Montana’s Definition of Winter

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1win·ter \ˈwin-tər\

1: the season between autumn and spring comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of December, January, and February or as reckoned astronomically extending from the December solstice to the March equinox

2: the colder half of the year

3: year <happened many winters ago>
4: a period of inactivity or decay
The above definition is courtesy of Merriam-Webster.  I have decided that Merriam-Webster (MW) must not live in Montana. Afterall, in Montana there are three seasons: winter, hot, and muddy. No spring or autumn to be found ( last fall doesn’t count, weather that amazing goes against all that is natural in the 406 area code). December, January, and February? Yes, I suppose that is true if you can call 2 feet of snow in April “spring”.   
Life on the ranch is exciting, fulfilling, and, well, wonderful. And then winter hits. In Montana, winter seems to never end, at least on our little island under the Crazies. The memory of warm summer days, suntans, and tall green gold is all that keeps me hanging on. Ok, maybe that was a little overdramatic. Actually, I should be enjoying and savoring these last few weeks before the chaos of calving season begins. It won’t be long until I get to spend half of the night  alone while Cowboy night calves, or until I spend my evenings mixing milk replacer by the bucket-full.  This is the time of year when my cabin fever almost peaks. I have had enough of sitting inside waiting wistfully for the day I can venture outside without long underwear on.
As for MW’s last definition (a period of inactivity or decay), I would saw that is half true for ranching in Montana.  Things slow down, that much is for sure, but they never really stop or start to decay. Stock must be fed, equipment must be kept up and cowboys must be taken care of, and just like every other part of the year, there is always more to be done tomorrow.
Life. Love. Wild times under the Big Sky. – MC

2 thoughts on “Montana’s Definition of Winter

  1. Sophie- I do not know how you can be so spot on with how I feel about just about everything! Reading your posts makes me feel as if you are my soul sister and that at last someone understands us cowgirls in Montana! Anyways, I AM OVER WINTER AS WELL! Calving has started for us and Zane is evergone. The AI heifers are due to pop today so here we go. Oh, well. New babies mean spring is just around the corner. I might make it. I cannot WAIT until I can actually gallop my horses across the fields without fear of eating shit and landing in a heap! COME ON SPRING! Then I will only have to rock my muck boots, instead of being Princess Layer. Talk to you soon!

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