Signs of Spring
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Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Life begins again with the dawning of Spring. We are dangerously close to summer to look for signs of Spring but I see them everywhere. The signs I see have less to do with robins and flowers and more to do with my cattle
and actions of my neighbors.
My friend Lloyd always liked to cultivate a high ridge he owned just to make the neighbors a little nervous. I think farmers get eager to enter the field even without Lloyds good-natured prodding. I visited my neighbor, Curt, last week and I noticed he had gnawed his fingernails very short so he is definitely thinking about Spring planting.

Apparently this behavior crosses state borders-at least during planting and harvest. My brother, Dave said farmers come into his shop and say, I guess I am going to need my
tractor a little sooner than I thought neighbor is already in the field. Although their neighbor may just be picking rock it does help drum up service work and in some cases even helps to sell tractors.

I develop my own nervous mannerisms during Spring. I calve in the Fall so I have many feeder calves whos sense of adventure has just reached full bloom. A trip outside the fence creates an enjoyable daytrip for them as
it reduces my life expectancy by a few days. I never walk through the kitchen without looking out the window to make sure everyone is still inside the fence. A group of trees, an odd color in a field, a Magpies flight past my window or even one of my dogs can look like a calf thats escaped. Tonight when I came to work I saw a garbage dumpster behind a building and I thought it was a cow. I quickly realized this was impossible but the moment of terror reminded me it was Spring.

The most traditional sign of Spring manifesting itself as mental infirmity is pyromania. Those kitchen matches sit there all Winter begging for use. I love the look of a nice, clean ditch but lack the guts and the large liability policy necessary to burn with impunity. Runaway crp fires give local fire trucks a chance to hit highway speeds but can cause real damage. Actually most burning occurs under strict control but accidents do happen.

Flowers and Robins are an indication of Spring for most people. I saw a Robin walking on the snow twice already this year do Ill stay with my own signs of Spring- wild cattle on the loose and nervous farmers