Pipi’s Pasture: Transitioning seasons
February 28, 2014
Each time the season is about to change her at Pipi's Pasture, I just can't help myself — I have to write about it. After all, it brings changes to what is going on in the agricultural community and, for that matter, the rest of our community as well.
Right now nearly all of the snow has melted out here on Pipi's Pasture, and at the moment it's raining lightly. It's spring-like for sure, but no doubt we'll get more snow and maybe a lot of it. So it's more like a transition time of year.
This is what's going on during the transition from winter to spring:
• In the morning, after the ground has frozen during the night, we can get by without putting on our snowboots. Boy, do our feet feel lighter when we can wear tennis shoes to do our chores!
• When we come back to the house from the corral, our clothes have that odor of "whatever it is that makes a cow smell like a cow."
• During the daytime there's some water standing in parts of the corral, but the real gooey mud is probably yet to come.
• The frozen cow pies in the outbuildings have melted enough to be able to clean them for calving season.
• The "mushrooms" on the feedlot (snow and ice, topped with cow pies) are melting.
• Now that it has warmed up, the cows are "itchy" so they rub on gates, fences, posts, machinery and anything else that's handy.
• Because of their itching, black and red hair can be found on gates, fences, posts, machinery, and lots of other places.
• Calving and lambing seasons have started at some ranches and about to start at others.
• At the corral, enough ice has melted so that nearly all of the gates will open enough to walk through, instead of squeeze through as necessary during the winter.
• It's warm enough during the daytime so that the hose, used to fill a water tank, doesn't have to be brought into the house every night.
• The ice is melting in a large stock tank that couldn't be heated in the winter.
• Daylight Savings Time will soon "spring forward."
• There's wind, wind and more wind!
• By afternoon we can wear two coats instead of three.
• The lawn is almost bare enough to rake last fall's leaves.
• Though spring is not far off, the grass is mostly brown, but a cow can find a sprig of green.
• Now that the snow has gone off, we find cow grain pans, buckets, cat feed pans, and other things that we lost during the snowstorms.
• Believe it or not, some mama barn cats are heavy with kittens already.
• The cat food is disappearing from the cat pans faster than usual overnight; suspect is a skunk.
• The woodpiles are getting shorter at homes where there are wood stoves.
• Bale twines, lost during feeding last winter, can be seen in the pasture; so can grocery sacks, paper items, and other items that have blown into the pasture and gotten covered up with snow.
So, we're into a transition period, but don't put your snow shovels away just yet!