From Pipi’s Pasture: Signs that winter is here already |

From Pipi’s Pasture: Signs that winter is here already

Diane Prather/For Craig Press

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.