cookout and a nice evening in NW Montana.

Morning Sun
Morning sun over the east pasture

Evening Rainbow
Rainbow after evening thunder storm

Sunday, July 26, 2009: In an unusual weather day, a series of thunder storms moved through the area today. The first was around 3:00 AM with just some light rain. A repeating rain and thunder event returned around noon. This was followed by a third lightning, thunder, and rainstorm at around 6:00 PM ... Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it was a good day of normal ranch chores.

Sunny Afternoon over the Creek Pond
Sunny afternoon along the creek pond

Evening Showers Approaching from the Southeast
Approaching showers

Saturday, July 25, 2009: A mostly sunny and warm day around the area today. Part of the day was spent attending The Event at Rebecca Farm. There, horses and riders were tested both by the heat and the cross-country riding course as part of the three categories (Dressage, Cross-country, and Show Jumping) in the World-cup qualifying event. The evening was spent back at the ranch to watch some clouds begin to form in the west sky as some weather activity approached.

The Event at Rebecca Farm
Patti at the Event at Rebecca Farm

Evening Sun and Clouds
Evening clouds and the last of the sun for the day

Friday, July 24, 2009: Just a little light rain managed to fall during the early morning today. Daybreak was cloud covered with the lingering shower in the valley to the east. During the mid-morning, the clouds broke some allowing a mix of sun a clouds to exist for the rest of the day.

Showers Leaving
Showers leaving in the east sky this morning

Clearing Sky Arriving
Clearing arriving in the southwest sky

Kitten on the Stump
Aggie sitting on the stump

Thursday, July 23, 2009: Today tried to be a little different from the earlier days of the week. As it turned out, although some high clouds drifted over, mixed with ongoing sunshine, and created warm temperatures, no rainfall resulted and it stayed dry again. Late in the evening, lightning could be seen in the clouds to the east of the ranch.

Clouds with Lightning

Wednesday, July 22, 2009: Repeat on the weather. It was a good day for a trail ride in the cool woods.

Mid Day Trail Ride
Trail ride through the woods trails today

Tuesday, July 21, 2009: Can you say?: "Dry, warm, sunny!", well that's how it continues to be here in NW Montana. Just a pretty nice day overall!

View Across the Pastures
Sunny and clear view across the pastures today

Monday, July 20, 2009: Dry, warm, and sunny. Just right for some miscellaneous ranch chores. Not much was actually done today. Just some sessions with the horses (mostly my wife doing that, I just walked a couple of them back and forth to the barn). Away from the ranch for evening of softball during these sunny days of summer.

Laundry on the Line
Landry on the drying line

Eagles Softball Team
The Eagles Softball Team

Daniel at First Base
Daniel at first after a single

Sunday, July 19, 2009: Sunny, dry, and warm. This is now likely to be the repeating weather phenomena for the next couple of weeks. The trend sometimes continues until the seasonal change date I mentioned last year that as sometimes referred to as August Singularity. Today, I continued the chainsawing of the big tree fall area. Lots of cut logs to load and split! Meanwhile, others (and sometime, me) are enjoying the fun of summer with some horse rides!

Cut Logs
Logs cut and ready to move to the wood splitting area

Horse Riders
Patti and Cindy after the trail ride

Saturday, July 18, 2009: There were some high thin clouds this morning. However, that did not keep the day from warming nicely through the mid-80's by late afternoon. The morning was spent picking up the last of the hay bales (the good and the bad) and removing the last of the loose grass from the pastures. During the morning, the horses enjoyed grazing some long grass areas along the creek. Later, after the bales were gone from pasture two, they got to go out into the pasture for grazing of the fresh green grass that is left after the swathing and baling process.

Morning Sun through High Clouds
Sun through the high overcast this morning

Orpheus Grazing Long Creek Grass
Orpheus grazing in the long grass

Morning View East showing Bales in Pasture Two
East view with bales in pasture two this morning

Horses Graze Newly Cut Pasture
Horses in pasture two after bales are gone

Friday, July 17, 2009: Clear, dry, and warm. This simple weather mix led to a number of projects at the ranch today. I decided to begin cutting up the tree fall that took place earlier this summer (a large tree took down a couple of more once it finally fell all of the way to the ground). Also, I raked the windrows one last time and decided to bale up what we could. Some of the grass was still wet (especially the rows that were closest to the creek). But, it all baled up and we ended up getting another 30 plus bales from the reject bales and the windrows that had stayed in pasture two. Now, just pasture four is standing grass and that will probably be cut near the end of July after the grass along the upper fence line has a chance to grow a bit more.

Chainsawing Wood and Baling Hay (Slide Show)

Thursday, July 16, 2009: Clear and warm today. The morning was sunny with some dampness in the air remaining from the rainfall that took place on Monday. Today I completed the moving of a fence line in the workshop paddock. The horses loved the new long grass! Later in the day, the tasks slowed to a turtle's pace.

Horses Grazing new Long Grass Area
Horses in the new long grass area

Turtle on a Rock
Turtle watching for the right time to move

Wednesday, July 15, 2009: Some morning ground fog this morning, with the still humid conditions remaining from the Monday rains. Warming temperatures during the day with some drying out now taking place.

Dog Walk with Morning Fog Over the Hills
Fog over north hills behind Daniel and the Dogs

Afternoon Cumulus Formations
Afternoon clouds in the east sky

Tuesday, July 14, 2009: Morning fog around the ranch today. The day became mostly sunny with the fog disappearing during mid-day.

