Hello to June
For the Craig Press
Spring came early this year, and there wasn’t much snow to melt — at least not here at Pipi’s Pasture — so it seemed like the season should have been progressing faster. Time-wise, March seemed like April, April like May, and now we’re into June, which – temperature-wise at least — seems more like July. The whole thing is confusing to me, and I’ve been noticing some changes this month compared to previous Junes.
Just the past couple of days, for example, I’ve noticed how ”leaved out” the trees have become. The crab apple tree just outside the dining room window has so many leaves now that I can’t see the corral any longer. During May there were some small leaves, and the tree put out some blossoms, but it still seemed so barren. I was worried that the tree might be dying. I gave it extra water and worried about it. Now, suddenly, it is full of mature, bright green leaves. The tree just needed time, I guess.
Likewise, other trees in the back and front yards have seemed to be slow in putting out leaves. I worried that a cherry tree had winter-killed. I was concerned for the lilacs along the front yard because some of the branches were barren. Now, however, the cherry tree has lots of leaves, and likewise for the lilacs. It is true that the numerous trees in the yards need to be trimmed; there are dead branches here and there, but suddenly there are leaves everywhere.
This year there has been a bumper crop of elm seeds. The flat seeds took some time in floating down off the trees, but there have surely been a lot of them. With some help from the wind, the seeds are everywhere — on top of the water in the stock tank, in the cat water and feed pans, all over the lawn, and even in my hair and ears after chore time at the corral. Now the elms, typically late to put out leaves (and to lose their leaves in the fall), are full of leaves, too.
Another thing that’s unusual about this June is the variety of birds that have stopped by or decided to stay at Pipi’s Pasture. I notice them in the crab apple tree just outside the window. There are yellow birds (I think some type of finch), small grayish birds with red heads and throats, and most exciting, a bird with a body that is part black, a yellowish-orange, and a bright orange. As the birds hop from one branch to the other, the bright color flashes among the leaves. Of course there are the usual robins and other summer birds as well.
June 2021 will probably be remembered for the extreme drought. Pastures are short and many of the ponds are dry. When driving on the highway, I notice that stock tanks have been put out on neighboring pastures. There will be a lot of water-hauling this summer, and ranchers are concerned about their hay crops. This summer will be one for the books.
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