Y4 Ranch Lowlines
March 25, 2018
Sitting here in my recliner, watching the sun go down. I am thinking some of you might be interested in our life style, thoughts and pleasures of ranch life. I was thinking a bit of news letter might be fun. So here goes with the first one.
I always say fall is my favorite time of year. In my thinking, I love the long Indian summer days and the fall colors. Love seeing the calves all full of bloom and ready to wean and go to their new homes.
Spring here in Harney County is cold and wet. Flowers, grass and tree buds get froze back so many times it is a wonder anything ever grows. Today, was a typical spring day. A skiff of snow followed by a sunny cold day. We delivered a heifer 30 miles away, and found ourselves driving in two inches of snow. The snow was coming down hard and blowing to beat the band.
I realized, I truly enjoy this time of year. Yes, it has its down falls. Heater on, heater off. Windshield wipers on, wipers off. Coat off, sweat shirt on, coat on again. The other day I was wishing I had a tee shirt on under the sweat shirt so I could take the sweat shirt off. Twenty minutes of sweating and I had my coat back on wishing I had worn Elmer my faithful wool cap with the ear flaps.
Where is all the enjoyment? Well, it is in watching new life. It has been a couple of weeks ago, and it was a very cold day. One of the cows was in labor. I thought, I should bring her up to the barn as cold as it is, my second thought was aw I will just bring them up after she calves. I found myself sitting out in the field watching her calve. After, 50 something years watching a cow calve is still interesting and exciting. Watching the calf struggle to its feet getting stronger with each attempt, and watching the new one suck for the first time is liken to my favorite football team making a touchdown.
As March comes to an end there are only a few cows left to calve. Now, is the time for fence mending, vaccinating cows and moving cattle to the Wright’s Point pastures. As we find time marching on, our old bodies complain from the not so hard work. Our days consist of running chain saws to cut sagebrush out of fence lines, hammering staples into those 50 year old juniper posts and playing I wish I could get this dang tee post clip out of the bag of 25 clips all twisted together. We come home at night dragging our you know what’s, racing each other for the Tylenol bottle. I refer to Tylenol as my old woman medicine.
At the end of the day we head out to tend to our chores. Gather the eggs, feed the 16 year old Mandy cow a bit of grain and pitch a little hay. Then, we both head out to check the cows and heifers to see who is going to calve next. Determine if or who needs to come to the barn for the night. We get a little help from the National Weather Service for our determinations.
Then, comes my favorite time. We call it the daily calf races. As the evening comes to an end the calves all come to life. They buck, head butt each other and race around the meadow. They make me laugh as some of their dams chase after them trying to gain some kind of control. It is certainly notable when a very tiny youngster pulls out a can of whip ass on an older, or larger calf. It reminds me of a bunch of children playing at the park. Some Moms are busy eating, some Moms are busy socializing and others are chasing their children screaming their child’s first, middle and last name.