Meadowlarks, Sandhill Cranes, Killdeer, Canada geese, and Robins have all returned to Montana – all sure signs of spring! And today I am wearing leather boots.
I’ve been wearing those heavy felt-lined pacs for months, and I left them sitting this morning. These leather boots feel so light!
Those pacs weigh 3½ pounds apiece. I don’t do a lot of walking, but it all adds up. I load 75 bales of hay a day, at 80 pounds apiece. I lift them on, and I lift them off – that’s 150 “reps” – 12,000# total. And if I only take a thousand steps a day, that’s 1000 reps at 7#, for another 7,000#. My insulated coveralls weigh 5#, my coat 4# - that’s 10 tons a day I’ve been hauling around - no wonder I’m tired!
The snow has melted off, the ground is getting dry, and there are green shoots of grass. It will be weeks before there is enough grass for the cows to feed, but the job gets easier and the duration shortens with every passing day.
The ground is thawed and I’ve been doing a little dirt-work. Most of the cows have calved and are spread out in a bigger pasture – the few that are left to calve are easily watched from a distance.
As tiring as winter is, however, I’m not looking forward to the next few months. My mind is already getting cluttered with all the tasks that should be accomplished between now and haying: farming, fencing, weed-spraying...
But there will be more brandings and more horse-work too – I guess it’s all worthwhile.