From Pipi’s Pasture: Signs that winter is here already
The winter season is getting its start already, even if the calendar doesn’t say so. Over the past few days we’ve seen the signs. For example…
• The clouds are thick, the wind is cold, and the snow is blowing sideways.
• There have already been some freezing temperatures.
• The cattle are grouchy, pushing one another around, and otherwise acting out as they do during a weather change.
• The cattle have taken to spending the night in the front part of Pipi’s Pasture, where they can find shelter behind a row of lilac bushes, something they do every winter.
• All of the animals at Pipi’s Pasture are extra hungry these days.
• A four-point buck deer, a three-point, and several does and fawns — one really small fawn — spend days browsing the yard, picking at grass and fallen leaves and eating the cat food if they can reach it.
• The tree leaves that were frosted earlier in October have dried up but not all of them have fallen off the trees.
• It is always hard to let go of the flowers, but I was able to rescue two pots of daisies that are “greening” up since I brought them inside; the pansies are still blooming.
• The cats have hunted up dry places where they stay when it snows.
• A skunk has taken up residency in some wood piled up in front of the tractor.
• A mouse has made its way into the house — shame on the cats — prompting me to hunt up a mouse trap.
• The heater runs day and night.
• The garden hoses are waiting to be rolled up.
• Daylight Saving Time will end next weekend.
• All around the area, cattle are still grazing on pastures of dried grass.
• Brand Inspector Brad Ocker is busy from early morning to late night inspecting cattle that are being shipped.
• Lots of cattle trucks pass by on the highway.
• The first snow prompted us to hunt up boots and extra gloves; tennis shoes make for slick walking in the snow.
• Cool weather makes supper smells more inviting.
• After the last two snowstorms, we had to start allowing time to clean off the cars and warm them up before leaving the house.
And so, on a cold Wednesday afternoon, chores done, it feels good to be inside to write and watch the leaves float down from the crab apple tree just outside the dining room window. A little snow falls, and I know that it’s the start to winter.