She settled into a chair on the deck, cradled her coffee cup between her hands, and savored the feel of bright spring sunshine on her warmth-starved skin. Across the road, the last grubby vestiges of a once-formidable snowdrift oozed water. If she tilted her head right, the lawn looked almost green. Another good day or two and the eager new spears would drown out last year’s dilapidated brown. The extended forecast called for above average temperatures. By then, all but a few stragglers in the herd would have calved safely.
The kitchen door opened and her husband ambled out to sink into a chair beside her. “Beautiful morning,” he said.
“Perfect. I’m so glad that storm went south of us.”
“Yep. Another week of this weather, we’ll be able to start seeding some barley over east. Be nice to get it in early for a change.”
She closed her eyes, enjoying the rare moment of peace. Calving had gone well, with fewer than normal casualties. They’d had plenty of snow early in the winter to replenish reservoirs and springs and get the alfalfa fields off to a strong start. Then the weather had turned mild, with only one significant snowfall since they’d started calving.
A rancher couldn’t ask for much more from Mother Nature.
They sipped their coffee in silence, watching horses graze, listening to the distinct melody of a meadowlark, putting off the moment when the day’s chores would begin.
“Hate to see the moisture start going around us,” her husband said. “Remember in ninety-eight, when we had all that snow, then hardly a drop of rain all summer? Had to haul water to the cows out on the lease the whole month of August. ‘Course, if history holds true, with all that fog we had in February it’ll probably be so wet in May we’ll be lucky to get the oats in at all...”