Thursday, April 1, 2010

The day from Hades

The day started out with so much promise. I was up early, feeling good and although it was a bit frosty it was sunny. I had plans to take a few cull cows to the auction today but I really wanted to capture two more cows than I had ready to go. I loaded a few bales of hay and headed up to the hill pasture. I drove into the corral and began calling and feeding some hay. The two cows I wanted came into the pen and I quickly shut the gate before they decided to leave. I spent the next while sorting and kicking out cows and calves I did not want to take to the auction. This went pretty well and I finally got down to the two cows I wanted to keep and two others.

Rather than risk losing what I had by self sorting I went back to the house and got Dakota out of bed to come help me. She was groggy and whining and I told her to cowgirl up and move it. When we got back to the corral I asked her if she wanted to be the “cutter” or the “gateman”. She chose the gate and I explained to her that no matter what, even if it took 20 tries do not let out the two cows I wanted to keep to load for the auction. We got one of the extra cows out but there was one cow that I wanted to sell that is quite smart and we had several close calls of her almost escaping through the gate. I once again told Dakota that no matter what do NOT let her get out. I cut the last extra cow out and yelled for Dakota to open the gate and let her out, the wild cow ran quickly past me too. Dakota was still waking up apparently and both cows got out the gate because she was too slow in slamming the gate.

Now I know she is only 13 but she has been around cows her whole life and has sorted cows since she was 6 years old. I angrily yelled at her with some pretty harsh words, slammed the gate shut and told her she might as well go home now that there was nothing else left to mess up. She left for home on the four-wheeler and I went down to the main corrals to load the cows I already had captured. Festus got a bit anxious and overbearing and screwed up the loading on the first try and as mad as I was and because he knows better he got a pretty severe training beating. The day was really going to hell in a hurry.

I finally got the cows loaded and headed down the road. I was just starting to feel bad about my scolding of Dakota when one of the trailer tires blew out. As I slammed tools, luguts and a spare tire around I was as angry as can be so changing the tire took an extra long time. Once I was back on the road I knew today I was destined for a permanent bad mood and I cussed the cows, Dakota, Festus, the tire, this life and anything else I could think of.

I got to Toppenish a bit late but did finally make it and I unloaded. I went inside and watched the sale for a bit and fumed at my day. All I wanted to do was see my cows sell, get a check, and then go home. The day dragged on and my cows sold terrible but I finally had my check and was on the way home. I got some diesel in Granger and after spilling diesel all over my boots I was headed northeast for home.

The route I took takes me across the Columbia River at Vernita and there is a state weigh station there although it is rarely open. Well this afternoon it did happen to be open which did not help my mood. I took a few deep breaths and thought since the trailer was empty I would probably be fine crossing the scale. Sure as hell the weighmaster motioned me to pull over and bring in my papers. The paperwork was fine but he wanted to do a “quick” inspection. After close to an hour of quick inspection he had a list of 5 defective equipment issues including two inoperable clearance lights and (get this) and inoperable license plate light. The total ticket was close to $300 but at least I did not snap and murder the guy.

I finally got home and was feeling like I should find Dakota and at least make some apology for my hurtful words. Before I even hit the door Chris was all over me because she had talked to Dakota earlier in the day and was not happy with me about the things I had said. Dakota had left for the night for a sleepover so my reluctant apology was going to have to wait anyway. I grabbed a few beers and headed out to go shred some ryegrass for the evening.

I know some of you are either feeling sorry for my daughter, dog or wife at this point and really could careless how bad my day happened to be. Well that’s ok because it is April 1st and you have just been fed a blog of bullshit for Aprils fools day….LOL.

Today went great; Dakota sorted like a pro, Festus herded like a pro, there were no blown tires, the cows sold excellent, the scale was not open and my bride helped me check cows tonight when I got home and I finished shredding ryegrass tonight. Hope ya’all had a great Aprils Fools day as well.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Great egret aka Ardea alba.

Today’s picture is calf 0816w, I love the markings on this bull calf, no foolin.