Winter is leaving us here at the VX. Yes, it’s only February. Yes, we haven’t had near enough moisture yet to make it through the year. Moisture is important in the cow business. We need moisture to fill reservoirs with water for cows to drink and we need moisture to grow grass for cows to eat. We can get this needed moisture through winter snow melt or through spring and summer rains. Because we don’t get a lot of rain on average, though, a good snowfall is always money in the bank, and it’s somewhat worrisome if we don’t get much snow. Which we didn’t this winter.
It’s not that I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t wish for five months of incredibly deep snow and super cold temperatures and hardships for everyone who works out-of-doors (though I’ll admit, since I’m mostly housebound these days as a mother of three littles, deep snow is more beautiful than troublesome from my living room window). It’s just that I worry that if we’re not punished with a hard winter, we’ll be punished with a tough, dry spring and summer. It’s the sort of hard country we live in.
Still, spring is, well, springing around here… whether I approve or not. The snow is mostly gone. The frost went out of the ground last week. Birds are stirring. And the creek came down a couple days ago — meaning snowmelt and thaw accumulated enough in the country above us to cause the usually-dry stream bed to fill with water and run toward the river.
Here’s Asher assessing the thaw on the meadow below our house. When I took this photo, the air was filled with the sound of a hundred tiny waterfalls rushing downhill and collecting into increasingly-larger streams:
I can remember how early signs of spring made me feel when I was a little kid. I was awed by the process of the earth thawing out and coming alive, and I thought I was an important part of helping it all happen. I used sticks and rocks to break up ice on the creek. I piled up twigs and inspected tiny shoots of green grass. And I was mesmerized by all the water that came out of the earth after a long winter and started its long journey to the river right under my feet.
Anyhow, ready or not, winter seems to have left us for this season once again. There’s even green grass showing, and the horses are feeling frisky:
I wanted to share some scenes from our Sunday:
First thing in the morning, Asher rode along with Beau to feed cows. I took this photo from our back door.
The girls stayed home with me and Emi decided it was warm enough to draw on the sidewalk… with her pajamas and mittens on. It was foggy first thing. Maybe that means we’ll get rain in 90 days?
Later in the day, we humans were feeling frisky ourselves. The sun was out and the weather was too beautiful to stay inside. So we went to the barn to say hey to the horses. I let Asher wield the camera from the back of the Polaris Ranger…
… while I caught horses for the kids to ride. Asher took about 100 hundred pictures like this one…
and this one…
and this one. These are the photos he took which were focused.
Then I helped Emi up to sit on Ranger bareback…
… and Asher sat on Chives bareback. I feel a little bit lazy for not saddling the kids’ horses for them, but hey, sometimes we just do the best we can. (Beau had stayed at the house for a little peace and quiet. Sometimes we have to tag-team these little hellions.)
After riding, we went home and made hot chocolate with milk and chocolate chips. After all, even though the weather is acting like it’s spring, it really is still winter and we deserved hot chocolate. The kids like theirs with marshmallow creme and sprinkles on top. I like mine with creme de menthe and whipped cream. We are very concerned with healthy diets at our house, obviously.
Then the setting sun cast a shadow on the toy nativity that was on the table.
I thought it was a very cool picture. And yes, our Christmas decorations are still out. Spring is springing, and our Christmas decorations are not completely put away. Not to make excuses, but it’s just hard to get it all done with these three little Blakes running around. For instance, I’ll have to hide this Playmobil nativity scene in a box and remove it to a remote location when I do get around to putting it away… because Emi is pretty good at sniffing it out. She loves playing with it year-round… and last year we let her play with it year-round.
I guess there are worse things than playing with a nativity scene all year long.
There now. I knew there was a reason I wasn’t putting the Christmas decorations away.
© Tami Blake