The Way Out Here

A look ahead

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 3/4/20

Have you ever owned one of those nifty weather gauges that gives an insightful summation of the current climate and such? Growing up, our family had a wooden plaque on the front porch with a …

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The Way Out Here

A look ahead

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Have you ever owned one of those nifty weather gauges that gives an insightful summation of the current climate and such? Growing up, our family had a wooden plaque on the front porch with a donkey’s rear end painted on it. The tail of the donkey was a strap of leather tacked appropriately in place. As the plaque described, if the tail was wet, it was raining out. If the tail was dry and still, it was likely sunny out. If the tail was whipping about, it was windy. And if the tail was gone, then there was probably an ongoing tornado, shifting any concern about the state of the tail toward whether or not the roof of the house was still there. You’ve probably seen various versions of these in country stores and wherever old-timey smart-alecky décor can be found. Whether you know about these or not though, the premise of reading the weather based on the obvious current conditions is something any of us with a pulse can all relate to.

As I continue to bundle up in unwarranted anticipation of impending cold and ice, I can’t help but feel the anti-climactic serenity that is this continuation of warm weather. Out of humbled respect for the year, I feel I must give the public service announcement not to be fooled by this stretch of mild weather. Perhaps we really are going to have an early spring, but don’t make your plants pay the price if we happen to have another snow, folks. I’m as antsy as the next guy to get the yard work rolling and start filling in the garden boxes, but being as we’ve only just reached March, I highly suggest continued patience.

As my father reminded me prior to writing this, this coming week brings daylight savings time. And no, not the one where we get an extra hour of sleep. For all of you thinking that you’ve gotten a handle on waking up at a respectable time of morning, get ready, because that hour is about to disappear with the spring-forward time change.

The darn groundhog is convinced of the warm weather too. Perhaps he felt the pressure of all his fans clamoring for a sunny day, or another kind of pressure not unlike a shotgun wedding… Regardless, it appears that spring is on its way, and like I say, I too am looking forward to getting into the garden. This is the year I finally finish filling my garden boxes and finish my garden fence. As you can see from the picture, the fence is a much-needed asset to my agricultural plans. My chickens are already out and scratching as they were in my boxes just a few months ago. Fortunately for the time being, there is nothing for them to get into that I would otherwise shoo them away from. 

The way out here is not always consistent in regards to temperature and precipitation. But with handy tools like a farmer’s Almanac, we can be reassured of years past when mild winters occurred. Enjoy what’s left of the winter, my friends. Get out and stretch those legs. Mentally map your next yard project, but don’t trust the receding snow and ice. For just a bit longer, keep your seedlings warm and safe in the basement or wherever they find refuge in your homes. 

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