From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s June
Suddenly it’s June. It seems as though it was just yesterday that I was writing about the approaching spring. Now just look how things have changed, not just here at Pipi’s Pasture but elsewhere in the county.
• The lilacs and apple, cherry, chokecherry, and serviceberry trees are blooming. How did they keep from getting frosted?
• The grass is emerald green — even greener at higher elevations, such as our summer pasture.
• It seems that the daytime temperature has turned from cold to nearly 80 degrees overnight.
• Everywhere in the county cattle and sheep are being turned out on summer pasture.
• No more feeding with the tractor.
• The focus for ranchers is on irrigating and weed spraying.
• Gardens are sprouting — at least crops that don’t mind the cold soil.
• After such a wet spring, it’s time to start watering.
• Now that the nights are warmer, we can put out our flowers and tomatoes, too.
• There’s plenty of fence checking and repair to be done.
• Most of the trees have their leaves.
• Branding season is over (though for Pipi’s Pasture it was just finished last Sunday).
• When we look to the high mountains, there’s not as much snow as a couple of weeks ago.
• The water in the creeks and rivers is still high.
• The rattlesnakes are out.
• Corrals are being cleaned.
• Furnaces are turned off and windows left open during the day and part of the night.
• Hummingbird feeders are full.
And since a few cows will remain at Pipi’s Pasture for the summer, the month of June means getting into a new routine. Among those staying here will be my two old cows, Ucky and Sarah, and Ucky’s calf. These two cows were raised together since they were calves, but Ucky has been in the corral all winter and Sarah has been with the other cows. Now they will have to get used to being together again, getting grain and hay in the corral twice a day. It sounds simple, since they’re cows, but it’s a change in routine — for me, too.
So we all need to enjoy June. In a blink of an eye it will be the Fourth of July!
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On a summer morning in southern Idaho, the day breaks early, before 6 a.m. The air is stale, never fully cooled from the heat of the day before.