Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Fall always surprises. Maybe you find you don't need the fan to sleep now. Or that it gets dark earlier. Maybe you have to wait for daylight to start work now, or you can see that the plants are not the same kind of green they were.
It came during the state fair this year. The average temps dropped by ten or so degrees and we found it much easier to tie into some of the construction that always waits around here.

Fall appeals to every sense. I always smell late summer in the air in August. It is a weedy ripening kind of smell that I suppose must be difficult for allergy sufferers. The colors fade and deepen. While the grass isn't as green and lush as it was, the cattle gain better on fall grass. The cottonwoods talk in a different language. Cottonwoods are the prairie's gift to those who live away from running water. Their glossy leaves are getting stiffer now and the waterfall noise they make in the wind is louder in fall and carries further. At the time of leaf drop, they will start to rattle in the breeze.

We have frogs this fall. I startle a dozen or so up every time I walk to the cattle for a paddock change. This is new, and pleases us as much as the return of the grassland birds that we began to notice when we seeded the pastures down fifteen years ago. These creatures are our gauges, telling us that we are going in the right direction, or correcting us if we are not.

Today we set up huts in the permanent pasture for a small 14 sow September pasture farrowing. They start in about a week. Looking forward to it.