It’s a clear, cold, crispy winter morning as I head off to do errands in a few nearby towns – combining errands and making one trip saves time and gas over the long haul, even though it wears me out!

The last of the 5 inches of snowfall from yesterday still covers the prairies and clings to our stately pine trees.  They look flocked and are beautiful. The sun shining through the frosted branches is ethereal – absolutely beautiful!   The snowfall is unexpected, but much welcomed by the thirsty soil and the ’tillers of the land’ (farmers) with crops already planted.

As I top the rise towards the highway…off to my left side, a field is black with migrating crows – THOUSANDS of them – they must be having a convention!  I can hear their noisy calls through the rolled up windows. They are very loud.
A group of mule deer, some with unshed antlers, a couple of them just have one antler remaining and look sort of lopsided, wander among the pine trees and then are ‘poetry in motion’ as they become airborne; they sail over the fence and race across the road in front of me. In the distance, I see cattle and horses silhouetted against the edges of Badland banks as they search for the first few spears of early green grasses.

A neighbor’s child reported spotting three of our magnificent national bird, the Bald Eagle, while checking cattle with her grandpa one Saturday afternoon. Spring is coming, ready or not.

April is still in hiding, and can’t decide whether to come out and play or not.

Calving is in full force for many ranchers and the pastures are full of bouncing new babies of all colors and sizes.  New colts stay near to mama for the most part, but sometimes just can’t help themselves to a good run with the others. Spring just feels good!

Have you ever noticed how people seem to smile more as the weather warms? The bicycles come out, scooters too, as people greet the new season of the year. Grade and High School track teams run for miles and miles training for their weekend meets.  I see many more people out for afternoon and evening walks as folks tire of sitting in the house all the time. 

It’s time for those electronic gadgets to ‘take a nap’ for a few months as people get out and play a little golf, or even shoot a few baskets with a neighbor’s kid.

Folks are cleaning out garages, raking yards, spading/tilling flowerbeds and garden spots. Some ‘early birds’ sneak in some radishes, onions and even a few early peas – so what if the ground is cold and muddy. Sometimes they actually do grow!

Easter will be here before we know it, and the marketing has already started – right after Valentine’s Day. Whatever happened to good old St. Patrick’s Day (and if you didn’t remember to wear green, you got pinched).

When I was growing up, Easter was the time for the first new dress and shoes of the year.  Girls got new dresses, shoes and sometimes, even bonnets.  Boys got new dress pants, shirts and sometimes shoes. These clothes were kept for Sunday ‘church best’ for as long as possible. The new clothes completely outdid whatever the Easter Bunny brought, which usually consisted of a little candy and some colored eggs that we had dyed and left on the table. (The Easter bunny had hidden them in the night while we were asleep.) We found and hid them so many times that they usually had to be fed to the neighbors’ chickens because the shells were broken.

But, April is when my ‘Spring Fever’ hits hard and I get busy starting seeds in the greenhouse. My husband used to say that I was "Worse than any kid for diggin’ in the dirt!"  With my ancestry of Irish tenant potato farmers, who immigrated to this country during the potato famine, and Norwegian/Scottish/German farmers from the hills of Appalachia, I guess the shoe fits me to a ‘T’.

I grow as much of the food we consume as I can simply because then I know exactly what I am feeding my family and friends.  I garden organically – chickens for bug patrol, mulch and the hoe for weed control (can’t do anything about the hail).

I have a chair under the apple tree where I can rest and enjoy this beautiful world. I love spring – how about you?

Enjoy the season!

Till next month,   

 Note from Pennywise:
As always, if you have tips or ideas to share, send them to me at Pennywise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543 or better yet, email me at [email protected]
P.S.: Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond!