From Pipi’s Pasture: Spring isn’t far away
We’re grateful to finally have some snow, but this past snow was something of a shock, after all the warm, dry days we’ve had this winter. It’s the first time in awhile that our front and back lawns have been covered with snow. It’s also been awhile since I’ve had to wade through drifted snow to do chores or had to squeeze through the corral gate due to drifting snow.
The cattle were irritable during the weather change. They were grouchy with one another, bickering more than usual around the feed trailer and complaining loudly whenever I walked down to the corral. The cats, particularly a big black tomcat named “Bud,” yowled at me when I went out to do chores. The animals seemed to think the wind and snow were some kind of a trick and that I should be able to change everything back to the more spring-like days.
Of course, we Moffat County residents — particularly those of us who have lived here awhile — know that winter may continue throughout March and April, and it isn’t even unusual to see snow in June. However, there are signs that spring isn’t too far away.
We have reason to believe that spring may not be too far away because …
• On warm days, the birds sing songs that sound spring-like.
• The tomcats spend days and nights fighting with each other over the females.
• Snow melts faster than it did in December.
• There is green grass under the melting snow.
• The sun feels warmer than it did in December.
• The storms are more squall-like; it snows, the sun comes out, it snows again, the sun comes out …
• There’s soft soil under the snow.
• Water in small stock tanks stays open more often in the daytime, even though there aren’t heaters in use.
• Heavy rugs, washed and hung out, dry somewhat on sunny days.
• Some days, a person can wear two jackets outside in the daytime, instead of four.
• It’s often windy.
• Some days, a person doesn’t have to wear boots to town.
• On nice evenings, the cattle walk the fence line, hunting for something green.
• The furnace can be turned down in the daytime.
• There’s more daylight in both evenings and early mornings.
• Daylight Saving Time begins March 11.
• Easter is April 1, and the stores have displays of chocolate eggs, jelly beans and stuffed bunnies.
• Some little pansy plants are peeking through the soil of flower pots still filled with soil from last year.
• A second mailing of seed catalogs has been sent, just in case we missed those sent in December.
Besides, spring isn’t too far away, because the calendar says so.
About a week ago I was rolling a bale of hay down past the loading dock of the corral so that I could throw hay over the fence. Right there in the path was some rhubarb. It isn’t that the rhubarb hadn’t been there before, but I thought it had died out during the drought. It isn’t easy to get water to that location. The rhubarb is nice and tender, and I’m determined to use it up before the stalks get tough. So I hunted up my rhubarb recipes.