Never Summer

Shelley seeking tendrils of green

Our grass is coming in slowly and late this year.  I haven’t been able to take my Fell mare Restar Mountain Shelley III and her daughter Willowtrail Spring Maiden to pasture yet.  Instead I’m walking them twice a day for them to stretch their legs and nibble the few tendrils of green that are appearing.  Shelley regularly looks at me and seems to ask, “Where’s the green that a nursing mom needs?”  All I can do is shrug my shoulders and throw up my hands. 

A neighbor recently opined that we were going to skip spring and go right to summer (eventually.)  Another wondered if instead we’d be interminably in a wet, cool spring.  A third reminded us all that we live below the Never Summer Mountain Range.  That name has a whole new meaning for me this year.

I saw a scientist’s report recently on climate change that said the new normal is extreme storms.  After what happened in Joplin and Minneapolis a few days ago and has happened elsewhere this spring, it is easy to accept that extremes are now part of life.   While it’s been tough to deal with 170%-of-normal snow here, that’s nothing compared to the devastation that the tornadoes and severe storms have wreaked.  A neighbor and I agreed this afternoon that we’ll take snow over tornadoes any day.

So, for at least another week or so, I’ll keep walking Shelley and Madie the quarter mile down the driveway to a wide spot that is getting a little greener by the day.  And I’ll turn the girls loose to let them nibble then run to the next wide spot.  It’s amazing to watch Madie’s enthusiasm for running and her total acceptance of walking into running water to find something green.  And when Shelley looks at me to ask her daily question, at least I can remind her that even at the base of the Never Summer Mountains, spring is still springing, one blade at a time.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011

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About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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