From Pipi’s Pasture: Finding bare ground
Yesterday afternoon when I stepped off the front porch and headed to the corral to do the chores, I noticed that Patches, the multicolored cat, was sitting on a spot of bare ground a few feet away from the porch. Another cat was sitting on a bare spot of lawn. Both spots were where snow had been moved with the snow blower earlier. The morning had been delightfully warm for a change, and the snow melted while I was indoors.
I know how good the cats must have felt to touch bare ground again. I walked over and stood on the spot with Patches. It brought back memories of growing up on the ranch. When the county road began to melt off, my sisters and I took off our boots and stepped on every bare spot as we walked home from school.
Yay! As I walked to the carport to measure out the grain, I found more bare ground, even some mud, and the path to the big gates was slushy.
Today, the weatherman on the noon news announced that a big storm is headed this way (already causing problems along the west coast). Undoubtedly, there is still a lot of winter in store, but lately, there have been signs that spring might not be so far away.
For example …
• Over the past two days, some water has been standing in the corral and around the stock tank.
• The snow drift hill at the corral is getting soft enough for me to break through when I walk on it.
• The path along the corral has widened out and isn’t so slick.
• The snow that crept down off the roof and formed an outside valance along our big front room window finally fell off , and here and there, smaller amounts are falling off the roof making loud “plops!”
• A three-foot-long icicle fell off the roof of the storage shed in the backyard.
• Bare ground is showing through where there are tractor tire prints and where snow has been blown or plowed.
• The male cats are fighting at night, their seasonal ritual.
• Bud and Patches are inseparable once again.
• The sparrows land in bunches on the feedlot and in the corral, where they hunt for seeds in the hay and grain that got scattered around.
• Many of the cows are feisty, perhaps because of their elevated “mother-to-be hormones.”
• After eating hay, the cows enjoy their naps in the sunshine; in late afternoon, they wander around Pipi’s Pasture, more of a warm weather thing to do.
The past couple of days have been delightful — enough to get us through another big snowstorm, should the forecast prove to be correct.
The history of Northwest Colorado has no shortage of fascinating characters. A.G. and Augusta Wallihan are no exception.