Morning Fog
View east over the Box Elder tree

Evening Mostly Clear
View east over the Box Elder tree

Monday, July 13, 2009: The moon was visible when I got up around 4:30 AM, but, by the time I awoke for good at about 7:00, the sky was mostly cloudy. After a quick morning walk and breakfast it was time to unload the rest of the bales from the trailer and run the baler through the rejected bales from yesterday and the last few windrows. Unfortunately, the weather card was played with a thunderstorm and heavy rain between 9:45-10:15 ... and continuing for much of the day! A storm total of 1.28" was recorded. So, alas, the windrows and scattered rejected bales are wet and will need to be dried, re-raked, and examined to see whether the grass can be saved.

Last Sun of the Morning
Last ray of morning sunlight

Rain over Southeast Treeline
Rain over the southeast trees and hills

Sunday, July 12, 2009: It was a day forecast to have some showers and thunderstorms. Since I had grass on the ground, ready to be made into bales, I needed to make hay, even if the sun was not shining. As it turned out, my baler did not work again, so I begged for a neighbor's baler and converted a full pasture and most of another into food for the horses! (The sun did shine for most of the afternoon, too). There were some problems with the borrowed baler, and not all of the rows got converted into bales. At the end of the day, the counter showed over 250 bales, though, and between my wife and myself, we picked up every one from the fields and got them into the barn, feed shelters, and storage areas. Tomorrow, I hope to adjust the baler and pick up the last of the cut grass. It was a great day (even if it meant working out in the fields until after 8:00 PM!).

Bales on the Ground
Bales on the ground ... and some not baled grass

Bales on the Wagon
Trailer loaded with bales

Saturday, July 11, 2009: The day was mostly sunny through the afternoon. It made today a fine day to rake the windrows in the pastures I swathed yesterday. The evening began to have some high overcast that gave a glowing color to the west skyline behind the trees on the ridge.

Morning Sun, Box Elder and Jonah
Morning sun in an east view to the pasture

Windrows through the Rakes
Raking the windrows one more time

Evening Sky Glow above West Tree Ridge
West sky glow behind tree ridge

Friday, July 10, 2009: A mostly sunny day today. The ongoing projects included finishing the swathing of pasture three.

Morning Shadows, Horses, and Dog
Morning sun shadows

Cutting through Pasture Three
Swathing in pasture three today

Thursday, July 9, 2009: A day of increasing cloudy conditions peaked with some light rain around 6:00 PM. This was after a sunny morning, and a mix of clouds during the rest of the day. It was time to do the second round of field work as I cut the grass in pasture number two during the middle of the day cloudy period. Later, the clouds resulted in a rain that was quick and light. I was able to do a cookout at the fire-ring to end the day.

Mixed Weather Day (Slide Show)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009: So, today is 07.08.09. It started out a little cool here in NW Montana with the automatic thermo showing a low a 34.7! COOL! The horses were a little frisky as they were let out into the greener paddock areas today. Clouds developed during the morning and gave a quick shower (including some hail pellets) during the early afternoon. The cloud breakup was pretty quick and resulted in some great afternoon and evening cloud formations.

Drifting Evening Clouds in the East Sky
Evening clouds in the east sky

Tuesday, July 7, 2009: Mostly clear this morning. Some cloud buildup during the morning. Just a single thunder rumble was heard during the evening. Those clouds passed further to the east to hold over the mountains while the sky in the west valley became mostly clear.

Changing Sky of the Day (Slide Show)

Monday, July 6, 2009: Started out the day partly sunny and it became mostly cloudy before 9:00 AM. The forecast is for a thunderstorm and rain event this afternoon. (It sure would have been nice to get that grass converted into hay bales yesterday!) It turned out the forecast was right-on. A thunderstorm came through at just about 12:00 noon. Luckily, I had just finished baling using a neighbor's baler. You never saw two people load a trailer with bales as fast as my wife and I did when the rain began!

Loaded Bale Trailer
Trailer loaded with new bales

Sunday, July 5, 2009: Wow, big thunderstorm today (NOT!). A full 0.02" of rainfall. Even one or two thunder rumbles were heard. Otherwise, it was sunny to partly sunny. Quite warm at times and just a few lingering clouds around late in the day. Some testing of the baler took place today. It still needs work as the knotting system is not working correctly.

Testing the Baler

Saturday, July 4, 2009:

Friday, July 3, 2009: The continuing days of sunshine and dry weather allowed for the second step of the hay making process. Today, I raked through the windrows in the paddock. With another couple of dry days expected, I should be able to test the baler soon. This evening, the dogs enjoyed resting near the fire ring as I did the evening cookout.

Raking the Paddock Windrows
Raking behind the tractor

Dogs Resting near the Fire Ring
Taffy and Titan resting in the grass

Thursday, July 2, 2009: The season for making hay began today here at the ranch. I cut the grass in the winter paddock and in a couple of days the baler will try to create some square meals for the horses winter enjoyment.

Rows of Grass Behind the Swather
Cutting the winter paddock

Swathing the Winter Paddock (Youtube Video)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009: The month of July began as June ended. Sunny, warm, and dry.

Merged Images for the View East this Evening
Evening image from three pictures looking east

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