Usually we get the last snow storm or really bad drop in temperatures by late-February, so this storm was right on time, and it should will be the last major one until next winter. Thankfully, none of the cows decided to calve early during this last cold snap. It's supposed to warm up to above freezing today, then it's supposed to warm up even more in a few days, so in about a week everything will be almost perfect for calving season to start. If it warms up for about a week, we'll be well on our way towards Spring.
|Looking down towards the frozen pond, boy it looks cold|
What I found out was that my experiment with stacking hay bales as a wind break didn't really work the way I thought it would. I assumed that the worst storms would have north winds, so I stacked my bales to block a north wind. But surprisingly, it turned out that the majority of the storms this winter didn't have north winds, the winds came from almost all directions so an effective windbreak would have to be oriented both North-South and East-West.
I've also started to think that most of my problems in this pasture weren't wind problems, instead they were mainly things like heavy snow storms or cold freezing rains that hit during calving season. A windbreak doesn't help at all with freezing rain or blizzard conditions, so I'm probably not going to build a windbreak anytime soon.
|The windbreak that doesn't really work as a windbreak all the time|
|Looking towards the makings of a windbreak that might actually work|
The trees bordering the cropland looked pretty ragged for years from the tornado damage, but they eventually recovered. The trees never came back into the pasture areas at all, and the only reason I can figure out is that all the stumps were also removed during the cleanup. If only the damaged trees and downed limbs had been dealt with in the cleanup and the stumps had been left in the ground, I think I'd have trees scattered up and down the creek right now, and I wouldn't even be talking about building something like windbreaks right now.
Those trees on the cropland side of the fence are around some sheltered low spots in the field, so I've decided to just move the fence over so that these treed areas will be part of the pasture instead of part of the cropland. Moving a fence to "move" trees should be a whole lot easier and quicker than planting trees and waiting for them to get big enough to use as shelter for cattle.
I'm still planning on planting some more trees for shelter around this pasture, but it's funny how it didn't occur to me sooner that I could just move the fence to get some trees in this pasture.