From Pipi’s Pasture: The first day of fall
I’m writing the column on this first day of fall, a cloudy but warm day. Not too warm — just right. A little earlier, when I ran a couple of errands in Craig, it seemed that whoever I met had the same idea: “It’s a perfect fall day.”
Two or three frosts have come and gone. This year I didn’t have to go crazy covering up garden plants because the deer found their way into the garden — for the first time ever — and ate everything, including the cabbages, squash, and pumpkins. I managed to rescue one mini pumpkin that I brought in and put on a shelf in our entertainment center. The little pumpkin even had teeth marks on it. Next spring the fence that separates the pasture from the garden will have to undergo major deer prevention.
I have been covering the flowers every night, however, if for nothing else to prevent the deer from pulling them out of the pots. It’s nice to have the flowers up into October.
As I write this column I can see the crabapple tree outside of the dining room window. Its leaves are as green as they were during the summer but probably not for long. Higher up country, where the cattle have been summering, some of the leaves have started to change color, but I think it’s mostly from the dry weather, instead of frost.
I hope the cattle enjoy the last few days of summer pasture because we’ll bring them back to Pipi’s Pasture next weekend.
Around Pipi’s Pasture and all around our northwest corner of Colorado there are other signs of the fall season, too, such as the following:
• Propane trucks are busy filling everybody’s tanks with fuel for winter.
• The furnaces often come on during the night.
• We sleep with our windows closed now.
• Hay meadows, once bustling with the activity of farm equipment, are now covered with cattle.
• Gunshots can often be heard in the distance; hunting seasons have begun.
• Cars might have a little frost on them, but so far we don’t have to scrape ice off the windshields or to warm them up to go to work.
• Early in the morning, when passing by people’s houses, one can see plastic and other types of coverings over flower beds.
• The “barn” cats, that were somewhat scarce during the summer to hunt rodents, have now begun to to show up at the house again for food.
• The gray ground squirrels have gone into their burrows for the winter season.
• The school buses can be seen at regular times now as they wind around county roads, picking up children and bringing them back home.
• Houseflies, that find their ways into our houses in summer, are slowing down and easier to “swack” now.
• People are decorating their homes with pumpkins and other autumn items.
• Football, at schools and on television, is a big thing now.
And, as covered in last week’s column, somewhere, somebody is probably cleaning out a chicken house.