It’s here. The first snow of winter. The forecast threatened it a few times earlier this month but always we escaped. I thought we had escaped this time, too, when I woke at six and saw only rain. I did a few household chores and when I went into the kitchen to make coffee I glanced out the window toward the yard light. What? How could it be snowing now when it missed its overnight opportunity? But, it was, and it continued for most of the day, accumulating perhaps four inches. That was yesterday. Today has been sunshine and the look of Christmas on the snowy spruce trees. Cold enough that most of the snow stayed, but we have no room to complain. It has been a wonderful fall with plenty of opportunities to store away the hay, put the garden to bed, and fill the woodsheds. I think that this spring, summer, and fall have given us one of our longest snow-free periods in recent times. We missed having our usual big May snowstorm this year and we were also spared a September snow. Parts of the Dakotas and adjoining states had such a devastating blizzard in late September or early October that their cattle, not yet in their winter hair coats, perished in the tens of thousands. Through all that our cattle grazed contentedly in warm sunshine on plentiful still-green grass. True, we can have our weather disasters too, but this is great country and I wouldn’t trade it-even if there is snow on the ground today.

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