It’s the time of year every rancher loves- calving! Okay, Okay. Maybe not every rancher. Because frankly, if you’ve watched Animal Planet’s, Last American Cowboy, you’ll see so much drama, that you might wonder who could look forward to that? Trust me, you do, because as I’ve said before, there’s only one pay-day a year for a rancher. And when the calves start coming you get all excited. Okay. So I get all excited. I love to see the babies. I love to see their mama’s nuzzle them, and I love to see their faces covered in milk. I promise to try and capture some of this for your viewing pleasure- though you’re forewarned, I will not be publishing every photo I take. I have to save something “new” for my upcoming book. Speaking of that…wait…I shouldn’t digress this far from my point.
Where was I?
Oh, calving. We have a few calves rolling in here now, though the majority of the herd won’t start calving until April 15th. We had a few rascally bulls escape early, and as such as we’ve got about 27 new calves on the ground, so far. The fun part of being a cowgirl is just getting started! Tuesday I rode through the pasture with our hired man to check the cows. We found 3 new babies! Today, I rode through the cows by myself and found 6 new calves. It hasn’t been exactly the ideal riding weather either, I must admit. Yesterday it was gray and windy. It made it to about 30 degrees but with the sun hidden away, and snow all over the ground, and a lovely south wind it was anything but pleasant. Today it wasn’t much better. In fact, I was about halfway through the herd when it began to snow. Big, floating, flakes fell from the sky for about 30 minutes of my ride. Honestly I didn’t mind. It’s just something that you have to do, and for some reason, when there’s a job to do there’s less “fair-weather” and more “get’er done” with this cowgirl.
Gump didn’t seem to mind either.
And as luck would have it- because I’m so unlucky when it comes to capturing a couple creatures that continually evade me- I saw two coyotes playing in the snow on my way to the pasture, and I saw a golden eagle. I was about 400 yards away from him, and I could see him sitting on the ground. He noticed me watching and he got up and flew- round and round he went. Close enough that if i’d have had my 300mm lens you could have seen him up, close and personal. Sometimes, I believe the bird, he loves to toy with me. Four times this year I’ve had the chance to shoot that massive creature, two of which the camera has been on my person and I’ve missed the shot. Two of which it’s not been. Until you’ve seen one fly like that you really cannot begin to understand how magnificent it is in person. One word- Beautiful. I knew he was near, because earlier that day I’d heard him crying but couldn’t see him due to the clouds and foggy sky. But then I spotted him flying around, and sure enough when we finally made it over there, he was still in that place. It’s times like today when I am so thankful to be doing what I do and living where I live.
Some of you probably asked yourself, “Why was Jenn not carrying her camera?”
Well for one, it was supposed to snow/rain on me today. But for two, I’ve got a cell phone, a notebook, notes, a pen, gloves and generally a lot of stuff on my person. I do promise to try to take some when the weather clears up and someone else is with me to do the cipherin’.
As it is, I snapped a few photos of my “view”- the best seat in the house, if you ask me!
And yes, you Texas folks, it’s almost April and there’s snow on the ground, and in my horse’s mane. This might help you appreciate the 90 that’s forecasted for your weekend.
And yes, we rode right across, and through, that snow bank in front of us (it was one of many). Gump surely earned his oats today!
Happy Trails and Happy Cowgirl’n!
P.S. I promise to share a story about calving, Carhartts, camisoles and snow later this week!