Monday, September 7, 2015

Simply September

The change is upon us. Cooler weather is here to stay.

During the summer we leave our windows open all night. We close everything up tight by 8:00 am and the house stays cool all day. But by August’s end the windows stay shut. One chilly morning seeing Mark frying bacon in his winter coat was the last of that!

Am I the only one who has a running love affair with September? Hardly. But that’s what it feels like - a ranch wife's month of treasures. It’s the time of year when the contrast of green and gold is our world. Irrigated pastures with their shiny leaves of regrowth lopping over in rich clumps, abutting mellow cured-off grasses along the perimeter.  

The wind blew all day yesterday. Afraid that the ditches might be filling with tumbling mustard plants, I made a run just at dusk to check the pipes for clogs. As I walked the ditches carrying my pitchfork, the sky over the Blackfoot River Mountains streaked pink, then lavender, then as quickly faded to gray, just for my viewing pleasure.  

The bright yellow blossoms of tansy that line the ditch banks are turning to rust. The garden is overrun with weeds. The first spud harvester of the season hogged the roadway on my way home. Rabbitbrush dot the sandhills with color. It must be fall.

Mark and I spent a day in the mountains checking cows and monitoring the stockwell. The word “shameful” came to mind seeing all that grass and knowing our ranching neighbors in Western Idaho are suffering the effects of wildfire.

Our son, Seth, spent a couple of weeks working from home at his new agriculture consulting job and helped us on his off-time. He helped me gather cockleburs in the Gardner ditch one evening, joined his Dad and Grandpa working on a new water project, and came to our rescue when we desperately needed his young, strong muscles to clear a plugged irrigation pipe.

He loves September as I do and hated to leave to head back to South Carolina where he’s based temporarily. We made a quick fly-fishing run to the south fork of the Snake River one evening. I read a book on the bank and he lost himself on the river. Quiet and oh so Septemberesque.

Maybe “shameful” isn’t the word for it after all, maybe “blessed” will do.  

cocklebur bouquet

a tough clog

tansy, cures everything from worms to gout! 

rabbitbrush in bloom
a cowboy and a fisherman


  1. Awesome piece, Wendy! Fall is truly the best and my favorite time of year.

  2. Awesome piece, Wendy! Fall is truly the best and my favorite time of year.