Even though today was a drizzly and dreary day around the farm on spring break the ground is beginning to dry out. The winter was frigid this year which helped mellow the soil. Frost in the ground heaved the dirt up aerating it. So, my husband got the tractor and ripper out of the barn where it was stored away for the winter. The ripper has long steel shanks that push deep into the ground lifting the soil to the surface. It turns it over where the air can get to it. Sometimes the ripper digs so deep that large rocks are yanked to the top to be picked later before the planter hits them when it's time to plant. Behind the ripper a rolling basket follows. The rolling basket is the width of the ripper and has large paddles that spin fast as it fluffs up the soil. When the tractor slowly covers the ground one round at a time it's easy to see where you have been and where you haven't. The side that is not covered yet is light colored, with dry bean stubble and hard packed from the combine running over it in the fall. The side that is covered is dark, fluffed up and moist from the winter snow. Many people don't realize that fresh dirt has a very distinct smell. All I can say is that it smells like spring. A fresh new start and a hope for a prosperous season.