Saturday, October 31, 2009

October in one Burst!

Just so quickly the month comes to an end. With a combination of early winter and a less colorful fall than might usually happen, the days suddenly will get shorter starting with tomorrow (Daylight savings time ends). For the most part, the necessary tasks for winter have been done. Bring it on!

October 2009 - Slide Show Images

Saturday, October 31, 2009
After having snow to start out the day yesterday, today started with mild temperatures under mostly cloudy conditions. The sun and rain played find a hole in the clouds for most of the day with it sometimes raining while the sun was shining. It was a mild day with the temperatures hovering between 50 and 60 during most of the afternoon. (oops, I should have taken a picture of one of the black cats for today ... maybe at the last animal check tonight).

Clouds Leaving over Southeast Hills
After sun cloud mix, the clouds leave this evening

Friday, October 30, 2009
The wasn't that much (about 2") but it made for a nice environment for the morning walk around the ranch today. During the day the temperature rose enough to melt away the snow again and by late in the day the ground was again snow free.

Snow on the Fence Rails this Morning
Snow lines the fence rails this morning

Thursday, October 29, 2009
It was partly cloudy overnight and that allowed the temperature to go below freezing somewhat again. Also, it provided just a bit of sunshine for the sunrise. The day became overcast with some light snowflakes from time to time. More wood was gathered for a later splitting project. The ranch dogs were out for a bit this evening and came back in snow covered. It looks like the early winter preview is back!

Firewood Ready for Splitting
Cut log pieces waiting for the splitting project

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Today was mostly cloudy with just some traces of snow flurries in the air. The temperature was below normals for this date, but did not seem that bad as I did some ranch chores and ignited a couple of more burn piles to clear up the dead branches gathered over the summer.

Late Day Controlled Burn
Controlled burn fire late today

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Clouds stayed around overnight along with some light rain. The day continued to hold those clouds in place and added a few snow flurries that mixed in from time to time. Snow could be seen on the hills to the west and flurries continued at the higher elevations throughout most of the day.

Mostly Gray Day with Showers and Snow Flurries over the Hills
Light rain and snow off and on today

Monday, October 26, 2009
Mostly cloudy today with light rain to start the morning. The day continued to be cloudy with rain on and off throughout the day. As a result of rainfall over the last couple of days, and the fact that the growing season has ended, the creek reservoir began to fill yesterday, and today the creek channel and downstream pond also began to fill.

Creek beginning to Fill
Creek beginning to flow

Sunday, October 25, 2009
Clear and cool overnight with ice on the water buckets that weren't heated again this morning. Sunny conditions were the rule of the day with nice temperatures giving a good chance to get some more ranch tasks done before winter conditions return.

Looking up the Tamarack Trees
Morning sun highlights the Tamarack trees early today

Saturday, October 24, 2009
An additional rainfall event overnight made things a little damp around the ranch this morning. Looks like a total of nearly a half-inch for a 24 hour period...I know, that's not much for most places, but, when things have been dry, that seems like a lot! It was a windy mix of clouds and sun for most the the day today. Looks like it will calm down tonight for a clear cool-down.

View from the Deck around Noon
Mostly sunny view from the deck at noon

Friday, October 23, 2009
Mostly cloudy with some rain off and on today.

Evening Clouds and Light Showers
Clouds around the ranch this evening with light showers

Thursday, October 22, 2009
It was another day with a mix of sun and clouds. Not much new precipitation, though, just the variable cloud mix throughout the day.

Panoramic View this Evening
View northeast to southeast this evening

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The starry sky that was present during the last animal check probably disappeared during the early AM (as indicated by rising temperatures around 1:00-2:00 AM). Morning fog hung around until mid-day and was followed by a mostly cloudy sky. Late afternoon showers developed and continued with a light rain for the evening.

Morning Fog Hides Neighboring Farm
Fog this morning hides the neighboring farm

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Mostly clear sky until early this morning allowed the temperature to go below freezing. By sunrise, the clouds gathered and came together a couple of times today for morning, afternoon, and evening showers. In between, it was the typical mix of clouds with some sun rays.

Evening View with Passing Showers to Southeast
Showers and parting clouds in panorama east to south

Monday, October 19, 2009
The sun made some appearances today, first breaking through the morning clouds from time to time and later as a circle through high clouds. This was not a clear day with a high overcast for much of the day. Ranch tasks today included a visit from the farrier with hoof trims for most and shoes for one horse. As part of the transition to winter, the horses were moved to a new pasture today.

Horses Grazing in a New Pasture Today
Horses grazing in the fall transition pasture

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Today was back to normal or above normal temperatures again, thankfully! There are still a few tasks to do around the ranch before the real winter returns. The day began with departing clouds and continued as many days do, with a mixture of clouds and sun. The late day sky became mostly clear and the temperature may fall below freezing again overnight.

The Box Elder Tree Still Trying for Fall Colors
A morning view of the Box Elder Tree

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Valley fog in the morning with clouds around the sunrise. The day continued with a mixture of clouds and sun. The evening was nice for a cookout and feeding of grazing deer using some of the apples saved from the trees just before last weeks big freeze. Just before midnight, strong winds blew through along with some showers.

Evening Cookout Fire
Evening cookout fire

Friday, October 16, 2009
After a mostly clear night, there were some long low clouds in the east sky early this morning. These clouds were joined during the morning by some additional clouds giving a mostly cloudy day.

Morning Sky Between the Trees
Morning sky between two trees along the property border

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Yesterday's snow was pretty much gone again by this morning. The overnight temperature remained warm enough to allow most of the snow to disappear once again. Today was mostly cloudy and some light showers fell later in the afternoon. The evening became partly cloudy and a touch of sun near sunset time gave just a hint of the fall colors.

