We Can Go Outside Again

As farmers, we live and die by the weather. Now, we can finally live again after what felt like a deadly week last week which culminated in ridiculous heat on Friday. It was so hot and sticky on Friday, we were barely able to work outside. Then, just like that, our whole outlook on life changed on Saturday. The day before, we struggle to find the motivation to make it out into what started off as another hot and sticky day. As the day moved along though, we could feel the change and around midmorning a gentle breeze from the north swept in and then came the rain and we were transported back to reasonable temperatures of a comfortable Wisconsin day. For someone who spends a lot of time outside, I was amazed we lived the change, witnessed it happening. We could feel the humidity fall as the saving grace of a northern breeze blew sweet relief our way. Of course, as is the norm these days, it also blew in some rather destructive storms, the usual summer deluge. Buckets of rain fell, 5 inches overnight and we awoke to washed out roads and flooded fields. This is normal now, the new normal, when it rains it really rains. If there is anything which has noticeably changed about our local environment, the rain storms have to be it. Roads closed, due to washout or flood water over the road, has become a normal summer event. Our little town of Viola floods every year now. It has become so normal that we are no longer worked up by a little water over the road. The community just closes the road and goes about its business. Oh, that was just a couple feet above flood stage, no big deal. But in the back of everyone’s mind who dwells in the valley, lies a bit of dread. That sinking feeling which knows it’s only a matter of time before another flood record is broken, because now, when it rains, it really rains. Such is life in this modern world. Our changing climate swings wildly from one extreme to the next. I’ll take the nice days when we get them and grit my teeth through the not so nice days. Such is the life of a farmer.