|A chokecherry grows in the cleft of a rock it split 50 years ago.|
March is an interesting time of the year on the EJE Ranch. On March 1 (as I write this) we’re a month away from first calves, and a lot will happen this month.
|Windmill in Googie Gulch.|
|Aeromotor and gossamer sky|
March weather is the real madness across the south Panhandle. The days are longer, and many are quite pleasant, but it’s not yet spring. The days can be delightful, but they can also be blisteringly cold and packed with heavy snow. With La Nina conditions continuing to prevail across the equatorial Pacific, meteorologists say we could be in for a wild weather ride including heavy spring blizzards.
As I hiked along I was struck once again at how very different this country can look in a single week. One day I strode out across a brownish prairie, where windbreaks and yucca provided the only hints of color. I could see for miles in the clean, crisp air, and the sky was an enormous inverted bowl of cloudless blue. Then the weather changed, and I found myself hiking a winter landscape two days later. Snow was everywhere, covering nearly everything within my sight. Visibility was less than a quarter-mile, and falling snow blurred the world into a powdery softness.
Both hikes were enormously enjoyable, and each helped, in its way, to chase most of the winter “blah” from my soul. The nice day presaged spring, and the snowy day felt more like spring snow than winter snow.
Today I hiked the prairie again, and nearly all of last week’s abundant snow has gone. The ground is getting softer on top as winter’s frozen, vice-like grip begins to loosen in the soil. Still no green showing, but I did spot a grasshopper and a beetle out and about. The seasons, they are a changin.’
As I count down the days of March, drawing ever closer to calving, I’ll continue to see signs of the annual rebirth of spring. It’s not here yet, and there’s still liable to be far too much snow left in the season, but that’s okay. It’s part of the deal here on the High Plains, and spring is within reach.