Jean Schwieder


Spring is a time of new birth. The flowers immerge from the frozen earth in all of their glory. How I look forward to the first crocus and tulip. There are many baby animals born in the spring.

Our calves are enjoying the sunny days when we have them, but still burrow down in the straw the guys spread out for them when it is cold, snowy and rainy. The sun seems to give those calves extra energy as they run around.

Our friend, Dick Black used to raise sheep about a mile away from us. I loved to see those new spring lambs out enjoying the sun and warm days! Baby pigs often are born in the spring and who hasn’t been excited seeing the fluffy baby chickens available at the feed stores right now. The trees are starting to get buds for the leaves they will display and provide shade as the days get warmer. And the weeds are starting to sprout forth with a vengeance.

Spring includes being excited over the warbling of the birds, the special song of the meadow lark, and the first sight of the robin. Spring brings birds singing as they build their nests to lay their eggs in. Even the first dandelion is exciting — new growth, new birth.

Spring in our area is usually a mixture of two seasons: winter and spring. The days seem to alternate with those two options. But one warm day goes a long ways to giving a person hope for more of the same! To those of us in agriculture, spring brings the joy of watching the snow melt from the fields, knowing that moisture is going into the soil to stimulate and provide water for growth of plants. It gives us the hope of springs at the ranch flowing through the summer and fall. Those springs are an important supply of water for cattle and wildlife.

Our calving is probably three-fourths completed now and we have had a good harvest with little sickness, so far. Now we will look forward to moving the herd to the ranch to their summer pasture. There is still too much snow up there today, but it will go fast. The cows get anxious to get up there. They are now pushing against the fences around the winter pasture, trying to get some green grass that is starting to show up on the other side of the fence. Our two dogs, You and Too, will love to get to the ranch, especially as soon as we can travel the roads.

They love to chase the ground squirrels around and those squirrels should be out of hibernation now. If they can’t find any squirrels, the dogs chase birds around the farm, jumping and trying to catch them as the birds fly overhead.

There will be fences to be fixed and new fences to be put up at the ranch, so the move up isn’t very soon, but soon enough for all of us to start looking forward to it. I’m hoping to give the ranch house a good cleaning before we get into summer, so there’s a place for company to stay if they want to. And I would like to plant some flowers around the ranch house this year. But time will tell on whether or not I have the time, the strength, and the umph to do much more than go to the ranch to rest!

Even if most of the snow disappears, there will always be drifts on the north slopes of hills that will hang onto the snow until the mid-summer. The early settlers of the dry farm area put straw on those snow banks to keep the snow from melting. This would enable them to have cold drinks, homemade root beer and even homemade ice cream through the summer. They used that method of cooling until the introduction of our modern coolers.

Yes, a new birth with green grass and flowers and baby animals and warmer days with sunshine, we have a lot to look forward to. I remember Dick Kelly, past owner of Kelly’s Market in Ammon, back in the 1950s once said, “It would be a shame to live through an Idaho winter and die in the spring.”

That is so true. So we need to appreciate the longer day and more daylight to enable us to accomplish more things during our waking hours. What a wonderful life!

Reach Jean Schwieder at 208-522-8098 or

Recommended for you