We are now in that late autumn period when summer has departed, fall is almost behind us, and winter looms ever closer. The fallen leaves crunch as you walk. The hills are blurry gray with splashes of evergreen. Frost awaits in the morning. Sun and warmth seem sluggish as they struggle to rise, cresting briefly mid-afternoon before falling swiftly in the shade of the ever-encroaching dusk.
You can hear the quiet. There is a stillness as if life can sense the coming darkness and cold. A few birds still play. Do they not understand what is coming after this short transition period? Or are they determined to live to the fullest while they can?
The cows know: their winter coats are starting to grow. Although still grazing, they seem to understand the grass isn’t as fresh, or nutritious or plentiful. Do they look around each new paddock with resignation, as I do, noting the yellowed grass, the shorter length, the lack of new growth? Do they know that this is the last time they will be in these pastures for several months? Not until the sun is again high in the sky, the west breeze is refreshing, and all the birds sing and play will they see these fields again.
Be like the birds. Enjoy each day as much as you can.
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Randy Robar, co-owner of Kiss the Cow Farm