Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May Turns Wet and Wintery

We have passed the middle of May.
 If it was February in GriggsDakota we would have several feet of snow drifted into mountains.
Because it is May, most of our precipitation has fallen as rain.  
But this week we have snow falling. 
 We were in need of moisture and we have had over five inches in the last couple of weeks. 
I keep buckets of water on the deck to water the plants I started in the porch, but as you can see, it is crusted with ice.
 It is Summertime on the porch. 
 The snapdragons are blooming.
 A few tomatoes and squash are also valiantly trying to produce. I will nip the buds off before they are transplanted, but for now, they give me hope.
 Some of the perennials may be damaged.
 The damage will depend on how low the temperatures go before this moves out.
And, of course, the plants in the yard are not our only concern. 
 Our fields are about 75% planted. We are hopeful, but realistic.
 Life in GriggsDakota is not always easy, and it is never dull.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May flowers

Every Monday we welcome our daughter Kirsti to blog from her home in Western North Dakota's oil patch.
We all have heard that April showers bring May flowers.
The lyric holds true again this year.  One rainy weekend and our plum trees erupted in delicate white blooms.
Their fragrance permeates our yard, inviting us to explore their branches as soon as we step out the door. 
We hear the hum of bees going from bloom to bloom and hope the trees are being well tended by the them to soon replace the blooms with ripening fruit.
But for now, we enjoy the blooms.
Every one of them.
Before they fall and fade.
We explore their richness.
And enjoy their fleeting beauty.

I hope you all have an opportunity to do the same.


Friday, May 1, 2015

In May We Hope

May Day! May Day! It can be a distress signal or a call to celebration. In GriggsDakota it is a month of optimism.
In May we expect sunny days.
May is a pair of geese 
Hatching into a family of geese. 
May is when we expect the lilacs to start to bloom.

We find new trails in May as we plunge into our growing season. In May the crop is as we imagine it should be. We don't have to deal with many harsh realities in May.
Instead, we find the perfect hat to celebrate the running of the Kentucky Derby. 
We dig out the baseballs and bats. 
Our crops emerge in May and the world turns green.
We exchange our snow boots for water boots.
Or we put on our work boots and check the fields. 
In May we plant the garden. 
In May we plant trees. 
In May we made our vows. 
 And watched others follow the same path.
All in the month of May.
In May we look for bright colors and the sweetness of life. 
May brings hope.
Happy May Day from Farmer Fred and the gang in GriggsDakota.
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Barley in the Field

 This Spring reminds me of October. The snow was gone before April started, and the days have been cool and dry. There have been strong winds blowing most of the time, both day and night. 
 Nothing has greened up very much and when the sky turns blue, we have the colors of Fall on the land. We have had just enough rain to wash the surface and settle the dust. The barley has been seeded into moisture which gives us hope for the coming season.
 The Golden Willow is providing the splash of color in the trees.
 It is blooming and producing seed pods, while its leaves are barely visible.
 If there were other green trees around, this tree would be the flower of the forest, but most of the surrounding trees have no leaves at all.
Nature is always trying to pull off a joke in GriggsDakota. 
The barley is coming up, and that is not a joke. 
 This is the first field we seeded and rows are clearly visible.
 The brave little seedlings are only two or three inches tall. Soon the barley will turn the ground green and the trees will surely follow its lead.
I noticed that the record low is still in the single digits. I certainly hope we don't get down there again this Spring. That would not be good for any of the crops that have been seeded.
 We will likely have more frost, as we had this week, with temperatures dipping to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Those temperatures shouldn't hurt the barley. We will finish planting barley today and move on to corn, soybeans and edible beans. 
April's weather has been good  for field work and it has progressed ahead of average as it ends. 
Even though April's weather reminds us of October in GriggsDakota.