The thermometers in some northern Driftless Area spots said it was nearly 20 below zero in some of the lower spots on that early February morning. The order of the day certainly was long-johns, coveralls, chopper mittens and ear-laps for any work done out in the farmyards.
But the afternoon February sun had other plans.
Folks who spend any outdoors time around a farmyard know that the February sun talks with us differently than the January sun talks with us. The January sun’s voice comes at us in a high-pitch scream that pierces our souls with iciness; the February sun speaks in a sultry whisper hinting of spring’s goodness.
A land conservationist was reflecting with me about the warmth of that day’s afternoon sun. He mentioned along the way about how such a warm sun could make spring arrive quickly and furiously. He pointed to the snow-cover that’s been insulating the soil, leaving many areas in the region with little or no frost in the soil.
Soil-samples could be pulled from this year’s winter countryside, he said, if a soul were up for pushing aside some snow — though he said it still wouldn’t be the best time for such a chore.
The sun, even on a cold winter day, tells us the land is anxious for farmers’ caresses.