Every year in February we get a few weeks of beautiful weather. This year the crocuses are blooming, the sun is shining, and the temperatures are pleasant. The problem with all of this is that it is the end of February. So despite the fact that many of the area farmers have kicked their preparations for spring work into high gear, I’m not convinced that spring is here.
I don’t think there has been a year when we haven’t had some type of variation of this pattern. A week ago we had dreary skies and fog. This past week it was all sunshine and great walking temperatures. Usually when we experience weather like this, one person in this house is convinced we are going to have an early spring. I am not that person. It is understandable; after all, farmers don’t like to be cooped up in the house. They like to be in the field doing ‘real work.’ The fact that we have been doing farm related book work for the past three months, somehow doesn’t count as ‘real work.’ Heck, he’s a farmer, he likes to get his hands (and clothes) dirty! And if he’s not dirty, he’s not working.
Most of our machinery is ready for spring work. While this is good, it also plays into the delusion that spring work …COULD START AT ANY MINUTE!!! Never mind that the fields are saturated, and that all of the field roads are impassable. Anyone who ventures out in the field now won’t get very far before sinking to the axels in mud. You Tube is full of pictures of those who simply couldn’t wait until the fields were dry. While they are entertaining to look at, it is not fun for those involved. Having a tractor or sprayer in the mud tends to turn otherwise agreeable farmers into grumpy farmers.
The general rule of thumb that I was taught when I moved to the farm was that any spring work that is completed before Easter will have to be done over. This year Easter is on April 5th. April 5th is also our 40th wedding anniversary. The year we got married, one of Bruce’s uncles and several of the neighboring farmers assured me that there was no way they would be at the wedding. Spring work would be in full swing and they just couldn’t travel across the state during a work season. Well, on April 5th, 1975 they were all sitting in a church 300 miles from the farms and didn’t actually get into the fields until the last week of April that year. So much for early springs!
Now, I’d be the first to admit that I could be wrong. Every now and then Mother Nature throws us a curve ball. I think she just likes to remind everyone that she’s actually in charge…those on the east coast who are digging their way out of five feet of snow can probably attest to this fact. So, who knows, maybe we will be done with spring work before May.