Tag Archives: wind

Weights In My Boots…

I never knew the purpose of a hooded sweatshirt until I moved to Nebraska.  Quite honestly, I do not think that I ever owned one prior to going to work at the feed yard.  My closest is now full of them, and I wear them daily.

They come in handy...

They come in handy…

The wind across the Great Plains region of the country is merciless.  A breeze is defined by wafts of 30 mph, and we have days where it blusters past 60 mph.  A hooded sweatshirt is my best friend when the Nebraska winds doth blow.  It protects me from the cold, the dust, and the snow that sometimes sweeps in an angry horizontal pattern across our valley.

When the winds top 60mph, I start to think that in addition to my hoodie, I also need weights in my boots.  Those are the days when it seems impossible to stand up straight and I tend to stumble around bracing myself against the gales.  As I do chores, I try to distract myself by thinking fondly of Mary Poppins, but mostly my eyes water – my face stings – and my back hurts from the effort.

The wind alone does not seem to bother them a bit...

The wind alone does not seem to bother them a bit as they choose to walk to the feed bunk for a bite to eat…

My cattle appear to deal with the high winds much better than I do.

  • Perhaps it is the fact that they have four feet on which to balance…
  • Perhaps it is because they outweigh me by 800 pounds or more…
  • Perhaps it is simply because they are tougher than I am!

Whatever the reason, they seem content to rest behind a windbreak, have a bite to eat at the feed bunk, or run around playing with each other as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

Resting comfortably in the home pen after breakfast...

Resting comfortably in the home pen after breakfast…

Last week the cold north wind blew and blew and blew.  Thursday afternoon the gusts topped 60mph, and the weather was just plain ghastly.  Thankfully there was no snow — instead we had dust storms with dirt and remnants from harvested corn fields blazing across our farm.

Piles of corn stalk shucks blown into the ditch at the south end of our corn field...

Piles of corn stalk shucks blown into the ditch at the south end of our corn field…

I was tired when I got home Thursday night, and eternally grateful for the reprieve that the structure that my home offered.  I found myself thinking about the pioneers who trekked across the Great Plains living in wagons and building sod houses when they decided to settle.

As unforgiving as the Nebraska weather is at times, I cannot imagine the tenacity and grit required to survive in those early days.  It makes me thankful for my warm home, and all of the technological advancements that protect me from the elements and help me to care for my animals.

Here you can see the heavy coat of hair that keeps our cattle warm when the cold north wind blows...

Here you can see the heavy coat of hair that keeps this heifer warm when the cold north wind blows…

As we head into the heart of the windy winter season perhaps I should heed the advice of Abraham Lincoln rather than putting weights in my boots…

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on! 

Abraham Lincoln

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Spring in Nebraska…

In the almost 15 years that I have lived in Nebraska, spring has never ceased to amaze me.  I am pretty sure that I have spent every March feeling as though I was doing my best Mary Poppins impersonation!  My guys at the feed yard tease me that I need to put weights in my shoes so that I do not blow away… The wind in March is constant (constantly blowing 30+mph)–just as constant as the geese migration. The link below has an amazing video that Matt took just a couple of miles from the feed yard…

http://www.youtu.be/4ondGfXdhtg

Every spring I am reminded of the natural cycle of life as plants come out of winter dormancy and new life is prolific.

The brave crocuses in our front yard are in full bloom...(At least until the next snow storm!)

Wheat is one of the first things to "green" up. This field of Matt's is trying hard to turn green!

The highlight of spring is the baby calves that make their way into the world…

This little guy is just a few days old.

I am left in awe as I take in the beauty of new life.  I am also thankful to be a part of the process.  I am, after all, not just the humble inhabitant (https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/the-humble-inhabitant/), but am also an active participant.  Thanks to teamwork, this little guy of Tom and Pam Laird’s will one day come to my feed yard and make great tasting and healthy beef for me to feed to my family and to yours…

A year ago, this big guy was born at Tom and Pam's pasture and he is now at my feed yard...

The March winds bring the promise of spring and the next life cycle.  What a beautiful progression to be a part of!