7 Reasons why fall on the ranch is the best time of year
- October 2, 2015
- Richelle Barrett
Where has the year gone? It seems like just yesterday we were sloshing through the muck and checking newborn calves; now it is the first of October and the leaves are beginning to turn. That being said, I have decided there is not a better time of year than fall in Montana. Although fleeting, fall is by far my favorite season for more reasons than just because the temperature starts to cool off a bit.
- Fall colors are beautiful. As soon as the days start to shorten, the leaves start to change colors and the brown of the summer-fried grass is offset by vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and faded greens. The Quaken Asp’s white bark is quite a contrast against their lush, almost golden-yellow leaves, and for the first time all year the Box Elder trees are actually pretty to look at. The brush starts to turn burgundy, and the blue of the sky seems richer against the hills of trees and plants that put on such a pretty display. But don’t blink; the leaves don’t stay for long.
- The weather is more stable. Most of the time, fall is the only time of year that the weather in our area does not change seven or eight times a day. It is pretty normal for the mornings to be cool, and for it to warm up by mid morning. But as soon as the sun starts going down, you better have long sleeves handy or you might get a chill.
- The air is crisp, clean, and cool. The skies are clearer, the stars begin to get brighter, and the sunrises and sunsets are more stunning. Fall is the transition between summer’s hot, smoky days and winter’s cold, dreary, and never-ending nights.
- The days are getting shorter. While it is kind of bummer that I get even less accomplished after getting home from work at 6:00 in the evening, it is kind of nice to know that on most nights, my husband being home by dark no longer means he will be coming in at nine or ten but rather six or seven’o’clock.
- There is lots of riding that needs to be done! From moving cows to fall pasture, to cutting out replacement heifers, and preconditioning calves, there is a lot of riding that gets done in the fall. The nice part about all that riding is that if you can get it done in September and early October, the weather might be nice enough that it is actually enjoyable.
- Pay-day is right around the corner. If you are a spring- calving rancher, chances are fall equals a paycheck for you; not much feels better than getting those weaned calves on truck and sent off to the cattle buyer or feedlot.
- Fall is a reminder that life is so, so short. A season that only seems to last two short months before the dead of winter sets in is a good reminder to appreciate each day as they come along. To live in the moment. And to be thankful for the beauty that surrounds us year round, however quickly it might change.
Spring, summer, and winter are all fine in their own right. But if I got to choose, I would take these sixty to seventy-degree afternoons year ’round if I could. Pepper a few rain storms throughout the year and I would be in heaven. But since Mother Nature is but a fickle woman, I guess I will take what she gives us and enjoy the short, sweet days of fall as best I can. Especially the days spent in the saddle.
I hope you all get to enjoy the next few short weeks of fall doing what makes you happy, and that you get your fill of Vitamin D before the sun goes on a winter hiatus for the next six months!
About Richelle Barrett
Richelle is a part time rancher, home office manager, full time wife, mother, and Customer Service Rep at the local telephone cooperative. She was born, raised, and lives on her parent's ranch in the North- Central part of Montana; and spends most days...