It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over. My daughter Scarlett will start preschool tomorrow, and next week, we’ll head to the South Dakota State Fair. To me, these events signify the end of the summer season and remind me that the official start to fall is just around the corner.
Living on a ranch during the autumn months has certain pros and cons. Here are 10 signs that fall in the country will soon arrive:
1. Flies, spiders and other creepy crawlies aggressively try to find ways to get into your house.
2. The garden you’ve been watering all summer finally starts producing, and with the abundance of vegetables you’re harvesting, you know your family will be eating well all winter long.
3. The days start getting shorter. The mornings become more crisp. The weather is changing, and soon, your work responsibilities on the ranch will change, as well.
4. Preparation for weaning is well underway. You start getting excited to weigh the maturing calves to see how they fared on grass, milk and creep feed this summer.
5. Cows start to get restless as summer forages dwindle. They come running when they hear the pickup roll into the pasture. They intuitively know it will soon be time to move home to closer pastures or harvested corn fields for late-season grazing during the winter months ahead.
6. You call the veterinarian to line up a pregnancy-checking date.
7. You schedule your sale date with the livestock auction barn and hope for an upward swing in the markets that week.
8. Your wife may start decorating the front porch of the ranch house with pumpkins, leaves and corn stalks.
9. You can’t stop counting bales and double checking that your winter forage inventory is ready to roll.
10. If you raise crops, you’re busy greasing the combines and preparing for harvest.
Without a doubt, autumn will be here before we know it, and there’s plenty to keep us busy on the ranch during these brief months before winter hits. What else would you add to the list? How does your ranch celebrate the arrival of fall? Share with us in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.