The Smell of Laundry on the Line

Either you  love clothes on the line or you don’t.   The most common reason I have heard  for not liking clothes on the line is they are not drier fluffy.  On the opposite side of the argument is that no one has managed to actually capture the smell of sunshine and outdoors that you can only get with clothes hung on the line in any of those bottled smells for laundry soap or drier sheets.   I fall into the camp that the smell of line-dried clothes trumps everything else.


This week it was finally warm enough to put towels out on the line.   We always have a breeze and most the time have some serious wind so even though it wasn’t much above 40 my towels were soon dry. Though the first day of spring is till a couple weeks away and yes there is still snow on the frozen ground, I am not letting that stop me with celebrating a nice day with laundry on the line.

We Farm More Than Cattle, Hay and Wheat

Last week I spend a fair amount of time in Judith Basin County Montana.   It is an area where there are lots of wind farms. Some had just a few windmills and others had more than I could count.   Montana exports more than cattle, hay and wheat.     We export energy.

Just a few of the hundreds of windmills I saw this week.

Just a few of the hundreds of windmills I saw this week.

Waves of Grass

Last week I was in Lake county, Montana.   I stayed in a nice Mom & Pop motel that looked out onto the Flathead lake.    I loved the fact that in spite of it being right on the highway, it was also right on the lake.   In the evening when I was finishing up paperwork I would sit at the table with the window open listening to the waves break against the shore.

My accommodations last week were a classic mom and pop place, built right on the highway  with an awesome view of the lake.

My accommodations last week were a classic mom and pop place, built right on the highway with an awesome view of the lake.

When I got home on Friday, the wind was blowing as it usually does at our place.   The spring has been good to us with moisture and my rangeland grasses are tall.   Watching them bend with the winds, they undulated and reminded me of the waves from the Flathead Lake earlier in the week.   Though I may live a distance from water, my tall grasses are like the amber waves of grain from the song America.


Ok, I don’t dress like this but the wind blows here like this! My wind is not as bad as some places in Montana where it is known to blow semi-trucks over, but it is an ever-present element of life here.     We live in a valley with small mountains on both sides.   The geography and convection of the warming of the air all  contribute to the ever-present howl of the wind.

Today it was worse than normal.    It came out of the south bringing with it warm temps.    It tossed around the old-fashion metal lawn chairs. It pulled up more shingles on our roof that is currently scheduled to be replaced this summer.  It tugged at our newly planted trees and dried out our pasture from parched to bone dry.

Because wind is omniscient; I don’t think much about it.   Today  I watched the weather showing the fires in other states and say my prayers that we have none here.   This wind would carry the slightest fire for miles.   Looking at what others are struggling with I am thankful my wind has nothing to work with.



Wind in Your Face

Our little dog loves the wind in his face.

When you turn on the hair dryer he comes running in the bathroom so you can shoot him.    He moves in so he gets a good shot of wind that blows the hair on his face back.  He will stand there forever if you turn the dryer heat off.

When the winds blow at our house, which they do often and hard, you will find Harley sitting outside facing the wind.  He closes his eyes and lets it blow.    He can sit there for hours soaking it in.   It is way of mediating I guess.


Bird Brains, Some are smaller than others

I just came in from locking the chickens in their run.   It is a daily evening  ritual, when they come in from free-ranging  around our property to the protection of a fenced chicken yard.  This  yard is attached to the coop and provides protection from critters who become more active in the waning daylight. There they will pick around at scratch I have provided until they decide it is time to head for the coop for the night.

Chickens seem pretty smart as they quickly conditioned to this ritual.   When I come out at this time of the day they come running from where ever they are for their treat, scratch.   Occasionally I have to call them, but they quickly coming running as they know about the reward. Scratch is cracked corn and other seeds that is the chicken version of crack.   I spread this out in the yard so they have to work for it and everyone in the crowd gets a little. I then I top of their chow feeders and water for the next day.  It is a perfect set up for me.  It gets them out of harm’s way as it get dusk and it fills their crop (stomach) so they don’t dawdle before heading  to roost for the night.   I also get time to checkout the ladies and make sure their isn’t any problem going on with one of them.

Tonight one of the “littles”, as we call our 2011 additions who are no longer little, was comedic in try to get in the run.   A weather front was coming in and the wind was howling.   Little Rock would start and then for some reason would decided that she did not want to run head into the wind.   She would turn around and the wind would catch her wings.  Chicken wings being worthless and having almost no muscles were nothing more than sails the wind caught.   Once the wind would catch her, it would blow her off her feet.   She would get up and start running to the coop again only to repeat this over and over.  Some times the wind would not just blow her off her feet, she would tumble head over heels.   I wished I had a video to capture this as it was one of those times it was very clear what one means when they call someone a “bird brain”  Eventually I went and picked her up and brought her in.  The other birds all made it into the run, does this mean that even bird brains have some who’s brain is a little smaller than the rest?