Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Springridge Ranch Yak-Cross Beef would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for supporting us this past year.
Thanks to you, we've had our most successful year yet!

We would also like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pioneer Christmas Market - December 23, 2011

Springridge Ranch Yak-Cross Beef will be set up at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village for the Pioneer Christmas Market on Friday, December 23, 2011 from 5 to 8pm.
Come and see us for your last minute holiday meat ideas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Snow Eater

Our little corner of the world has always been known for its wind. And not just any wind. Strong wind. It's why we now have so many windmills in the area. Winds are generally stronger in the spring and fall but lately, it's been at the extreme end of the spectrum. When it gets up past the 100 km/h range, it starts to get scary. In fact, when it gets past 120 km/h, it's the same as a category one hurricane in terms of wind strength. This is when roofs start to peel back. Buildings destroyed. Fires get out of control (why is anyone burning when the wind is blowing that hard anyway?). Bales roll down the field. Snowballs form on the ground in just the right temperature. Corral walls fall down. Windows blow out. Trees broken and uprooted. Yes, all of that has happened in our neck of the woods. Folks either learn to live with the wind, or they can't stand it and have to leave.

However, there is a plus side to it all. The winds in winter are sometimes the results of a weather pattern called chinooks. Chinooks can bring on some of the strongest winds, but along with that come sudden warmer temperatures and some spectacular sunrises...

...and sunsets.

One of the most distinct features of a chinook is the arch that forms in the western sky.

They can have a smooth edge...

This is a photo of an ususual summer chinook arch!

...or a rough edge.

The Aboriginals call chinooks "The Snow Eater". Why? As stated in Wikipedia,
"A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day".

The map on this page shows where the most chinooks occur, and we fall right into the red category. 

So what do the critters do when the winds howl? The wild animals find shelter in trees or bushy areas. Or, like these prairie chickens, they hunker down and wait it out:

If the domestic animals don't have some bush to take shelter in, and if there's no barn or wood fence to stand behind, then they turn their backside to the wind. Here are our horses, taking shelter behind a board fence:

And here are the cows coming for their feed:

I apologize for the shaky camera, but when it's blowing that hard,
it's difficult to keep anything steady!