The calendar made it to March. That means according to the professional ag climatologists, the weather gurus, winter is over. Ken Scheeringa, associate Indiana state climatologist, says climatological winter is Dec.1 through Feb. 28. It's over – done – finished!
Many of us thought it would never get started, although there was a brief cold patch before Christmas. Then the second half of February arrived, with bitter cold, snow, and school delay after school delay.
One old farmer has the answer: he says the woolly worm was black on both ends last fall and brown in the middle. Somehow that is supposed to mean that winter would start harsh, be mild in the middle and wind up harsh. I told him I hoped it was a short woolly worm and there weren't many black bristles left.
So it's March, and I'm pretty sure the white stuff still on the ground around here isn't salt, flour or dust. It looks like snow to me. And I also remember some of the more memorable snows on the farm in my younger days coming in March.
One of those many years back, it snowed a foot about the second week of March. The neighbor guy, an old retired guy working part-time as a maintenance man, bugged my dad until he stopped milking long enough to dig out a path for him with his tractor and loader, so he could get to work.
"I'll stop and pay you the next time I get paid," he told my dad. Apparently they didn't pay him very often. That was nearly 30 years ago and the check never got close to the mail. Guess he took it with him when he passed on years ago.
Related: What tells you spring is on the way?
Nonetheless, winter is supposed to be over. So I expect 60 degrees, a breakout to short-sleeve shirts and kids going barefoot anytime now. The grass should be greening up and my sheep should be on lush pasture before you know it.
OK, maybe all the below-zero stuff over the last few weeks got to my brain. The reality is that spring hasn't sprung yet, and I'll take the tractor out of the warm garage where I know it will start, situated ready to pull out and push snow, and back to the shed probably about the same time I did last year – April 1, not a day sooner.
If I were you, I would keep the gloves and boots handy for a while yet. The weatherman may say winter is over, but how many times is the weatherman ever right? Think about it!