That should be a good thing. It's warmer now and hopefully, with any sort of luck, we just may yet see the end of winter. But still, when you're out trudging about in the dark, and the mud, and the slop, there's something to be said for frozen.
Frozen doesn't make the mud stick to my boots, making them heavier than they already are, or send my leg skidding off crazily in some odd direction when I step wrongly, on the edge of the bedding pack.
I like the summer. Quite a bit, in fact. I believe that we're in our seventh month of snow now and I am more than ready to change my view from white to something else. That something else, which is going to be the brown of mud for a while, but I'll take that. I don't, after all, have much say in the matter. It wasn't a week ago, that the only spots free of snow in the field, were the areas that I plowed open for the feeders and the trail to that and to the bedding pack. It made checking for calves at 3:00 A.M. pretty easy. Now, I have to wander about a bit more to shine my light on all of the bare spots to look for calves.
But the winter's not ready to let us go, just yet. It's snowing again this weekend. My cows let me know it was coming the other night as I made my rounds to look for new baby calves, huddled on the ground beside their mothers on random patches of the pasture where the snow had melted away. Whenever a weather change is coming, it usually brings on a mess of new calves. It's not such a bad thing though, because by the time the bad weather arrives, anything close to calving has, and we get a day or 2 of slower activity as we go into the poorer weather.
Because of the mud, I've had to abandon my insulated coveralls. I can't wrap them tight enough to fit comfortably into my rubber boots. They're warmer, and have better pockets, but by the time I've gotten around to check on everything, having them wrapped tight around my legs and jammed in my boots has driven me crazy. So, it's the lighter ones now that are stinking up our porch. I'm pretty sure that our house smells like the barnyard, but for some reason, every time that I wash them, I end up the next day with my arm up the backside of a cow and my freshly cleaned coveralls covered with inside of cow things.
There was a time that I enjoyed the night checking. It's quiet, and in the heart of the clear, cold night, there's more stars out than you have ever seen in your life. I try to notice those type of things, because being up all night looking after calves loses it's appeal a lot quicker than it did, even 5 years ago. Each trip is a mystery as to what you'll find. Whenever you think that one last quick look around, then you'll be able to pop into bed, there's sure to be a cow that needs help, or a heifer is calving too close to the muck hole. Which means that you're up for another hour making sure everything is alright.
And even on the off chance that you get all dressed up, and head out into the dark with your big-assed flashlight in the middle of the night, and find that nothing needs your help, you can't just come back into the house and jump right into your warm bed.
Because if you do that, and try to cuddle up to your wife's warm backside to share a little of her heat, she's probably going to let you know how much she DOESN'T appreciate that. And most likely, neither of you are going to end up getting any sleep.