Saturday, February 19, 2011

Caution,hay bales in roadway

As an example of how fast this life moves and how so many things are different everyday I will give you an example. I was trying to remember what I did on Wednesday, I mean it was not that long ago but I was drawing a total blank. When I realized what that day entailed I can hardly believe I had forgotten. The morning was spent checking cows and calves and getting ready for a move of the fall calvers and first calf heifers home.

I had planned to take some pictures for you of cows moving down the county road but in the seemingly multiple mini train wrecks of that move I failed. It started out perfectly with the group following the black Dodge with 3 Japanese quarter horses mounted by modern cowboys gently pushing from the rear. On this particular move the usual danger is in getting up out of the pasture and onto the bridge. Once a few cows start across the bridge it is usually a race down the road to the corrals. In the beginning it happened just like that but when about 2/3 of the cows were on the road the others balked at the bridge and turned around and 30 cows went 245 different directions. I was in the Dodge and decided I better continue on to the corrals with the 120 other cows and calves. We made it down the road and into the corrals all the while I was watching the other cowboys trying to gather the petulant group with their 4 wheeled steeds.

I moved the first group into an inner pen and then hurried back towards the desperate vaqueros. By this time there was some traffic from the orchard over the hill on the road and so I needed a distraction to slow them down. I cut the final string on a one ton hay bale and left 3 large chunks in the road and this seemed to do the trick. Apparently lowrider Honda Accords do not climb hay bales very efficiently. We eventually got all the cows and calves home and as I shut the gate I realized something. Almost exclusively the cows that had given the problems were the fall pairs I had purchased in October and they had never been part of this particular cattle drive and they had never crossed the bridge. Live and learn and be sure and clean your hay off the pavement the old timers will say. I spent most of the rest of Wednesday sorting first calf heifers out into the home place pasture and deciding what I was sending to sell on Thursday. Thanks to Loren, Smiley and Moley for being persistent and helping me get the cows home but I must remind Loren; you don’t judge cows on their ugly or pretty factor, but on their profitability factor ; ) ! Because of this setback in timing I missed a local beefcounts food distribution event but I want to thank all that did make it another huge success.

Thursday morning I kept Dakota home from school for a bit to help me sort cows for the auction. She did not want to miss the whole day but I did not want her to miss out on a chance to be educated by going to school too early in the day. I will give a caveat here as our school district has many great programs and I do appreciate all they do to educate our children. I once again headed to Toppenish with the black Dodge pulling the stock trailer as I have not yet gotten a fifth wheel ball in Griselda. I will have to say that from a monetary standpoint the day was absolutely awesome. Anytime I can take 8 cull cows and 8 light calves to the sale and come home with a check totaling $13k is a good day! I hauled a few cow calf pairs home from the auction for Loren and was happy to do it considering his help in moving my cows Wednesday. I am feeling pretty great tonight and I think I will end this post and try and do another telling the tales of the last 2 days a bit later.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is common mullein aka Vebascum Thapsus.

Today’s pictures are a testament to my lack of tagging due to protective mommas and my inability to embrace suicide. In the one on the bottom you see calf later to be 1502w who I call Billy “white shoes” Johnson for you former Houston Oiler fans and the other one on top is 3 other calves yet to be tagged. Clicking on pics allow them to be seen in full size.