Tag Archives: Stephenville

Fall of All Seasons

Fall foliage in the grove at Flying Hat Ranch (2009). Photo by B. Matthews

Today, September 22, 2010, is the first day of Fall.  The sun positioned equally between northern and southern hemispheres today falls to southern skies from today until about December 21, the winter solstice, shortest day of the year.

Fall of all the seasons is harvest time, but it is more.  It seems to be a time for catching up and preparation.  The Winter is coming and windbreaks must be established for the horses and hatchets and axes placed in the pickups to chop the ice from the water troughs.  An uptick of hay must be stored in the barn.  When it is drier (this season it is not) grass must be shredded in places to stop the spread of wildfire into the woods and structures.  A hard look must be given to livestock to affirm they are properly conditioned weight-wise to make it through the winter.  If not, then added grain or alfalfa must be apportioned to the weak.  Crevices must be stuffed, caulking pressed into cracks.  The tire chains must be brought out and placed in the trucks.

Summer in most parts of Texas is brutal from 10:30 a.m. in the morning until the long shadows in the evening.  Fall, Winter and Spring give comfortable temperatures for outdoor labor and I anticipate Fall coming way back in June.  June through the middle of September is a time I tolerate and mechanically toil outdoors.  I’m not trying to rush through the Summer, but I am happier when I feel the cool temperatures before daylight in the Fall, as I did this morning, standing in the pasture road looking at the moon, almost full, falling through the mesquite trees on the Dooley place.

I have long since passed the time in the Fall when I saw it as a time of playing football or watching the sport.  I do occasionally watch games and on Friday nights I see the stadium lights from Gordon and Stephenville and other towns about our region.  Interstate 20 is filled with band and supporter buses going to games, intent upon boosting the boys and their play with pigskin.  Better to have the game than waste away in destructive behaviors despite the risk of concussions.

Fall.  I am glad for cooler temperatures and the colors changing in the grove of trees.  I hope your first day of Fall is a good day.  I know mine is.


Filed under Flying Hat Ranch