Waiting for the bang and the roar

Farm Forum

I’ve been looking high and low for this hombre with no luck. The little dickens should be around here somewhere, but do you think I can find the culprit. I’ve even uncovered a few cleverly hidden clues that he has left behind, but can I locate the rascal? Nope. Time’s awastin’. I need to find him pronto. Read on for my latest adventure.

Clue Number One

The first clue that the mischievous scamp was up to his old tricks happened the other afternoon while I was taking a little snooze. I had been having such a wonderful dream about eating some scrumptious strawberry cream puffs and then wham, bam, sigum sam, something jerked me wide awake from my blissful repose. What was it? Had I heard something or smelled something or what? Durn the luck-strawberry cream puffs are so delicious even in a dream.

Well, something had awakened me and I could definitely feel its presence. I kind of felt itchy all over. Maybe I was being invaded by a rare disease. I checked my pulse, took my temp, and peered at my visage in the bathroom mirror. Everything looked normal, but I had this creepy, crawly feeling.

And to make matters worse, this itchy sensation seemed to be all around me, but what was it? For the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out, so I brewed up a pot of coffee and turned on the television to get the latest weather forecast. Yuck! More of the same: strong winds, freezing rain, pelting snow, and no sunshine.

Still pondering about the mysterious itch that had awakened me; I opened the door to our attached garage and was met with a rather strange sight. No, it wasn’t a mouse or some other critter—it was an extremely damp cement floor. How could this be happening?

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It was cold outside and our entire garage floor was wet and sweaty! Hm? I pondered this conundrum for a moment and then scratched it off to just one of those dumb things that happen in South Dakota.

Clue Number Two

Clue number two occurred the very next morning while I was washing the breakfast dishes. There in perfect V formation was a flock of honkers flying right past my window. How beautifulÉbut they were headed south not north! Smart birds, I thought. It’s too cold to be in this part of the state and they were heading for a warmer climate. But, what were they doing here in the first place? It wasn’t time for them to migrate.

Clue Number Three

Clue number three met me boldly at the barn door as I brought out some table scraps for the kitties. Pew-ie! What was that smell! None other than old Mr. Pepe Le Pue himself — Mr. Skunk was in the barn and feasting on the cat food. “Head for the hills, Jane,” was my immediate thought –which I did with lightning speed. It’s absolutely amazing how fast one’s old legs can move when there is an incentive.

Clue Number Four and Five

As I ran out of the barn for the safety of the house, clues four and five quickly came to light. Several barn cats, unconcerned about the smelly skunk, were yowling loudly with their romantic love calls. Aha! The mating season had arrived-Clue four.

And then as I slipped and slid my way back to the house across our snow packed lawn, I sadly took note of all the tree branches lying on the ground. Especially, my precious young Autumn Blaze Maple tree with its fragile little limbs had lost a large number of twigs and branches from the recent windy ice storm. I picked up one of the tiny fallen twigs. It was completely incased in a thick coating of ice. And then I noticed the large buds that had already begun to grow on the little branch. Clue number five was very obvious. Hm? Even the bitter cold weather and icy winds had not deterred its growth and its hope for the next season.

Where oh where can he be?

By now you have probably figured out that the hombre, the little dickens, the culprit, the rascal who I have been searching for is none other than the wonderful season we call: SPRING.

Spring has just got to be right around the corner because of all the clues it has been giving out almost on a daily basis.

Besides trees budding, cats mating, skunks coming out of hibernation, and geese flying, the really big clues are the new baby lambs and calves being born. Advertisements for baby chicks and ducks and geese are already appearing on store signs in the area. And besides all these signs-there is the big clue that gives it away to me each year.

Just itchin’ to go to the field

You remember the earlier cream puff dream and my being awakened so abruptly. Well, that little episode actually happened. It’s nothing new. It happens to me every year. I call it my Spring Itch.

A lot of farmers and farm ladies have the same disease. One day, usually in March, they wake up with a start and know spring is just around the corner. It just kind of creeps into their old bones and they know it’s almost time. They get this feeling, because they’re just itchin’ to go to the field and get to planting. The dirt is calling them. Sounds weird, but it happens.

It’s Not Time Yet

However, even though we have the itch and are ready for spring, we must remember that it is not quite time yet. Although the temperatures are warming and the sun is shining and the birds are here and the soil seems just right for planting-keep your guard up.

Change of Seasons warning

Prairie poet Bruce Roseland gives us this same warning in his poem:

Change of Seasons

The first of spring is jig-jagged

a lightning bolt flashing down

from the blue cloud skirting the western sky.

With that comes the surprise

of water droplets

speckling the dry surface

where the wind hits.

Mud will cling to my shoes.

Seems like the seasons never change gradually,

but with a bang and a roar.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: