This week we spent three days in Boise at a marketing meeting. While we were gone, God thumbed a smudge of pale green across the willow limbs. At the front door the quakies are sporting a profusion of new leaves.
Last night we lay awake to a heavy rain, and this morning the fence posts are a deep sodden brown, the sky heavy.
We had disturbed a nest of baby rabbits in the haystack a few days ago and attempted to restore their home. This morning we found them all dead despite our efforts.
The bulls are anxiously walking the fence, threatening a revolt since the cows across the lane have started cycling. They will need to be moved pronto or we’ll have them mixing.
The pairs over to Frank’s broke the gate down and helped themselves to the new grass in the next field. This morning we saw two dogs jogging away from the herd and there was a calf with his head bathed in bright red blood. We figure the dogs chased him through the barbed wire. Mark returned later to fix fence and loaded the injured calf and his mama for closer watching. Just another morning on the ranch.
It’s always good to get away and spend a few days delving into the business of Country Natural Beef. The co-op marked twenty-five years in existence with a prime rib dinner and music to celebrate the occasion. Mark found other agreeable partners in addition to his wife, dancing with Ginger, over 80, and our founder’s granddaughter at . . . oh, about 13.
And always when we return home from a meeting, we go at our tasks with renewed diligence. I can almost feel the other members at my shoulder, wrestling with the same issues and enjoying similar morning views. They know all about dogs in the cattle; with some it’s even wolves. They do what they can to protect wildlife. They scan the horizon for weather. They lay in bed at night, weary from the routine, sorting options, thinking and rethinking this business that compels us. We lift each other up in this attempt to shift from raising cows to selling meat - a little more purpose to our days.