Evening View East and South around Sunset
Touch of fall colors in evening view east and south

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Well, just when I was back to reporting a trace of snow, a new light dusting occurred. (Just under an inch, though, so no big storm!). I don't think it will happen (because the temperature is likely to stay above freezing again for a long enough time to melt everything), otherwise, this could have been the start of the continuous snow cover for the season. In any case, not much fall color from leaf changes will take place since they are frozen and turned immediately brown or fell, instead of changing color first. The tamarack trees are beginning to change. So, as long as there is no big ice storm event, their colors should show soon.

Fog and Light Snow during the Morning Walk
Walking along the upper pasture | Fog over the north hill during the morning walk

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Some mixed light clouds overnight kept the temperature from falling as low as it had for the last four days. Mostly sunny conditions with some high clouds later in the afternoon allowed the temperature to finally climb above freezing. The snow cover diminished somewhat as a result, but a trace still hangs on in shaded locations.

Morning Sunrise
Morning sunrise over pasture during the early day walk

Monday, October 12, 2009
Well, the very cold conditions continued with a below zero morning at the ranch. Clear, not much wind, frosty, and cold with a couple of more days in store before returning to "normal" temperatures. Also, regardless of the record cold temperature, a couple of new critters joined the ranch animal family today.

A Couple of new Additions to the Ranch: Panther and Shaggy
Panther's first picture | Shaggy's first picture

Sunday, October 11, 2009
Mostly clear meant mostly cold again overnight. And it was! My station recorded just something like 0.x again today ... So, at least it wasn't below zero! The day continued to stay mostly sunny and kind of pleasant (if it was, like, JANUARY!) getting to almost close to above freezing. Another night of clear sky is forecast with the temperature crossing into the single digits at just before 9 PM!

Another Day when the Drinking Buckets Stayed Frozen
Frozen water late in the afternoon

Saturday, October 10, 2009
There were clear conditions overnight and the morning sun helped to focus on the frosty, frozen, snow covered conditions that have arrived here in NW Montana. A little bit of melting took place ... but, this is not like a June snowstorm, and it appears winter has given a heads-up, if not SHOUTING OUT: "HERE I AM ... ARE YOU READY? ... I'M BACK!!!". I love it!

Morning Sun over the Snow Covered Yard
Morning sun over the new snow here in NW Montana

Friday, October 9, 2009
The snow that began last evening continued to fall for a bit of the night. Morning measurements showed 4" to 5" as the average depth, with up to 8" in drifts on the deck. Let the winter season begin!

Morning Panorama from the Deck
Merge of five or six images showing the ranch viewed from the deck this morning

Thursday, October 8, 2009
After a fairly nice day: Mostly sunny beginning; Variable cloudiness during the morning and early afternoon, with increasing clouds in the evening; it all turned to a blowing snow blizzard beginning just as the last daylight left the area! This will be a day with a snow amount reported for total on the ground (I'm not sure yet, how much, animal check will be happening pretty soon now, and I'll do a measurement at that time). Even for a former Minnesotan, this strikes me as a little early! Along with the snow event that is happening right now, colder conditions are forecast to follow with single digits expected! Yikes! Fall in NW Montana can be brutal! UPDATE: After the animal check: about 2" of snow covering the ground and it continues to fall nicely!

Last Animal Check in the Late Evening Snow
Harmony not grinning about the snow tonight

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Falling temperatures with the maximum happening at midnight. Along with the temperature, some light rain and even some snow fell. This is early fall weather, in NW Montana! (Actually, later in the day, the weather was quite nice with bright sunshine and a pleasant temperature.

Late Afternoon Sun after the Earlier Day Snow Event
Snow on distant hills under the clouds

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Ice on the buckets and water tanks this morning as the temperature bottomed out at around 20 degrees. The day was sunny and fairly nice with middle 50's. Fall is here, but winter is in the forecast with snow and even colder temperatures predicted in a couple of days.

Dunder Watches the Horses in Outer Pasture
Dunder watches the horses grazing in pasture two

Monday, October 5, 2009
Mostly sunny through the day after a mostly clear night. Some cloud sun mix again during the afternoon, but much less wind than has been the case for the previous two days.

Box Elder in the Afternoon Sunlight
Box Elder tree in the afternoon sunlight

Sunday, October 4, 2009
The clouds and sun played a full day of hide-and-seek today. Continuing windy conditions kept things blowing around for most of the day. Late in the day, the wind began to slow and the moon rose through some remaining clouds.

Afternoon Sun and Cloud Mix
Afternoon sun cloud mix over the pastures

Saturday, October 3, 2009
The sun began the day poking through some clouds along the horizon and rising over fog in the valley. By mid-morning it was mostly sunny and the temperature slowing rising through the low 40's. Snow was visible on the top edges of the east mountains.

Early Day Fog in the Valley
Early day fog in the valley behind the border trees

Friday, October 2, 2009
The day began under mostly cloudy conditions. Even though I had earlier thought the day would not provide any precipitation, it did after-all. Late in the afternoon light showers moved through the area. By the time it was all over just under 1/10th of an inch was recorded.

Box Elder Fall Color Begins
Just a touch of color beginning to show in the Box Elder tree

Thursday, October 1, 2009
A new month begins with frost on the ground and lingering clouds in the sky. The rainfall from yesterday was frozen in the gauge at the 0.08" level. Mostly sunny conditions during the morning soon melted away the frost and the ice in the measuring tube.

Morning Clouds for the Sun to Poke Through
Sun competing with clouds early in the day

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Pen Replaces the Finger Tips

Well, I really haven't been adding to my "Life" summary very much again this month. The only reason I have logged in today is to say that sometimes I like to just write and print using a pen or pencil and wonder if pressing these keys will every give such a nice feeling.