Â Â Â When I went for my early morning trek to the barn I could see the moon overhead and it still was big enough to cast some light over the dark farmstead.Â The light was bright enough to outline shapes and help me to avoid walking into or on something.Â But thingsÂ had changed by the time IÂ drove my children to school.
Â Â A soupy fog enveloped the countryside and it was hard to distinguish the cars that were ahead of me on Highway 18.Â The fog was even heavier on U.S. Highway 2. I opened my window to merge from the county road onto the highway because I didn’t feel comfortable only relying on sight.
Â Once I joined the traffic heading east on 2, I quickly figuredÂ out I had to Â drive more slowly than usual because it was nearly impossible to see theÂ cars ahead of me until I was nearly on top of their bumpers.Â Â Â
Â Â Driving through the fog felt a little surreal because I couldn’t see the usual landmarks that tell me where I am. I was suprised when I came to the Magoo’s Tattoo sign along Highway 2 near the intersection of Highway 2 and 5. I hadn’t realized I was that close to Grand Forks.Â It occurred to meÂ that the saying “I haven’tÂ the foggiest.” was appropriate for what I had just experienced.
Â Â I don’t like fog.Â I am a person who likes light whether I’m outside or inside. If my kids are watching television in a darkened room I immediately flip on the lights. Meanwhile, inÂ the summer I can tolerate pulling the shades down during the dayÂ becauseÂ I know it helpsÂ keep the house cooler,Â but the first thing I do when I return home in the evening is to lift them up and let the evening light shine in. Good thing I’m living in North Dakota where fog is a rare enough occurrence that it’s worth noting.
Â Â Â When I was putting on my coveralls this morning I could hear the wind whistling through our farmstead grove so I knew that it would be chilly. I was pleasantly surprised, though,Â to see when I stepped out the door that it had stopped raining.
Â Â Â Â That was a good thing, not only because I wasn’t looking forward to getting wet, but because the ground is saturated. We have pools of water standing in many spots on the farmstead and the fields surrounding it do, too. It’s been a rainy few weeks and the water table has risen. No water in the basement — yet.
Â Â Â Â Â Â The horses’ corral was a muddy mess this morning so I opened the gate so they can go out into their pasture. The grass is short so I was trying to let it grow, but decided I better forsake the grass to ensure that the horses don’t develop hoof problems. Meanwhile, the pasture was a much drier place to feed them their hay.
Â Â Â Â I was feeling pretty discouraged about the weatherÂ after slogging through all of that mud and water. But then, on my way to the house, the wind blew the clouds out of the way of the moon and there it was,Â round and full. Seeing some light after the past few days of darkÂ brightened my mood.
Â Â Â It seems like sunshine has been in short supply this mornth, so I’m glad that we have a strong doese of it today and that the weekend appears to be a bright one.Â
Â Â While it likely will be too muddy to pick the potatoes that are left in the garden, it should be dry enough to mow lawns this afernoon. If my calculations are correct this will be the 23rd time this summer we’ve mowed. But, hey, who’s counting?
Â Â Â Mowing actually has been pretty easy this summer since my sons started taking their turns at it. I trim with the pushmower so I can get some much-needed exercise and the boys get their fix of driving by wheeling around the yard on the JD garden tractor mower.
Â Â I guess we really shouldÂ be grateful that it still is warm enough to mow, albeit with a sweatshirt on.Â A forecasted high in the 50s isn’t warm enough for me to mow in shirt sleeves. The end of the mowing season is pretty much like the beginning as far as temperatures.Â During the first couple of mowings inÂ April I also wore my old, green UND hooded sweatshirt.
Â Â Â While our farmyard is pretty protected from the wind, when I mow on the south side I can feel the gusts. The hooded sweatshirt keeps my ears from aching. When I’m on the farm function and comfort far outweigh fashion.
Â Â Â Â When I went out this morning to feed the horses and dogs, I had to walk through a bit of a swamp. It rained all night and the farm yard and horse corral are pretty soupy. Although I know this is pretty typical September weather, I’m not thrilled about it.
Â Â Â Â It’s one thing to have adequate mositure and another to get too much. The fields I passed on the way to work has standing water in them. I know that’s frustrating for farmers who have good-looking edible bean crop and potato crops waiting to be harvested. I know that while the rain is an annoyance for me, it has an affect on farmers’ livelihoods.
Â Â Â Thankfully, according to the forecast, brighter days are ahead. The forecast I checked out predicted sunny days and no rain for the next week. Here’s hoping that it’s accurate.
Â Â Â Labor Day weekend will be a mix ofÂ work and recreation for our our family. It’s the way we spend most weekends, but the holiday will give us an extra day to aÂ some of both. It also will shorten the work and school week which we also consider a bonus.
Â We plan on going to a country music festival on Saturday and stay overnight in Thief River Falls. On Sunday we’ll return home and spend the rest of the weekend on the farm. I hope that the rain holds off so we can get some work done.
Â Â The rain gave the grass another boost and it’s ready to mow again. I don’t think we’ve gone a week without mowing since April. At some point this month we’ll be able to start mowing every other week, but for now it remains weekly. I’m not complaining, though. The end of mowing will mean that winter won’t be too far behind and I’m not ready for that, yet.
Â Â Â I plan to enjoy the fall weather this weekend, too. It’s aÂ great time of year to go on walks and admire the changing colors of the leaves on the trees in the shelterbelts and field groves. The fields, too, are full of color contrasts. I also like the cool temperatures which make it perfect for evening strolls with the dogs.