Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today was a good day with some challenges but many successes as well. With tomorrow being Thanksgiving I tried to focus on what I am thankful for. The thermometer read minus 12 this morning when the sun made its first glorious appearance in the eastern horizon. The wind was calm and the sky clear and just like always I missed and could feel dad with me all at the same time as I watched the orange globe rise above the snow covered landscape. Thankful. The Dodge started easily which always makes me smile on a cold morning. The grumble of her well worn diesel motor and pungent smell of black smoke rising from her modified straight pipe made me dance a little to Cinderella singing “Shelter me” blaring from the cassette deck. I also took the time to tweak the drivers’ side door so that it closed properly or at least stayed closed on hard right turns. Thankful.

Here is a video of Cinderella performing. Can you believe this cowman used to and still sometimes listens to these long hairs! Hey what the heck, I learned how to embed a video!

When I arrived at the corrals I looked at the John Deere with hope that even as cold as it was maybe it would fire and run. I went ahead and hooked up jumper cables to it from the Dodge just for a boost. One little crank to warm the cylinders then I turned the key again as I misted some starting fluid into the air intake. It took a few turns but it eventually fired and idled with all cylinders firing. Thankful. I fed the spring cows and calves and even though they looked cold they also looked healthy and no longer had snow covering their backs like the day previous. Thankful.

I went to check the water from the well for the cows in the corral and there was no flow. Beyond the level of all physics the cows had somehow not only rubbed the lid loose covering the well box and had also unplugged the pump without getting electrocuted in some manner. Thankful. The pump was not frozen yet but the pipes were and were not going to thaw even with artificial heat very easily. I decided to just open the corrals and let the few cows being kept in it out. These were the last fall pairs I had bought but just had not worked and turned out. They were thirsty and quickly smelled their way to the pond that has enough spring action to keep a portion open and unfrozen. Thankful.

I then went and fed the fall pairs and they looked good too and there were still several places on the canal bank that were streaming with spring water. Thankful. Tomorrow many people will have the day off to celebrate with their family and friends. I will take the afternoon off but the cows do not know it is Thanksgiving and will expect to be fed once again. I will gladly do this chore because I so love what I do for a living. Thankful. I get to spend each day in what I feel is a partnership with Mother Nature. She provides things like sunshine, water, grass and cattle. I provide things like knowledge, time, labor and management of her bountiful resources and care for them in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. Together we provide high quality, nutritious beef for a hungry and growing world. Thankful.

Oh sure sometimes it is too cold, too wet, too hot, too dry, too windy or too of a million other things but I get to also see the most wonderful parts of nature and life any man could wish for. Thankful. I get to spend much of my time with my wife and children as we work together. I am able to teach my kids the value of hard work, the value of a dollar and at the same time teach them that dollars are not everything in life. Thankful. I have many good friends, an awesome extended family and my family and I have our health. Thankful. As you gather tomorrow with family and friends I hope that each of you can focus on all the things we have to be thankful for. When you enjoy the bounty of your table I would encourage you to say a thank you to Americas farmers and ranchers who have and always will strive to bring that bounty to your table. We are thankful for your continued support. Happy Thanksgiving.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Ferruginous hawk aka Buteo regalis.

Today’s pictures are a bit blurry from the cold. The first one is the afternoon chowtime and thankful cows eating. The second is of a snowdrift that manifested itself along a fence line showing both the spectacular power and breathtaking beauty of Momma Nature.