Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Perfection, well almost

Yesterday seemed like one of those days when so little was accomplished. Today was the kind of day where it seemed I was able to get 3 days of work done in one day. The day did not start out real great and I should relate a bit of bad news. The cow and calf that I was trying to graft together looks like it may be a no go. This cow does pretty well as long as I am standing and watching her closely but the moment I leave she keeps fighting off the calf. I had put hobbles (kind of like rear leg handcuffs) on her last week and that kept her from kicking the calf. I was hoping this would break her stubbornness and she would decide the calf sucking her was ok. First thing this morning I noticed she had one leg free of the hobbles. As I fed her I watched closely and she seemed ok. I walked back to the pickup and was just about to open the door when I heard a WHACK.

I saw the calf staggering a bit from the kick to his jaw and it was all I could do to keep from a kneejerk reaction. I climbed in the pen and nudged the calf back towards the cow. She watched me closely and was eating and doing fine for a few minutes. As I started to walk away she then turned and gave the calf a hard butt with her head. Now I know this cow had some hard luck in losing her calf (blog post Mother Nature can make mistakes on March 4th.) but that is not a reasonable excuse to act this way towards her surrogate calf. I explained to her that Thursday and the weekly auction is fast approaching. If she is not mothered up to the calf by then she will be loaded in the trailer and on her way to becoming a Whopper, BigMac, or Jumbo Jack. I hate to make this decision but the cow is 12 years old, has been an average producer and I have no patience or time for her crap especially in a good butcher cow market. I will have to sell the calf though and he will bring decent money but I still would rather see them both together until weaning time. Such is life sometimes.

The rest of the day was as close to perfect as could be. Dakota and Sam are both on spring break which gives me two employees for the week! Really I do not overwork my kids but some manual labor and a work ethic is not a bad thing for any teenager. My parents always expected us to help out when we were kids and today I am very thankful they did. Both of my parents worked very hard to raise us, raise cattle and raise the standard of living for our family. No matter what path your kids take in life a good work ethic and appreciation for others that work hard will take them far in life. Anyway off the soapbox.

Sam had to go to work at her part time job at Home Depot as well as being a full time college student. Dakota was stuck with Dad and Festus today. We headed to Basin City and tore down and loaded up the portable Powder River panels. Let me tell you these panels are heavy mother frickers for an adult and my 13 year old daughter handled her end of each one like a seasoned professional panel mover. It seems it was just yesterday that she was in sleeper pajamas looking up at me with her arms outstretched saying, “Hold me daddy, hold me.” She also helped me unload and reset the panels up when we got back home. Thank you very much Gus your help is always appreciated.

I spent the rest of the day doing some fencing and rolling up some hotwire fence from the last corn circle. I also did some fence line and ditch weed burning which went well and nothing burned up that was not supposed to which the Franklin County Fire district 1 and my insurance agent are happy about. I sure hope the rest of the week goes as well as today did.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is Reed canary grass aka Phalaris arundinacea.

Today’s picture is a video I took today. There are certain calves that really have some cocky attitudes. They will run right up to you and act as if they have not a care in the world, but if you get close enough they will hightail away kicking, bucking and having fun in general. I waited and waited to capture these 3 bull calves in the perfect moment. These are the moments that make this life so wonderful.