Unsettled Weather

This past weekend a pretty strong storm system blew through South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It was the culmination of a week of unsettled weather and it marked the change from hot and humid to cooler temperatures. We had more than 3 inches of rain at the farm over the week; that’s about what the average normal is for the total month.

The high wind took down a big branch up east of the old house, but there is a silver lining. Several years ago that same Chinese elm spread seed into the adjacent paddock where warm season grasses were just getting established. There were so many little tree seedlings that the paddock had to be sprayed. So, this storm worked some punishment on that offending parent tree.

The cattle were restless in the unsettled weather. And, of course the Creek came up enough to mess up some of the crossing fences. Part of the herd got into a newly seeded paddock that had a multi-species grazing mixture of grasses and other forage. But, there was some good news: they ate the tops off the pigweed, so it won’t go to seed. And, their hooves stirred up the soil so the water could soak in.

One of the most dramatic impacts of the storm in our area, however, was on a wedding reception. On the morning of the wedding, the wind blew down the tent that was going to be used for the reception on the groom’s family farm. Everything turned out alright because almost one hundred friends and family pitched in on short notice to redecorate another reception area. It was a great testimony to the sense of community that people have who live in rural areas. So, the storm provided an opportunity to witness to that good news.

We were somewhat worried that the muddy Stateline would make it hard to get to the wedding. It’s been a tough spring and early summer on that gravel road. The photo on the left is from back when the snow melted in early March and there’s been a lot of rain since then. The photo on the right is from this weekend, so we had no trouble driving out this time. But, there is a story in our family about the muddy Stateline and a wedding.

My parents were married on Mom’s family farm “on the banks of Plum Creek” near Walnut Grove, Minnesota. My Dad’s parents were almost late for the wedding because the muddy Stateline was essentially impassible. However, there’s also some good news in this story from about eighty years ago. The Stateline was graveled shortly after the wedding and that young bride had a better road to travel while she lived out her life on Lone Tree Farm. And, even though there’s now fiber optics cable, underground electric lines, and rural water running along the Stateline, the road itself is still gravel.

About Lone Tree Farm on Kanaranzi Creek

Recovering academic, earth scientist in phased retirement, farm manager by default, son, husband, father, grandfather.
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