Only a couple weeks ago we were knee deep in snow, and I was taking photos of the fog and the cold winterscape. Calves were snuggled up in the barn against the cold, and feeding the cows was the one major focus of the whole farm. It was a bit like an old country song – an annoying one that goes round and round in your head. Feed a cow here and feed a cow there, feed them cows everywhere, la-la-la. Everything was about the trek out to the barn to get a few bales down or check on that mother with her new baby.
It feels (now that its done) like it took only the space of a few days, to make all that white stuff disappear like magic, and here, finally, come the bees, and the birds and all that stuff.
Now, in this in-between, there’s a feeling in the air at the ranch, an exciting tingle of anticipation, like a great unseen force coiling itself up, stretching tighter and tighter, ready to explode into action. Spring is coming, and you can almost see the boys and girls at the ranch jogging in place, stretching those sleepy farming muscles in preparation, gathering up their strength for what’s about to start. They pace the yard and the houses, impatiently cleaning up the logging piles, cursing the cold that holds them back, discussing strategies and what needs to happen in the first stretch of the race that is farming.
Last week a big semi stopped by and delivered bag after bag of fertilizer, heralded with great excitement by the boys, as this year we’re making our own and trying something new.
It’s been a long cold winter, and everyone is ready for the warmth and the green that is coming our way. Cows get herded from one field to the next, calves are sorted and tagged and doctored up against illness.
Under the dirt, little seedlings and roots are stretching upwards, even if you can’t see them yet. Out on the fields the tractor’s running back and forth, and the excavator’s digging the big long ditch we’ll need for the new sprinkler system that’s taken over our field like a mammoth growing machine. In the corrals, new calves are practicing their running, cows are getting restless, and the haysheds are emptying out.
Everything is saying, get ready… set… GO!