On a windy day ..

There’s an old saying, the Cowboy said to me this morning when I told him what I was writing about.

“Every day is a good day in South Dakota when the wind isn’t blowing. That, and we teach our kids here to lean into the wind when they are old enough to stand.”

………..

I have always enjoyed a gentle breeze on a hot summer or fall day. But ..

A rare still moment ..

A rare still moment ..

I’ve never experienced anything quite like the winds that howl across the Great Plains states. With little in the way of stopping them, they seem to gain momentum the further they travel. By the time they reach us, they’ve typically traveled far and wide, and they are howling. We often double check the kids and small animals are still in the yard.

Yesterday, the gentle breeze was blowing at 20mph in our area. May not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it’s mean a few relatively humorous life lessons since moving to South Dakota earlier this year:

When the winds are above 10-15 mph, it’s usually wise to take the hammock down or someone might get hurt trying to lie in it or in simply walking by.

Going for a run in and of itself feels like resistance training.

Grasshoppers catching a ride on the wind feel like bb’s when they finally hit you.

Talking, shouting to anyone into the wind is relatively fruitless. Behind you though, they can hear for miles.

Sunglasses are often helpful, not because of the sun, but to protect your eyes from dust kicking up off of all those gravel roads.

Pitching hay to livestock should be done with the wind at your back.

Clothes on the line may end up at the neighbors, a mile away.

Semis often drive in the passing lane just because. Well, because if the wind blows them over, I’m thinking it means they blow over into the media versus over onto you. The passing car.

It’s not a wise choice to wear a flowy above the knee skirt.

Hats are a wonderful alternative to an otherwise bad hair day.

Advertisements

Day After the Storm ..

It was a day of cleaning up and assessing the damage after last nights violent storms ..

For the adults, anyway.

The kids …

20120506-195546.jpg

… found a day full of fun and laughter and using their imaginations in a few piles of gravel, dirt and a half flooded field.

It was wet. Muddy. And cold. But no one seemed to mind. And it was so beautiful just watching the four of them, the cowboys kiddos and my little girl, have so much fun .. be so carefree ..

And for us to have seemingly all the time in the world to be outside and just be together (and laundry soap necessary to deal with the aftermath), even though we needed to get back home to Wisconsin.

20120506-200620.jpg

South Dakota Wind …

The mornings have all been fairly different here since we arrived early last Saturday .. sunny skies and warm, partly sunny and cool, cloudy and overcast ..

But the one thing that remains constant it seems here in South Dakota ..

The wind.

I had never thought much about how windy it is until this week, where for starters .. we have had a lot more time to hang out.  Usually we are passing through on our way further west.  Or here for all of about 36 hours, turning around and heading back home.

But each morning, when I look out the window, all I can tell for certain, is that it is windy.

And .. that .. if I leave my clothes on the line .. they may not be there when we I go to check on them again.

………..

It is relatively flat, this side of the state.  So there’s not much to stop the wind from gaining momentum and swirling around every corner, every tree, every building.  Watching the grass on days like today is mesmerizing.  The wind almost appears to make everything dance.  So, it’s beautiful on some respects.

It’s just, so windy.

Windy enough that I had no idea how sunburned I was getting the other day because everything still felt cool.  Until I came in out of the sun ..

And, the Cowboy’s ranch is located in only a Fair to Moderate part of the state where wind is concerned, according to http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/maps_template.asp?stateab=sd.  I can’t imagine if we were in the Excellent, Outstanding or Superb areas of the state.

“Every day in South Dakota is nice .. as long as the wind isn’t blowing,” says the Cowboy.

That has me wondering how many nice days there are here .. but he assures me, most are .. even with the wind howling over the plains.

It also has me thinking .. if the wind one of South Dakota’s biggest crops, is it being harvested to its fullest potential?

Minnesota Public Radio did this piece a few years ago now .. http://tinyurl.com/633srn 

Apparently there are significantly more wind farms in South Dakota today than there were at the time this piece was done.  The Cowboy says one of the biggest wind farms in the state is actually not far north of the ranch.

All I know at the moment .. is that I need to keep my hat cinched tighter when we’re out riding.  That the resistence training on my runs is au natural.  And while it has quickly helped to dry many a load of laundry, saving us from running the dryer .. we need to run the wash again.  Because that white clump out in the middle of the neighbors field indeed is one of my favorite shirts that blew away.