I’ve had a terrible time getting to my blog. It’s therapy for me, but spring happens with a vengeance when you live on a ranch and writing hasn’t risen to the top of my priority list.
The canals are up and running, which is always welcome. I wish we were diverting that lovely water to our property, but alas the ditches aren’t ready and we’re still tending cows most of the day.
Mark and I sorted yearlings two days in a row, sizing by weight and shaping up groups to be sold locally or those going to grass for selling later. We selected our replacement heifers, carefully considering traits that make them good candidates for the cow herd. How has their Mom performed? Are they of agreeable temperament? Is their body confirmation (how they’re put together) indicative of a sound, thrifty, feminine cow?
We branded one day with a crew of 15. The cattle receive two vaccination shots and a nasal spray, are castrated if a bull calf, and receive a hot iron brand, proof of ownership in Idaho. Anita set us all down for a hearty stew at noon time and the weather was perfect. We’re set to process another bunch tomorrow.
I’m still taking time to walk to headquarters in the morning. It’s the best part of the day. The little shed where I put Kate for a few hours has been partially emptied so the other two dogs can go along now as well.
We spent one evening burning tumbleweeds in the canal in front of our house, as the water was set to come in overnight. The smell of smoke from weed or branding fires is familiar, almost reassuring, and puts a stamp on this time of transition between seasons.
We’ve got a good crew on the payroll, but even so the work load looks daunting. I can see the weariness in Mark’s eyes, try as he does to quiet my concerns. But we’ll be fine; we’re healthy and headed in the same direction. The only thing to do is put one foot in front of the other and do as Gary likes to say, “bow your neck and pull together.”
|starting the day|