I know I wrote about a month ago of not liking the spring season, and I don’t like the mud! But seeing new life appear in the flora and fauna is almost miraculous to me.

With the winter and spring we have had, the fact that I can be outside working in the soil is one of anticipation. There is one disadvantage though: the older I get the harder it is to do the yard and garden work. If I kneel down to pull weeds, I have to crawl to a tree or stairs or wheelbarrow to get back up. When I do get back up, I walk like an old lady and can’t straighten my back for a while. (My husband, Boyd, tells me that when I walk like an old lady, it’s because I am one.)

There is something therapeutic about getting your hands in the dirt and digging. I don’t mind dirt under my fingernails or on my hands and shoes and pants. I don’t like to track it into the house, but I can take off shoes and leave them on the porch. And I can use soap and water and maybe a scrub brush to get the dirt off my hands and out from under my fingernails. The joy of watching the plants emerge from the ground is something to look forward to every spring. I guess not everything I do shows positive results like gardening does.

We are doing container gardening this year. Jon and his friends, Matt and Christina, have been helping by building the containers, hauling and filling them with gravel and dirt and then planting. We are hoping to be able to control the weeds better in a container, and I won’t have to kneel to weed or pick vegetables. So I won’t have to crawl to get myself up!

I am anxious to see the planted seeds sprout and send forth green out of the brown dirt. This is a new experience for us, so we will see how well we do with it.

We are certainly blessed in that we can grow a lot of our own food, thus getting the nourishment from fresh vegetables. I always look forward to the green peas, one of the first vegetables we plant. It seems like fresh out of our own garden makes vegetables taste better or at least different from those purchased at the grocery store.

I also like the idea of the work that goes into growing our own food, and the reward we receive from this effort. In the years that Boyd and I have been married, we have tried every year to have a garden. Many times, probably the majority of times, the weeds have overcome us.

One year we planted a small patch of peas at the ranch. Our neighbor, Harold Winther, would stop by and pick a few peas on his way to or from the valley. We found that having a garden close to the road was a good way of keeping in touch with our neighbors!

Boyd and I were talking the other day about how this year the grass and weeds have really sprung up after a wet and muddy spring. When we have a sunny day, you can almost see the plants grow! And the sunlight helps my attitude immensely.

We drove to the ranch in early April and the snow was still in drifts and across the road beyond where the snowplows had been. The snowplows hadn’t made it to our ranch yet. The large amount of snow we’ve received this past winter and spring will keep the springs flowing all summer long, which is good for the cattle.

A few weeks after that first trip up, we again went to the ranch and were able to go quite a ways beyond our boundaries. And the grass was starting to green up. Time to get the cows and calves ready to move up.

This last trip up we saw a young moose standing not far from the road. It probably was being weaned and was looking for its mother. It stared at us looking lonesome and confused but not frightened of us.

Yes, though it can be muddy and cold and windy, spring gives us the knowledge that life does go on and rejuvenates. The leaves on trees start to appear, wild flowers show their beauty, and we realize there is always the opportunity for new growth and new farm and wild animal babies!

Jean Schwieder is a writer who has spent her life involved in eastern Idaho agriculture. Her books, including past columns, are available by calling 208-522-8098 or by email at straddlinthefence@gmail.com.