The First Real Sign of Spring
If February is the desperate month, March is the hopeful month in Montana. A few days ago, we saw the first buttercup emerge in the pasture. This is always our sign that spring is truly on the horizon. No matter what happens after this sighting, we know spring is on the way.
True to form, the weather did a reverse thrust back into winter last night when we got 4 inches of snow. It wasn’t the light and fluffy type that melts quickly the next day. It was the wet, heavy type that you still have to shovel and plow (darn it!). This is March in Montana. Hopes are raised and quickly dashed, only to be raised again the next day. If you don’t like surprises, don’t even think about moving to Montana.
My Life is Rocks
Although my life probably won’t be trees this year, it’s definitely all about rocks. If you have peeked at my gardening blog (link up top on the header) you’ll know that I’m undergoing a major garden bed revision, which includes taking border rocks off, installing new, bigger border rocks and then surrounding each bed with driveway rock that isn’t being used on the driveway (a 4-foot high, 6-foot diameter pile). I’m also going to be building two new garden beds and pounding a bunch of new stakes for an expanded fence. Can you say owie? The one good thing about this type of exercise of shoveling small rocks and moving big rocks with a handtruck is that I’ve developed some baby-sized guns! I hope to turn those into respectable-sized girl guns with a few more months of garden work. I’m lucky I have a live-in chiropractor!
Babies and Burning
The other sign of spring in Montana is that people burn their fields to get rid of excess dry grass before growing season and to clean up fence lines and ditches. It can be disconcerting to drive along and see a whole field on fire, but there is usually someone tending the fire with a rake and/or hose. Sometimes those fires get out of control and the fire department has to step in (we have personal experience with that!). The other thing you see is a lot of black and brown lumps appearing in the cow pastures. The cows start having babies in February and by March they are all over the place. This early in the year, they pretty much lay around unless they are feeding. In a month or two they’ll be walking around more and playing chase with each other.
Buttercups, baby cows, and black fields. Yep, it’s definitely spring in Montana!