Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Fever


Each year, sometime in March, Pete takes the matter of spring’s perennial late arrival into his own hands. Over a period of a week, he opens the gate to the arena and drives his tractor and snow blower around the perimeter six or seven times and then slowly back and forth across the pen. The auger on his blower powerfully gathers up a couple of feet of snow and throws it to the four winds. Pete actually strategically shoots the snow over the arena fence. Once the snow in the arena is cleared, the ground more quickly drains and dries out and it’s then the horse training season can begin—a sign spring has truly arrived.

The depth of our spring fever after five long months of winter’s confinement is well justified this year. Local weather record keepers report that we’ve received well over 400 inches of snow this year. This doesn’t mean we have 400 inches stacked up outside our kitchen window, but it does mean we’ve had three to four feet of snow on the level for most of the winter season. It means fence posts were buried, feed trails needed blown out and cleared, and more often than not Pete had to clean out the feeding troughs every day before he gave the yearlings their grain.

So, although we encourage winter’s passing one day in thought and action, we know all too well we can easily meet Mother Nature’s certain rhythm and will the next. As much as Pete and I would like to think he has control over spring’s arrival, we relinquish all wishful thinking today as we watch a winter storm blow across our meadows blurring in the distance what was yesterday a ribbon of dry county road. With my Boston terrier, Emma, curled up on the couch in my office, Pete and I concentrate on the perennial lesson of our spring season in northwestern Colorado: patience.

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