Monthly Archives: October 2012

Blue’s New Bed

Well, it’s new to him and he loves it. I didn’t think the floor was that cold in the back hall but I knew it was hard. I’m not sure which makes the bed the big hit it is but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as he is happy.

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It was funny when I first put it there he was timid about laying on it. I had to ask him a few times then finally I sat beside him and explained that it was his bed, just for him. That seemed to do the trick. I rarely see him when he is not on it unless he is outside.

Now, I think I’m as happy as he is for him to have this new bed. I love that old dog.

Pooped

Yup, just plain pooped tonight. And some cows got forgotten (not by me) yesterday which is really annoying and drags take out through tomorrow.

Because of the wreck on Sunday and me being so cranky about it, my cowboy got someone else to help him. Not a good idea, obviously. Between the two of them in that field they left more than 40 head back. So there was a bunch of upset members missing cows. Sheesh!

It was an all round miserable day and most everyone was crabby. One of the members took another’s members cattle prod and threw it away, over a fence which makes me kind of laugh.

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I tried to get a picture of the crazy hats a couple of the youngsters that helped round up were wearing. The bravery of youth 🙂

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I’m not quite so brave, but I’m all for warm.

It was a foggy drive to the south camp, (always stressfully). I drove the horses around on the pavement again while my cowboy managed to get through the lease in another truck. It helps if he goes that way to set up the gates.

The humid cold chilled right through to my bones the five hours I was a horseback. The sun shone for about an hour and then the cold fog drifted back in where I was. I thought: Yay! And then: Dang!

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Days get so short this time of year that I can see why they want to start early.

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I held up at the gate just in case of some kind of wreck while everyone else went out for a second draw. I was awestruck watching the better part of 2000 head go through the gate into the trap. It was a privilege I don’t think too may people ever get.

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It was a little iffy fitting that many into the corrals all at once. I was sure glad for the help. I really like this fellow I rode beside. Nobody, not even him looked much like a cowboy today. We all swallowed our pride to be warm.

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And then someone said there was still a Gelveigh cow (of course) out. Somebody complained about her and my cowboy said: “Welcome to our world.” If only they knew what we have had to put up with those awful cows. Someone suggested they needed to be chased till their tongues hung out and I said I’d been doing that for the last 7 years and I didn’t think it had helped much. Golly!

So I spent a couple of hours trying to find her. Not a sign but my cowboy found her when he drove home through the lease. She’ll go with those 40 that got left back in that other field tomorrow. So now you know why I’m complaining about being so pooped.

Sleepless

Well tomorrow is the last day for the cows. I have to be up at 5:00, saddled, and riding when the light first breaks. It’s the two big herd that leave tomorrow and it’s going to be a long day. Aaaaaah! Why can’t I get to sleep?

Full Moon and Coyote

It was dark by the time I dismounted at the gate after attempting (heavy on the ATTEMPTING) to move cows. Such a sickening waste of time, I’m sure because we were working on Sunday. It could have been an exceptionally nice day but instead it was a disaster.

Some days (today) I hate my boss, I don’t even like my husband, and I pretty much think my best friend is an idiot too (you know they are all the same guy, right?)

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The moon was full and there was a half eaten dead cow and calf by the gate. I sat down on the snow and sulked with tired old Blue curled up on my lap. Gus was over checking out the dead cow when I saw Blue’s ears perk up and he was staring. I’ve see that look lots of times and I knew without turning around it was a coyote that he was watching.

I carefully called Gus to me. He hadn’t seen it yet. He came and I held both dogs curled up on my lap and told them stay. Blue knew he was too old and tired to fight and I think he was glad I told him “Stay with me.”

Pic was standing over us and the coyote couldn’t have missed the horse but he didn’t see us. I growled: “Get outta here.” and the coyote looked up so shocked. It was respectful enough to move off, thank heavens. And it wasn’t much after that the trailer came to pick us up.

As I thought about it on the way home I wondered if that coyote will be happily howling at the moon tonight with a full belly. A good day for him, not so good for me.

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So Far, So Good

Not a bad morning, considering . . . considering I was up at 5:00, riding by 7:00, considering it was snowing and minus 15 Celsius (59 F really that’s not too bad).

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Cows were happy to be going home so they gave us no trouble, not even one, which I think is a first since I’ve been here, at least.

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I left the men to do the rest of the work on foot and got to bring our two horses home and warm up, although I wasn’t actually cold, well, just my fingers were, in spite gloves inside of mittens.

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I had to drive back the long way around on the pavement cause the road we usually take was plugged with snow.

It seems kind of crazy but we couldn’t really change the date since some of the members already had their calves booked into the sale. Tomorrow, just the two of us will move the last 2 big herds into the take out field, do a cleanup check on Monday and then Tues they will go home.

Then it’s 40,000 acres of cold and empty till spring next year.

A Headache

I hate headaches (not as much as I do throwing up but close). I don’t know about you but they render me practically useless which is pretty much what I have been all day today.

No excuses tomorrow though, I have to be able to get up, saddle, get to the south camp, and be ready to ride at first light (cold or not, sick or not).

I’m glad it’s the two smaller herds headed home; it’s suppose to be pretty chilly. Then Tuesday the two bigger herds but it’s supposed to warm up some. Every year is a little different some years it’s nice, sometimes cold, one year it was really foggy.

Whatever it is it will all be ok as long as I don’t have this headache.

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South

You maybe can’t tell from this picture but there is the better part of 700 pairs looking south over this fence wanting really badly to go home (on Sat. they are supposed to go).

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I’m so glad we rebuilt this south fence line last year. If we wouldn’t have, I’m sure they would be gone south by now, and be tucked into their home pastures all snug and safe for the winter or possibly strung out between here and there somewhere which would be bad.

A Little Cowgirl

I spent part of day thinking about my childhood. I didn’t grow up on a ranch or even own a horse but I grew up a cowgirl. My hero was Roy Rogers, I slept with a plastic horse named Trigger instead of a Teddybear, and my favorite song was a Wilf Carter tune: I Want to be a Cowgirl’s Sweetheart.

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I almost always wore boots, rodeo weekend was the highlight of my year, and I reverenced native grass even as a six year old.

I’m consider myself an awfully lucky ol cowgirl to have grown up to be and do what I wanted to be and do when I was a little cowgirl.

Hiding

Me, that is, and all the animals al hiding from the snow storm as best we can.

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I’m the luckiest in a nice warm house with skirt work to keep me happy. Then the dogs in the house, then Pic, he’s in the barn with a couple of friends eating oats and some cubes. The barn cats in will be cozy enough. The other horses can get out of the wind. The cows in the take out field too have some trees and brush but there is a big herd in the field with much less shelter. My cowboy is out checking everyone in the truck today. We’re hoping the cows won’t get pushing on the south fence lines too hard and break through trying to get home. Apparently that’s happened before but not in the 7 years we’ve been here.

So for now I’ll just be hiding the day away.

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Broken Record

I hate sounding like a broken record but I’m tired, again.

My cowboy had to take horses to the farrier and time is getting close to the take out deadline in Saturday so I went out alone to check for any cattle that may have got left behind in the latest move. Sure enough I had to find the missing bull and with a sore foot it took me forever to patiently get him back to the yard so we could load him up and send him home.

And then the day was cold and my hands were too frozen to take any pictures. The cold sure makes a person a lot more tired. Riding in snow pants isn’t much fun either There was a skiff of snow this morning but we’re supposed to have 19-20 cm or around 8 inches tonight. I wonder if that breaks any records for early snowfall?