Saturday, April 2, 2011

SIGNS OF SPRING IN NW MONTANA

Rain has replaced the snow, and the pastures are emerging, with a few islands of snow left here and there.  An occasional married couple of Canada Geese lands to search for whatever has survived the winter.

In cleaning up the front porch from winter mess, I swept up some wet leaves and found two tiny, pretty little salamanders hidden in the wet.  I moved them to a wet flower bed and hope they live.  There is a new crop of robins about, so their survival is chancy.

I hauled some old boxes, paper, leaves, bark, etc., the general spring clean up mess, in a wheelbarrow over to the fire pit.  To do this I had to go under the wire that keeps the cows in.  They came over to investigate the interloper with trash.  You have to first understand that this is Montana MUD season.  It is everywhere.  Did I have mud boots on for this excursion through mud and cow poop slurry?  Nope.  (Will explain about that in a minute.)  I had on athletic shoes on, which is dishonest as I am not athletic at all.  Anyway, in pushing the wheelbarrow through 6" of mud, one of the shoes was grabbed by the mud monster and my foot slipped out and I plopped it right down into a pretty yellowish cow poop.  I had to turn around, and tug really hard to get the mud to let go and give me back my shoe.  I slipped my very slimy foot into the shoe and swore.  Meanwhile, the extremely beautiful golden jersey cows were gathered in a circle around me, fascinated with what humans do for amusement.  "Hello, girls, nice day, huh?"  One of them moo'ed faintly.  It may be they understand a whole lot, but feel we are unworthy to converse with.  They always have a slightly pitying look in their eyes.

A brief note about the mud boots I didn't have on.  They are called Sorellingtons, a new product from Sorel.  Two shades of green.  They are a bit girley.  Probably should have gone to Cabellas.  Anyway, they are the grandest mud boots ever, and all last year in the mud season, I kept them in the closet so I wouldn't get them dirty.  (You may laugh now.)  This year, after the above fiasco, they are coming out of the closet. 

I chose a different way back from the fire it, with the same mud and poop slurry, crawled under the wire, and removed the shoes.  Not really sure how to clean them.  They sure are not going into the washing machine until they are clean.  [Don't look for logic there, please.]

There is a new addition to the pastures:  A very young bull.  A previous time I took trash to burn, he followed me all over the place.  I pretended not to notice.  I don't understand why bulls seem to become imprinted on me.  I have been ordered NOT to PET this one, as trouble comes down the line.  I am LISTENING.  Yesterday, I was pruning some plum trees when a HUGE, deep bass toned bellow startled me.  My friend Chuck the dancing bull was very close in a pasture where he usually isn't, and he wanted out to play with me.  There was an electrified wire to keep him in, but it's about half an inch wide and doesn't look like it would keep a herd of ducks in.  But they sense when there is live power in it, I guess.  So he just stood there and bellowed and pawed the ground because he was not allowed out to play. 

I honestly believe if you were to sit in a chair and watch him for an hour you could see him growing, kind of like you can hear bamboo growing.  He has become a huge, magnificent creature.  Imagine the terrifying monster bulls in a Spanish bull fight.  That's what he looks like.  What, you've never seen a real bull fight?  Well, I admit it takes a huge attitude adjustment for westerners to appreciate the balletic but gorey spectacle.  Anyway, Chuck would be like the famous Ferdinand.  He wouldn't fight, he would just chase everyone around the bull ring until someone stopped to pet him on the forehead.  Then he might nudge you lovingly with his nose, knocking you down, then he might paw at you with his hooves to make you get up......  A new definition of "Tough Love."

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