September’s Gone—October 1, 2017

It seems such a short time ago that I was writing about the cold and muddy April. Shortly after that things changed! It has been the hottest, driest summer I can remember. The hay, well-watered in the spring, grew well and early and was all baled in great shape early in July. Usually we are trying desperately to get the job completed in late August. The pastures also grew wonderfully with the early moisture and the later heat. The cows are rolling in fat. The garden wasn’t so successful. The peas got off to a bad start with water lying on the ground until late May and the soil not working up nicely. The wet then turned to dry and watering was an almost-daily chore. In late July a hailstorm finished the peas and almost destroyed the beans. With all the watering the potatoes did quite well and by the time I had them all dug I wondered if I was trying to grow enough for the entire neighborhood. But the real success story was the apples. After a crop ruined by frost on the blossoms last year, the trees made up for it this year. Hundreds of apples! Sadly, almost everyone had a pockmark or two from the hail. However they were fine inside and I spent hours peeling, coring. Chopping and freezing them for pies. Some pies have been made and sampled and I can say that it was well worth the effort on the apples. Today, as I write this my world is a beautiful place. The leaves are mostly golden with a few red and orange highlights and they have lasted longer than they have in many years. We took a trip through Kananaskis this past week and the scenery was spectacular all the way. One of the joys of ranching-and being somewhat retired-is the ability to take a day off when you choose-unless, of course, the cows get out or some other unexpected event rears its head! Now, the wind is blowing hard so many of the leaves will be lost and snow is expected in the next day or two. That sounds like the end of perfect days. Oh well, we’ve had them this past week-and we seized them!

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