Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Water, water, water

Oh how I wish everyday could be as productive as today was. Even with two trips to Connell and one trip to Othello today was a productive day. I am to the point in the year where I am just hoping, praying and waiting for spring calves to grow to saleable weight. Right now the grass looks great and so do the cows but summer looms large. From this point forward any rain that happens to fall between now and mid September will be sparse and will do little to keep any grass growing here in the eastern Washington desert.

For the rest of the summer most of the water applied to crops and grass will be artificial. That is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is we are in an irrigation district that has a good supply of water. The curse is that water has to be artificially applied and thus moved daily. The irrigation system on this ranch has always been about 3 generations behind the rest of the world. The system would be fine if labor was free or if I could move pipe 13 hours a day and never get tired.

Now is the time of year when I try and keep water moving and balance that with having some semblance of a life. The longer time passes the better I am getting with knowing little shortcuts that make life somewhat easier. Today was totally spent changing irrigation water and working on the irrigation system. The day was broken up by two trips to Connell (14miles) and one trip to Othello (11miles) for parts and supplies.

This evening a storm front passed through and I hoped there would be some rain with it. There was about 3 drops of rain and strong winds for about 3 hours which is typical for this area. I was able to spend some time this evening riding through the spring pairs which was enjoyable. To be honest after the 3 trips to town today, and seeing a few other cattlemen’s calf crops I really needed to confirm that my calves are competing with the Jones’. So far so good.

I am pretty beat and am hoping tomorrow is another good day. Oh yeah, yesterday I went to Warden to watch Dakotas softball game. Warden was the first team that gave the Connell girls some competition this year. In the end though Dakotas’s team prevailed 13-4. Dakota hit a rocket for a bases loaded triple and walked twice besides striking out once. Eye on the top of the ball, head down, watch it hit the bat, I’ve been telling ya Gus. Nice job.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Scotch thistle aka Onopordum acanthium which lost a few members today to my shovel as I waited for irrigation to pressure up.

Today’s picture is cow number 3921g with her heifer calf 0921g enjoying the sunshine and green grass.