It’s an ill wind that blows no good

I’ve been complaining a lot about wind lately, but there are actually a whole lot of benefits that blow in on those breezes.

It’s easy to cuss the wind. It blows drifts across your driveway, it makes an already cold day feel a whole lot colder, and it even rips the shingles off your roof. But whether this month is coming in like a lion or a comparative lamb, a reminder of the good things wind does might help us all keep our sanity.

First of all, when the wind starts driving you nuts, just remember that you can go inside. The critters that live out in Wyoming’s wilder places can’t get out of that wind so easily. But when there’s a couple of feet of snow on the ground, those animals actually benefit from that fast-moving air. The wind helps blow off the grasses and other plants deer, elk, antelope, rabbits, and other herbivores rely on. If we didn’t have wind, those animals would have to dig through the snow all day, every day, and digging burns up more calories than they can take in this time of year.

A few months from now, when the weather starts getting warmer, and you find yourself out hiking, fishing, or just chillin’ in the woods, you might notice a couple of benefits from the wind. It can help cool you down on an otherwise hot day, and better yet, it keeps the bugs at bay.

It also helps pollinate plants, which keeps the forests and plains healthy. In some places, it turns turbines to create electricity. And when it’s blowing the right direction, it helps the birds with their migrations.

It’s sometimes hard to keep those benefits in mind when the wind is tangling your backcast or driving ice particles straight into your face. When it makes a merely freezing day feel like sub-zero temperatures, it’s not easy to remember that it’s making it easier for a bull elk to find food. But even though it seems like it, the wind won’t last forever. Even in this notoriously windy month, there will be calm days. Don’t waste ‘em. Get outside as much as you can when the wind is down.