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Let me tell you guys, this crazy winter here in northeast Ohio has been a roller coaster. The ground has not frozen once, unless you count the gravel drive where the snow gets plowed. We have had some cold days, but they always come after a layer of snow blankets the ground. The snow has melted off several times this year. Rain has pushed the streams above flood stage several times. Walking through the fields is a muddy walk at best.
Doing much of anything this winter takes a real juggling act. I am falling behind on several projects. Now, its maple sugaring time and the warm weather may shorten our season. My winter cow pasture is a sea of mud.
I could whine and and moan, but instead, I will dig a little deeper. I have to just stay focused. Spring work is right around the corner, no matter how our sugaring season turns out, spring will arrive. So as the weather stresses me out, I hope all of you are getting your work done, your draft animals worked and the items on your project list checked off!
Thanks for being a family of friends with whom I can chat, here on the porch!

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-02-19 08:40:39 (CST)

Ralph,although the ground was frozen hard several times, the situation is not much different here in this winter, that never really happened. We had warm weather off and on all the time and no snow to speak of.
I spread compost yesterday for several hours with my wife pitching in loading (no excuse for the pun), and we practically worked in shirt sleeves - in the middle of February! We are very dry around here so far.
Last year again was one of the warmest on record, ice sheets on both poles are cracking and glaciers world wide are on the retreat. Parts of Africa are seeing devastating droughts with large scale famine looming on the horizon, yet the industrialized world keeps on spewing vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Mike Rock says 2017-02-19 14:37:27 (CST)

As my wife is fond of saying, "It's so muddy the pigs don't like it."

I am worried about the apple trees breaking dormancy and then getting a hard freeze. Going to look for swelling buds and worry some more. Sure is nice out though, 54 degrees in the middle of February.

God bless.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Mike Rock says 2017-02-19 14:37:55 (CST)

Oops...65 degrees.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

JHItch says 2017-02-19 16:33:49 (CST)

Northeastern Ohio!!! My family and I used to live there. I love everything about it except the wetness. Where exactly are you?
Your welcome, I enjoy chatting on hear, too.


1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-02-19 21:48:29 (CST)

Here in NO Central NE I can see green grass coming up, and I know it will freeze it off before spring.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-19 22:17:13 (CST)

Yep...just that muddy, at least where the cows are!

Climate change is here for sure :o(

Extreme northeast Ohio, 15 miles from lake Erie and 15 miles from Pennsylvania

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2017-02-20 08:17:16 (CST)

Heading out to hitch my team to start discing in a few minutes. The ground is dry at least. With no snow to speak of, it seemed like we had a winter full of endless damp. Uppers 60s the last couple days and holding. You know its too warm when the flies are out! I worry how this is going to pan out for summer and whether it will be another one of those with early season flooding then mid-season drouth, with a whole mess of hot thrown in. We're changing how we plant the produce section and going with raised beds built up with a disc hiller to see if that helps minimize crop loss if it floods. A bit more work but after watching plants float away in heavy rains we need to do something to adapt to climate change.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-20 21:50:15 (CST)

I fear you may be right Brian. All of us farmers will have to adapt and to think outside the box more than ever. We need to be open minded and try new things. I don't want to drift too far from the tried and true, but now is the time to be open to other ideas, methods and farming practices.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-02-23 08:49:52 (CST)

On Tuesday I plowed for a couple of hours and yesterday as well - call it very late fall plowing or extremely early spring plowing. But even crazier than that, my wife and I planted a 250ft row of potatoes. Last year we planted our earliest potatoes on Feb 28, and they had the best yield of all of 2016 plantings. We'll see. Our overwintered spinach is growing really well and so is the kale. No stress there!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Wes Lupher says 2017-02-23 19:40:13 (CST)

It has been an odd winter here as well. 38 below zero and quite a bit of snow then a freakish warm spell mid February. Warm enough to melt us off and even bring some of the frost out of the ground.
Last two days have put another foot of snow on the ground and we're headed back below zero tonight!
I was rejoicing to possibly see bare ground for calving next month. Better hold off on the leaps of joy.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-02-23 22:30:25 (CST)

well today we could plow snow we got 6-8" right now and still coming down from 25-40 mile an hour winds at times. it started snowing about 8 this morning of and on all day. Yesterday we dug a ditch for electricity about 200' did not get the wires in the ditch there was no frost in the ground. My cows found a gate that has been open all winter yesterday and came home so put them in a 75 acre lot and hayed them the first hay that they have had all winter, been on range until now.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-24 19:10:47 (CST)

It's nuts here. Today I had 76...Shattered the old high temperature record of 69. Usually a warm day is 40 this time of year. No snow here, no frost...Just mud!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Vicki says 2017-02-25 08:30:09 (CST)

I am just a bit west of Ralph, in muddy northern Geauga County. We are going to tap this morning. Some trees have already broken bud, though. It is so soggy and slippery I have not worked my young ox teams much at all. The other extreme was ice on the surface. I can't risk tearing a leg off of a steer, or cracking something in myself and my aging bones, either, on hard ice. I fret about ugly ruts and how I will smooth them come drier times. Well, it is what it is, I have learned to tell myself. After twenty years I am just thankful I can have wonderful cattle, grow much of my own food, and enjoy some wild areas right out my door. Take care everyone and enjoy it all moment by moment.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-25 18:10:12 (CST)

Vicki, there is lots of wisdom in your words!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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