Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Signs fall has arrived

Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— Even if we didn't have a calendar, we'd know it's fall because:

• The wheat has been cut, and the fields are a golden brown.

• The leaves are starting to change color in the high country.

• The garden and flower beds are covered by tarps, rugs, gunny sacks, plastic, cardboard boxes, grain pans and other things.

• Ski areas will be open before long.

• Skiers are looking forward to the opening of ski areas.

• Two to four inches of snow have fallen above 7,000 feet.

• Trucks can be seen on the highway pulling trailers of every size of hay bales.

• Elk can be heard bugling.

• Some of the ranchers are weaning their calves.

• The car air conditioner has been switched off and the heater switched on.

• Kids have to wear their jackets when they ride the school bus in the mornings.

• Corrals have been cleaned and ranch fences repaired, all in readiness for the cows to come home.

• Apples and crabapples are ready for picking.

• After being gone all summer, barn cats have returned home, and they're hungry.

• Mama barn cats have had their second litters of kittens.

• Mice are finding their ways into barns, sheds and houses.

• Squirrels are stashing away berries, pine cones and a variety of other seeds.

• The county and state fair are over, and 4-H and FFA members are looking forward to the Stock Show.

• Tire shops are taking orders for winter tires.

• Hay stacks are being covered.

• Cattle and sheep graze hay meadows.

• Stores are being stocked with Christmas items.

• It's dark by 7:30 p.m.

• It isn't really light until 7:00 a.m.

• The list of advertised yard and garage sales is getting shorter each week.

• Daylight saving time change is just around the corner.

• Wood is being hauled in and cut up, ready for winter days.

• Christmas catalogs, some with "this may be your last catalog" messages, fill up mailboxes.

• In the evenings and early mornings, the air is filled with the scent of burning wood.

• Chimneys and stoves are being cleaned and repaired.

• Some uncovered garden plants have black leaves.

• Spiders are building webs that run from one tree to another, down from ceilings and roofs and across corners.

• Orange and camouflage colors are beginning to show up.

• Football games have replaced baseball.

• High school students are hoping snowy weather won't ruin homecoming.

• Bins of bright orange pumpkins greet customers at area grocery stores.

• The brand inspectors are gearing up for their busiest season.

• Balers, swathers, rakes and combines have been cleaned up and parked for the winter.

• Cows are being preg-tested.

• Sheep are being moved on the highway.

• Mountain scenes are changing as populations of cattle and sheep are replaced by hunters.

• Trucking companies are gearing up for the shipping season.

• Stock trailers are a common sight as horses are moved back and forth from cattle-moving areas to home ranches.

• Ranchers and livestock enjoy the last days of snow-free weather before winter feeding begins.

Diane Prather can be reached by writing to her at Box 415, Craig 81626.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2009. All rights reserved.


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