Pipi’s Pasture: Cool mornings, hot afternoons

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

Early this morning when I was out in the back, pulling a hose around to get the sprinkler started on the lawn, I noticed the cool, “fallish” feeling in the air. It’s hard to describe “fallish” — it’s just there.

As I worked, I noticed several groups of barn cats of various sizes, ages and colors wandering around. They stopped to peek into a doghouse and snooped under a storage shed. I didn’t notice them doing this over the summer, and I’m not sure if it has anything to do with fall.

Maybe the cool air invited a little exploring, maybe the older cats were showing the young ones around, or perhaps they were looking for mice, but I took it as a sign that the seasons are ready to change.

I heard the chattering sounds of a single magpie, too, that was sitting up in one of the elms. We don’t see many magpies around Pipi’s Pasture so it got me to wondering what brought him around the house. Was he checking out the ripening apples in the tree in the front or perhaps the nearly-ripe chokecherries in the front of the house? (Magpies can make short work of fruit.) Was he noticing the soon-to-come seasonal change?

Odd, but no matter if these incidents don’t have anything to do with the coming fall, it’s not long before my favorite season will be here, and so that brings me to one of my change-of-season columns that I enjoy writing (it seems just yesterday that I wrote about summer). Even if I didn’t have a calendar handy, fall isn’t far away. The signs are here …

• There’s that fall “feel” in the air.

• Some mornings there has already been a little dew on the car windshield, and one morning the furnace came on (granted, it wasn’t turned down real low).

• The Moffat County Fair is over, and school has started.

• Halloween items are on display in some area stores. (Can you believe it?)

• The Colorado State Fair is set to open.

• Some of the wildflowers have finished blooming, and a bunch of weeds have gone to seed.

• We’re hearing a lot about the monsoon.

• Hummingbirds are coming down from the high country and stopping by Pipi’s Pasture to enjoy a little nectar before heading to their winter home.

• Tanks are being filled with propane.

• Trailers of hay are passing by Pipi’s Pasture, going east or west, as people get ready for winter.

• Cows are bawling in the distance, a hint that weaning time isn’t far away.

• Barn cat kittens are eating “adult” food now, and in the afternoon they are sprawled out under the porch bench, sleeping in the shade around flower pots, and some even lying in the flower pots.

• The unusually humid summer temperatures, when my body stuck to the sheets at night, have turned cool enough to rest comfortably.

• People are starting to talk about hunting season.

It’s anybody’s guess as to the fall and winter to come, though people have predictions. However, it’s certain that the cool mornings and hot afternoons will pass before long. Fall is my favorite season, and I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

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