By Bill Anderson
March! The month that was put on the calendar so people who don’t drink can know what a hangover feels like. From Winter to Spring to Winter and Spring and back again, slushy snow, mud, soft roads treacherous ice and the accumulated trash of Winter on full display in your front yard. How is it that a lawn that was so energetically raked and meticulously cleaned up last Fall and then gently covered by Winter’s first snowfall looks as if it has been abandoned for a decade when the snow disappears in March? Somebody buried broken branches, old bones, rocks, dog droppings, plastic bags and other debris under the snow when you weren’t looking. Well, nobody ever said that it was going to be easy.
The snow system that moved through eastern North Dakota last Wednesday, March 10, deposited 8 inches of snow on Rutland and vicinity. By Thursday, March 11, the snow had turned to 8 inches of slush, and by Friday it was, for the most part, gone with the wind. Sunday was sunny with a high of 53 degrees, followed by Monday with a high of 34 and a stiff southeast wind. More snow on Tuesday produced more slush that disappeared just about as fast as it accumulated, and temperatures were predicted to be up in the 50’s, possibly the 60’s, again by the weekend. The Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring, occurs on Saturday, March 20, and after that Spring is here to stay, no matter how much snow and cold we have to put up with in subsequent days.
Mother Nature’s bird-brained meteorologists, the snow geese, are betting that Spring is here to stay. They have been moving into this area since the beginning of March, and Tewaukon Refuge Manager Pat Fitzmorris reports that approximately 500,000 of the birds were parked on Lake Tewaukon over the first weekend of the month. More are on the way, too, as millions of them are now reported to be in Nebraska and South Dakota, with the peak of the snow goose migration in this area expected to occur during the first week of April. Wildlife biologists have been studying the behaviors of migratory birds, such as snow geese, for many years, and have found some answers to some long-asked questions. For instance, migrating geese always fly in a “V” formation, with one side of the “V” always being longer than the other, and people have long wondered why that is. The answer, it turns out, can be figured out with basic mathematics – the longer side is longer because there are more geese on that side. It’s all pretty simple if you get down to basics.Continue reading “The Rooster Crows -March 19, 2021”