It’s been in the thirties and forties with a stiff wind for the last several days, and the snow is mostly gone. I was able to wear leather boots yesterday for the first time in months! What a pleasant break from the pacs I wear most of the winter.
These leather top, rubber-footed boots have a ½” felt liner, and are the only thing that will keep my feet warm. They aren’t as clunky as they look, weighing only three pounds each. But that does add up – especially when you are dragging them through the snow.
And I wore nylon chaps to do my feeding, rather than the heavy insulated bib overalls – that’s even more weight off. But of course there will be many more days before summer when those pacs and bibs will be necessary.
The days are also getting substantially longer! During the dark of winter there are only eight hours of daylight – even less if it is storming. But now there is a definite glow in the east at 6AM, and there remains a glow in the west at 7 PM – that makes every day four hours longer!
Many ranches in Montana calve in January, and most begin in February. But I hold off until March when the days are longer and warmer and the nights much shorter. My calves aren’t so big as some of my neighbors, but I don’t have so much invested in feeding them. As our ranch is proportionately shorter on hayground than many, we are more conservative in feeding it - and thus the nutritive requirements of our cows must be more closely aligned with the natural cycles of the available forage.