From Pipi's Pasture: Soaking up the season

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From Pipi's Pasture

Summer officially started Friday, and while each Northwest Colorado summer is a little different from the previous one, there are the usual signs that we’re into the season. This week’s “From Pipi’s Pasture” is a list of some of these signs:

■ Mornings are so cool that we hunt up our jackets, but by 9 a.m., we’re wearing short-sleeved shirts.

■ Daytime temperatures are hot, and the wind blows way too often.

■ Everyone’s hoping that the danger of frost has passed.

■ The hills are ablaze with color, especially yellow, as summer flowers are in bloom.

■ Weeds are growing faster than the garden plants.

■ Ranchers are just about finished spraying noxious weeds and are getting ready to put up the hay.

■ Irrigation of hay meadows is coming to an end.

■ Because of the wind, watering lawns and gardens sometimes is a challenge.

■ Lots of different varieties of insects are out, and cattle and horses can be seen swatting at flies.

■ When gardeners get together, they share methods used to discourage deer from eating up their garden plants, trees and flowers.

■ Robins check out recently watered lawns and gardens for worms.

■ Farm implement dealers are into their busy season, repairing hay equipment and ordering parts.

■ Ranch wives “run” to the implement dealerships to pick up parts.

■ Cattle and sheep, already out on pasture for a while now, are being moved to other pastures.

■ Pickup trucks pull stock trailers loaded with horses as ranchers ride with livestock and put out mineral.

■ Water trucks drive to ponds on dry land pastures, filling them with water for sheep and cattle.

■ Ranch cats are working on their second litter of kittens.

■ Skunks and raccoons visit ranch homes at night in search of food and water.

■ The farmer’s market is in full swing.

■ FFA and 4-H members are thinking about the upcoming fairs and sometimes wetting their cattle down in the daytime to encourage hair growth.

■ Steaks, hamburgers, hotdogs and ribs are on the menu.

■ The rancher’s dinnertime often is late due to haying.

■ Everyone keeps an eye out for smoke — it’s fire season.

■ Allergies flare up, due to pollen, smoke and dust that are in the air.

■ Deer and elk have their young with them as they graze in pastures and hay fields.

■ Ranch supply stores stock plenty of insect and weed sprays/dusts and baling twine.

■ The summer reading program is on at the library.

■ It’s common to hear lawnmowers running, and water sprinklers run at all hours.

■ Ranch cats try to beat the heat by sprawling out under trees and even on top of a hose that’s running (because it’s cool).

■ Kids are hoping that it won’t be too dry to have a fireworks show on the Fourth of July.

■ The city pool is a good place to cool off.

■ People make plenty of iced tea and take bottled water with them wherever they go.

It’s summer in Northwest Colorado!

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