During the past two or three months, we’ve pulled hoses around on our yards and gardens, trying to keep the plants from drying up; we’ve hauled water to our livestock; and we’ve cranked up the house fans in an effort to stay cool. Suddenly — or it seems suddenly — we’ve gotten some moisture, the grass has greened up, the daytime temperatures have been cooler and it has frosted.
It’s nearly Oct. 1, but even if we didn’t have a calendar, we’d know that the fall season is upon us here at Pipi’s Pasture because:
■ The window sills are lined with green tomatoes.
■ Blankets, sheets of plastic, sacks and whatever else we can find are draped over flowers and some garden plants.
■ A lot of semi-trucks can be seen running up and down the highway carrying livestock home from summer pasture.
■ People have started up their furnaces or are using their fireplaces at night.
■ The corn stalks are drying up.
■ Potatoes are being dug; winter squashes are being harvested.
■ Fall work is going on in area wheat fields.
■ Fences around fall pastures are being repaired and stack yards are being closed up.
■ Frost has been scraped off car windows at least once in the past week.
■ The hummingbirds have left for the winter.
■ Spring flower bulbs, such as daffodil, crocus and tulip, are being planted.
■ Calves are being weaned.
■ People are thinking about getting the winter tires put on their vehicles.
■ Ground squirrels and ground hogs are going into their burrows for the winter.
■ Pickups pulling trailers with four-wheeler vehicles are being driven by people wearing camouflage clothing.
■ Pumpkins are on display at local grocery stores.
■ Local meat processing plants are starting to get busy with hunting seasons.
■ Fruit trees are heavy with crabapples and a variety of other apples.
■ 4-H and FFA members are selecting livestock to feed for the coming year’s program.
■ Leaves have that “in between” summer and fall appearance, soon to change color as they already have in the mountains.
■ People are hunting up soup recipes.
■ Morning chore times have been changed until later in the morning as compared to summer because it’s darker in the morning now.
■ It gets dark earlier in the evening now.
■ People are starting to wear flannel shirts and sweaters.
■ Barn cats are hunting up cozy places to sleep in haystacks and outbuildings.
■ People are writing “winter boots” on their shopping lists.
■ Ranchers are hunting up missing cattle and sheep.
■ Windows are closed at night; flannel sheets have been put on the beds.
■ Everyone is looking forward to beautiful Indian summer days ahead.