Each Moffat County spring is similar to the last, yet unique in its own way. The uniqueness has to do with the weather “events” that take place in winter and early spring.
For example, it was cold this spring, so at higher elevations, the grass has been slow coming on. It has slowed down cow turnout. The oak brush at that elevation has just started to leaf out, too.
So, since June begins tomorrow, I’ve been thinking about what is going on, work-wise and environmentally, at Pipi’s Pasture and the surrounding area.
■ The hummingbirds stopped by, sipped sugar water and then left again — apparently to higher elevations. They usually return later in the summer.
■ Killdeer birds scurry around on Pipi’s Pasture, making their “kill-dee” sounds. It has been some years since the birds have been around here in the spring.
■ Gardens still are being planted, and some bedding plants have been replanted due to frost.
■ Although some cattle have been turned out, they still are being moved to summer pasture. Sheep are being turned out.
■ Animals left at ranches such as twins and their mothers, cows that are late calving and bottle calves are being settled in for summer.
■ Stock tanks are being cleaned.
■ Irrigation of hay is going on “big time.”
■ Bulls are being tested so they can be turned out.
■ Equipment needed for feeding hay is being put away. So are calving and branding equipment and supplies, winter boots and winter coats.
■ The flies and mosquitoes are out.
■ The barn cats are finding mice somewhere and bringing them in to their kittens, who are now ready to eat food.
■ At higher elevations, the bluebells are blooming, and dandelions are blooming in the hay and in lawns everywhere.
■ Corrals are being cleaned. Twine, lost while feeding hay in the winter, is being picked up from pastures and feedlots.
■ The spraying of weeds has started.
■ Some of the baby birds have hatched.
■ Due to the frost, some of the fruit trees and lilacs have blossoms, others have none.
■ Lately, cold weather turned to hot weather which left the cattle panting — and we humans, too.
■ Everybody has been trying to keep up with lawn mowing.
■ It’s light enough to do chores at 6 a.m.
■ Ranch chores have changed from feeding hay to checking fences, putting out salt and checking cattle on pasture.
■ Near rivers, people are having to be cautious of high water.
■ Spraying trees for beetles will begin soon.
■ Each spring inclement weather holds us back from getting chores done; then it breaks all of a sudden and we’re overwhelmed with work. This year is no different.
■ The cooler has been dusted off; it will be used all summer for outings and to carry lunch supplies to summer pastures and hay fields.