I know the world is up in arms about Swine Flu, but here in Montana, we're suffering from a bad case of Snow Flu.
It's that unfortunate malady that strikes when a population realizes that the first snow of the season was nearly seven months ago and that they are, indeed, sick and tired of looking at the color white.
Symptoms include overzealous observation of the radar loop, grumbling, and general depression accompanied by anxiety (due to the inability to seed the spring crops) and fatigue (due to shoveling out the feed pickup after it got stuck in a drift).
Unlike the Swine Flu, which has the amazing ability to depress both the grain and livestock markets, the Snow Flu has few immediate consequences. Planting delays, calf illnesses, and other delayed effects will not be fully realized until the point at which the dust is blowing and the temperature soars into the high 90s.
A subsidiary effect of Snow Flu is the underlying guilt felt by agricultural producers who know better than to complain about moisture in any form, so the grumbling is usually followed by some half-hearted comment such as, "But the dam should be full for awhile, so I guess we should be thankful. Those calves should weigh up come October."
In cattle, the disease presents as a general bad attitude accompanied by droopy calves and depletion of the haystack.
The only known remedy is July.