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Past Month's Moccasin Telegraph

April 2011


Although it's tempting to complain about the weather, as I've pointed out before; complaining here in the "Valley of the Flowers" remains almost useless.

But still...! It keeps snowing, and snowing, and... Although we're almost back to mud, now. About mid-morning today it looked like this, though;

At least the neighborhood mulies finally showed up, a few weeks back. We'd been wondering where the heck they all went, but then it turns out we're not the only ones. FWP decided (yet again) against reintroducing Bighorns in the Bridgers, partly because the mule deer numbers are down significantly. And, they don't know why. Too many doe tags, maybe...

Personally, we're right in some prime mule deer winter range here, and although the numbers show a multi-year decline, I thought we were doing OK even last winter. Again, compared to almost everywhere else, winters haven't been that bad here. Plus of course they have our camelina stubble to feast on!

So personally, I think it must be mountain lions. What else...? Fortunately we're not talking wolves, not in this neighborhood at least. Although I've heard rumors... It's a little too populated right here. Although not too far north... It gets a little wilder.

Speaking of predators, though, we're kind of amazed at our chickens of late. They're wandering all over the pasture, with seeming impunity! And of course we're not short of hawks and eagles around here. Although a few days back there was a cock pheasant wandering around with them, alas too far for photo ops. So maybe they have the mojo going or something, but still...

But at least a neighbor and I declared that it's through snowing. That is just soooo, like... last month. Almost.

So maybe we'll even get farming by the end of next week. They're talking 60's, so...

Tractor driving might even be a preferable change of pace to the heinous amounts of bookwork that April entails. Plus since we were "snowed in" we got a reasonable amount of camelina oil pressed, with more on tap for next week. The Winter Farmer's Market wound down in April, but we also had booths at several other events (occasionally two at a time!).

So although weather complaints remain tempting, the neighbor and I also agreed this is way preferable to tornados. Plus it's going to get nice, now, no question.

So next month's column will include plenty of May flowers. But first I must go pitch some hay to the ponies, in this frightful April mud! I'd say it's literally as muddy as I've seen since we've lived here (early 80's). But then that's good! We never complain about moisture in Montana!

Although there are exemptions, in certain circumstances, for snow. So it's a good thing we're done with that!



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