Bianchi — November brings with it so much variability

Today marked the first weekend of November. Other than turning the page on the calendar, one would have hardly known it.

It was just a beautiful fall day. Mild and sunny with a slight breeze, it was a good day for just about anything. During the years when we were still actively farming, it was the kind of day you wished for.

It was perfect for completing the harvest, but also the beautiful day produced hope that there would be several more weeks worth of days like them after the harvest was over.

The fast pace of harvest might slow down a bit. It would be a time to catch up on jobs that you wanted to do, not had to do. It isn’t that farmers don’t enjoy reaping their harvest. After all, that’s what farming is all about. However, they also have an inner voice reminding them that there is no time to waste.

One never knows what kind of weather tomorrow will bring.


I’ve always thought that November is near the top of the list of months when it comes to diversity. My own memory, as well as tales handed down, often involve extreme weather conditions.

I can remember my sister, whose birthday is on Nov. 12, having a party to mark her birthday. I’m not sure if I remember it because birthday parties were rare events in our house back then or if it’s because the entire afternoon was spent playing games outdoors without wearing any type of coat.

These were the years when my brother and his friends would pheasant hunt and an extra "dog" was needed to chase the birds up!

I couldn’t wait to be asked by the guys to tag along. Some years you would sweat walking up and down the fields. Other years, bundled up, I could barely lift my short legs over the cornstalk rows while trying to keep up.

Fortunately, those were the years when pheasants were plentiful in our backyard and the effort usually paid off with limits reached.

The other side of the picture was entirely diifferent. Our chickens, who I always thought were the dumbest creatures God ever created, insisted on roosting in the trees as long as possible. Sure enough, about this time of year when the first freezing rain and snowfall came, they hung tight to the branches.

It took our prodding with a fishpole to get them down, caught and into the hen house. Come to think of it, why didn’tt we start to lock them up earlier in the season? Maybe we were the dumb ones!

The lifestyles of cattle also changed with the seasons. I remember one particular year when we had a real Western cattle drive due to the weather. Waking up to an unforecasted snowstorm, the first thing on my dad’s mind were our cattle that were stranded in a neighbor’s pasture. They had grazed there all summer and now we had to bring them home.


All hands were on deck that day, and it seemed to be going surprisingly well — we thought. However, since the ditches were already filled with snow, it was impossible to know where the road was. Several of the animals sank away and needed to be pulled out with rope and tractor.

Neighbors had offered their help and my siblings and I thought it was a jolly-good time.

Today was one of those days that it was great to be alive.

In the distance we could hear and see several farmers as they hurried to get crops out and fall tillage finished. They were on a mission. We, on the other hand, no longer had crops to take out that needed our attention; no longer had animals to worry about; cisterns that needed to be banked up before it froze; or any of the other dozens of jobs that are required to be done by farmers.

I guess there is a reason for the season and a season for everything.

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