Winter has loosened her grip. We’ve had three mild days and the sun on my cheek this morning was decidedly warm.The wind, which goes hand in hand with warmer temperatures, finally stopped, feeding was a lark and the red-wing blackbirds are chatting amiably.
But it’s not only a warm cheek and birdsong. It “feels” like calving time, like March. Yes it’s mud and it’s puddles of standing water over sheets of ice – treacherous for man and beast. But more than that, it is a change of mindset, a “switching over.” Not to spring, for that’s a way off yet, but to late winter. It’s a subtle change that those who live on the land understand in a way that folks who work indoors only give a mild nod to. They wait for it to warm up enough to play outdoors on the weekend. We’re just looking for 15 degrees to shed one layer of clothing; 15 degrees to dry a sidehill for a calf to stand and suck.
My indoor, feminine side hates to see the snow leave. I like fireside reading and long evenings. I like the placid feel of pregnant cows burrowing their heads in hay. I like Mark having some down time. Farewell to that.
The gals are starting to show their condition. We have a cow that develops a pinched nerve when she’s heavy with calf. She was on the back end as we walked the herd to ranch headquarters this week. I brought her along slowly as she was in obvious discomfort.
We're back to just one kid again. Seth will be working out of North Carolina for a few months. He hated to leave the West, the family and the ranch. I told him it, and us, will still be here when he finds his way back home again. I drove him to the airport and as we headed out the driveway he asked to stop in to great-grandmas for one last hug. He has always faced up to his goodbyes. Me, I hurry through them, not wanting to cry. Crying is for sissies. Yeah, right.