From Pipi’s Pasture: A year of changes
It’s been a year of changes, so far, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—a year of huge changes as a matter of fact.
However, as I look around I realize that there are some things that are “as usual.” These involve nature. Take the weather, for example. According to the calendar we’re still just under a month away before summer, but already the daytime and nighttime temperatures are turning warmer. Each spring is a little different weather-wise from the one before so one might be warmer than the other. One might lead to a drier or warmer summer than the one before. One year we may have a killing frost; another year might be just fine. However, we can count on the month of May to be pretty much the same, year after year.
Here at Pipi’s Pasture the apple trees are filled with beautiful blossoms. I have especially enjoyed the deep pink blossoms on the crab apple tree that grows just outside our dining room window. I have watched the buds blossom and then lighten in color. Today a light breeze is blowing some of them away. Most years we get to watch the crab apple blossom. The lilacs and chokecherry trees are ready to burst into bloom, too.
A change this season involves the bees. The flowering trees are full of large bumblebees, much more abundant than in recent years, and that’s great news!
The robins are nesting again. They land on the branches of the crab apple tree, their beaks full of twigs or something for their nests. A few days ago a hummingbird almost flew in the house when I was going out the front door. We can always count on the hummingbirds to stop by on their way to higher elevations for the summer—to return later in the summer. The birds are always here this time of year.
Life in rural areas is pretty much the same. Farmers and ranchers are irrigating hay meadows. Most of the cattle—and perhaps sheep—have been turned out onto summer pasture. Summer will be spent checking cattle, fences, watering ponds, and putting up hay. Each day at Pipi’s Pasture is the same, including feeding cows, filling watering tanks, and plenty of other chores.
Besides being able to count on nature to go on as usual, we can also count on people to find alternatives to problems—like the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that so many summer activities have to be rescheduled, people are finding lots of other ways to stay active. For example, when I went shopping for garden seeds and started plants, I discovered that the seeds were picked over. I couldn’t find zucchini seeds—first time ever that I can remember. There isn’t a big selection of started flowering plants as usual, either. It seems to me that people must be doing a lot more gardening this spring.
My sister Charlotte Allum and brother-in-law John of Fort Collins have figured out lots of creative ways to keep the family together, even though they all stay in their own homes. They play Yahtzee by phone, believe it or not, and even have tournaments. John practices his trombone with another person via technology.
It’s been a year of changes, yet in some ways it has not.
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