From Pipi’s Pasture: November reflections
At this writing, it is just turning daylight. The early morning sky is covered with scattered clouds, some of which are tinted pink. It’s a pretty morning. When I first got up, I turned on the front porch light for our granddaughter Megan, who would be coming home from work soon. I pushed the three cat food pans out onto the porch and filled them with food. (We put them in at night to discourage the skunks.) Then, I took the dog out and poured myself a cup of coffee.
I enjoy the quiet of the morning, when the world is just waking up. Lyle enjoys a little more sleep before it’s time to help feed the cows, and I wait until it is light enough to go to the corral. As I wait, I enjoy my coffee, plan my day, and reflect on things. This morning, I’m thinking that it’s November already, and as I do at the beginning of every month, I reflect on the changes the new month brings.
It’s Election Day, and we’re thankful we have elections. Lyle and I both remember years past, when we visited with neighbors as we waited in line to vote. We looked forward to the day. This year, we have already voted — days ago. We are thankful that the political commercials — particularly distasteful this year — will be off the air.
Daylight Saving Time is gone for a few months. A few days ago, one of the news channels on television featured a report about the results of a study concerning the effects of changing from one time to another on the human body. I had no idea the changes might bring on a stroke or heart attack. What I do know is that, here at Pipi’s Pasture, it takes a little time to get into a new feeding schedule. It’s light enough to go to the corral by 7 a.m., but I have to arrange my away-from-home work appointments so I can do chores by 3 p.m. Otherwise, it’s getting dark when I’m filling stock tanks. This November, however, it seems we have slipped into the time change more easily than usual.
We have weaned and sold the calves, and the cows have settled into a winter routine. The “bottle” calves have been weaned, too, and are eating grain. Ucky is gone, so there are fewer chores than usual at the corral, which leaves time to chop and remove ice from stock tanks. As we ease into using tank heaters, that chore will become easier, too.
This early morning, I’m marveling as to how much the trees look like skeletons, with their leaves covering the back and front lawns. A few apples and crabapples remain on the trees, food for the flock of winter birds that fly in groups around Pipi’s Pasture. The garden looks sad and lonely.
The little bit of snow we’ve seen this past week is a warning that I need to buy some winter boots — that, and gifts for November birthdays and Christmas.
Reflections and planning — it’s all about November, which has come in a hurry and and will go the same way.
So much for the models that predicted a cool, wet summer for us here in western Colorado — at least I think it’s hot this July. Ranchers are probably relieved that it’s been a good haying season, and after the cool spring, it’s nice to have a “normal” summer, but it is indeed hot.