From Pipi’s Pasture: You never know
I always look forward to the coming spring when I don’t have to wear heavy boots; wade through drifted snow to get to the corral for morning chores; put on three jackets; and tie three hoods over my head. I especially look forward to not having to shovel drifts to get to the corral in the morning or worrying that I might not be able to drive down the lane through drifts to get to the county road.
So I have enjoyed the past few days when it has been warm enough to open a window and a door—at least for a little bit. I’ve enjoyed being able to hang the short section of garden hose( that I use to fill the stock tank) close to the water hydrant overnight and not worry that it will freeze. I was even able to stretch a long hose to the end corral to fill Sarah’s water tanks. Also enjoyable is being able to wear my tennis shoes to the corral, making it seem as if I’m skipping over the ground instead of clumping along in my heavy snow boots.
I’ve also discovered other benefits from the warm weather, such as hearing the “kill-dee, kill-dee, kill-dee” sounds coming from the killdeer birds as they explore Pipi’s Pasture, likely hunting for places to lay their eggs. For some reason, the killdeer are more plentiful here this season.
There is a bleak side to this year’s spring, too—at least so far. It’s dry here at Pipi’s Pasture, drier than most springs. The corral wasn’t boggy this year as the snow melted so that I didn’t have to worry about getting my boots stuck in the muck as I walked across it. ‘No worries that I’d get stuck and have to be rescued.
Usually a large pond of water forms in the front pasture when the snow melts, but not this year. The pond is usually so full that water birds can be found walking around in it.
However, you never know about the weather around here this time of year, and, sure enough, there was a change this morning. Helper, the cat, crawled out from under the porch when I started out for the corral to do chores, and by the time we measured out the grain for Sarah and filled two cat pans, it was snowing and blowing.
The hose at the water hydrant hadn’t frozen during the night so I took advantage and filled the stock tank to the top as I put out hay for the cows and calves. Sarah came out of the loafing shed and ate her grain and nibbled at her hay. Her water tanks didn’t have even thin ice on them so no work there. It wasn’t long before I had all of the cows fed. The barn cats were scarce, but I left feed and came back to the house.
The snow and wind picked up as I filled my cup with coffee and settled down for a two-hour stretch with paperwork. I was thinking how welcome the moisture is, but the robin in the crab apple tree probably didn’t agree. I noticed him sitting on a branch with his feathers all fluffed out, making his red breast look bigger than usual.
As I watched, the robin tried to move from one branch to another, but the wind caught him and he fluttered around, trying to stay put on a smaller branch. He made several attempts to move around on the tree, all with similar results. At one point he looked as if to be thinking, “Why me?”
There’s one thing to be said for spring weather; you never know.
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