Another good day in South Dakota

Farm Forum

It’s April 1 and South Dakota is already back to playing her old tricks on us; especially in regard to the weather. Depending on where you live in our great state, this spring many South Dakotans have lived through several tough spring snow storms with hurricane winds. Or maybe you’ve been a member of the lucky group and enjoyed wonderful warm temps with balmy breezes and very little snow.

Fortunately for hubby and me, we’ve been part of the lucky group. Our snow so far has been a mere skiff and the winds not too blustery making our calving season ever so much easier. However, we know from past experience, this blissful state could change in a hurry. And the story goes like this…

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature

Every hardy South Dakotan has a tale or two to relate in regard to spring snow storms and how Mother Nature has surprised them with her antics at one time or another. Recently I was privy to hearing several gentlemen describe a Mother Nature surprise occurrence in the guise of a spring snowstorm in 1966. As they related their saga, it involved all sorts of details of several college fellows going to State B basketball games and getting stranded for several days and not getting back to their college classes nor getting home to help with spring calving.

And with that tale, another fellow recalled his days of not having a four-wheel drive pickup and getting stranded in town for several days and the trauma at his farm place during the spring storm. The stories just kept flowing and getting more dramatic as each fellow related his tale of woe. And that got me to thinking about a spring storm that I will never forget.

My tale of woe happened in the spring of 1987 or was it 1988? I don’t rightly recall, but it was sometime in the later 1980’s, when a snowstorm hit so fast and with such fury, that we could not make it back to the calving pasture for two days. When we did get back to the cows, tragedy had struck with its full vengeance. Not a pretty sight, but just one of those times that remain etched in our minds forever.

But it’s unfortunate memories like these which have made us stronger and more vigilant in taking care of our livestock. Being prepared is the key, and if you have lived in South Dakota for very long and are a stockman, you realize that you never ever take anything for granted. You never want to try to outguess or fool Mother Nature. Remember: She always wins because she’s always in control.

Checking out Mayflower Hill

Speaking of who’s in control and what Mother Nature’s up to this spring, hubby and I took a leisurely drive on this past Easter Sunday afternoon. After partaking of a delicious ham dinner with the relatives and several friends and then enjoying a good visit, it was time for a calving check date with the cows. All was bliss with the cows with no new mothers, so we decided to take a drive up to Mayflower Hill and check on our State flower.

Mayflower Hill is located in our north pasture and is a most pleasant place to visit on a warm Sunday afternoon. On this particular Sunday, we found that nothing much was growing up there yet; no mayflowers and very little new green grass. We concluded that Mother Nature had decided that she needed a bit more time before bringing forth her spring time bounty.

There was, however, one item that I found growing quite profusely all over this hill. It wasn’t something you could see or smell or feel or even taste. It was just there. Now, hold on to your hats, Jane hasn’t lost her marbles; at least not yet. Read on for the explanation.

You see, over eons of time, Mother Nature has patiently nurtured and cultivated this particular hill growing native grasses and mayflowers into a beautiful place oozing with solitude and quietness. This special hill of the Dakota prairies has evolved from just growing native grasses and plants into also growing peace and quietness for all to enjoy.

You just have to be there—on this hill—and you experience the sensation. It’s quiet and it’s blissful and, and, well—ya just have to be there to understand what I mean. My earnest hope is that nothing ever destroys its native beauty.

Back to reality

And so, on this magnificent Easter Sunday afternoon, hubby and I enjoyed the view, and the atmosphere, and thanked the good Lord for providing this little piece of paradise for us.

But, drat the luck, the rays of the setting sun soon brought us back to reality. Thus, we headed for home to do the evening chores and to check on the cows once more before bedtime.

Ah, yes. It had been another good day in South Dakota.

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: