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And why did I think...

Sue R

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After a mild weekend and a lovely Monday, I was not thrilled to be back in chilly, wet early April in WV. I worked mainly on the computer today, doing some things that needed doing, wood stove churning out that nice, dry heat, dogs in crates asleep - and the rain and wind and chilliness something that was happening outside, not where I was.


But, as much as I was trying to avoid the issue, evening chores were calling my name. I promised Ed I'd take mineral to the cows. The dogs needed a good walk and exercise. I needed to get off my butt. But the incessant rain on the metal roof and drizzle off the gutters, the cool temps on the thermometer, the windy bursts, and the promise of a renewal of muddy conditions all lulled me into putting chores off until later and later - until there was no putting them off any more.


So I fed the dogs - they love their homemade yogurt (thank you, Ed) and homegrown winter squash on top of their kibble (shh, don't tell them, but they'll have bones shortly...) - and they ate while I suited up. Turtleneck - check. Sweatshirt - check. Warm fleece - check. Rain suit - definitely check. Ball cap - check. Boots that are best in mud and slick conditions - check.


Off we went, mineral pail in hand, Chuck-It hidden in my rainsuit (no one was fooled, they knew it was there). Up the road, through a pasture, and around and back behind where the cattle are being fed their hay, to put the dogs in the next field to wait while I dumped the mineral in its trough.


I saw the cows with their little calves, raskles all of them, and thanked the Good Lord for a (so far) healthy, happy, productive calving season without the losses we have experienced in the past due to snow, bone-deep wind chills, ice, and other adversities.


And then on to play ball in one of the further fields from the house, nice and clean as it hasn't had cattle in it since fall. And while I tossed the ball to three energetic, eager, active dogs, I just stopped to consider the day around me - and I realized that it wasn't miserable after all.


The rain was a soft, steady, soaking rain - the kind that does the ground good, doesn't cause erosion, and embodies that "April showers bring May flowers" ditty. The hilltops and higher pastures were shrouded in gray - fog, mist, or just the undersides of clouds. Occasional breezes caused this mistiness to dance and swirl across the slopes.


The fields are greening up - the orchardgrass is easy to pick out as it is clumpy and quick to sprout up. The little seeds of red clover and grasses are tiny but sprouting green and optimistically seeking the sun (so am I). Some plants are still quite brown, maybe the warm-season species that say, "Wake me when it's May or June."


The daffodils are blooming, and so are the hyacinths. A second, relatively mild (temperature-wise) winter has made for a second year of happy spring bulbs. They are not quite as spritely as usual - cold spells and rain and some snow has caused them to bow their heads, but their brightness is still there to see and warm the heart.


And the trees and brush - well, the tips of tree twigs are starting to swell, replacing their stark, skeletal winter appearance with a softer vision. You can see them in all stages of development, depending on the species, from blooming on the bush cherries to still hiding in their winter scales. But you can see that spring is here as the red maples get that reddish tinge with their blossoms starting to open, and some trees have a bit of greenish tinge showing - give them a week, and it will be full bloom and leaves popping out. Right now, though, the iffy weather has slowed down the progression towards full spring and then summer.


I thought about how precipitation determines what the land is like. Look at the UK and Ireland - they are verdant because of rain, and plenty of it. Look at countries with seasonal rains and seasonal dry spells (just look at Southern CA and see the green of winter and the brown of summer). After two years of having drought conditions in later summer and fall, having to buy hay because we had to start winter feeding so early, I said I would not complain about rain. Obviously, I started this day forgetting my vow.


The birds have been singing their songs - funny how such a cheery sound really is some little boy bird telling all the other little boy birds that he's the biggest, baddest little boy bird on the block - and telling the little girl birds that he is as studly and suited for fatherhood as a little boy bird could be.


And the dogs. Wet, a bit muddy, definitely going to bring a little of that wet-dog smell into the house - but like any other smell you associate with something or someone you love, it will be okay. They came in looking pretty disreputable, soggy and tongues lolling from the exercise - and quite willing to spend the rest of the evening outside chasing the ball if I'd let them. Or just walking and sniffing, and checking things out. Megan would have her nose down every woodchuck hole - she loves spring, summer, and fall, when she can try and find those enticing creatures. The one time she found one, she had not a clue what to do with it, which was fine with me.


My fifteen minutes of chore time turned into over an hour - for some odd reason, I just wasn't ready to rush back inside. My bad attitude about going out to do chores was gone in a wave of appreciation for the beauty before me, and the good company around me.


Happy Spring to you all, and may all your chore times bring you joy!

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"And then on to play ball in one of the further fields from the house, nice and clean as it hasn't had cattle in it since fall. And while I tossed the ball to three energetic, eager, active dogs, I just stopped to consider the day around me - and I realized that it wasn't miserable after all. ...."




A beautiful reminder of how some good pals can help to turn the day around!


Thanks, Sue.



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ba-humbug Sue! :rolleyes: i'm sitting in a cave, unable to open my large garage door, trying to sell watergarden supplies and koi,etc. heck, fish are swimming down the streets! when i named the business just add water, i didn't nean like this. i need a little sun and warmth to get my season going.

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