It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And, also explains my lack of blogging anything of substance. I hope you’re happy when you read this, mama!
I know that’s how some Christmas song goes, but whoever wrote that song, must have not grown up, lived on, or ever visited a ranch in the fall.
I say this every year- Fall is the best. The weather changes, the calves are big, and we get to be busy helping our neighbors, gathering bulls, gathering pairs, shipping calves, weaning calves, preg testing heifers and cows. It’s the time of year when a rancher gets paid- or at least ranchers that calve in the spring! Yippee! Whooo hoo!
I spent the last two weeks gathering the bulls from the pasture. Saturday the 6th, we decided to preg test our heifers, and we had a few escape into the pasture with the cows, so I headed out that morning to gather those heifers and when I did, I also managed to find three bulls. Bingo! A double whammy.
Sunday I went out to find more bulls. There was one by himself near a water tank. I left him be because I figured there had to be a “group” of them somewhere. This time of year, when all the cows that are able to be bred are bred, the bulls kind of realize their work is done and as such hang out in groups and sit around. Not unlike what a lot of human men do during football season! Ha! I rode to the large dam. No bulls. I rode to the group of cows near the road. No bulls. I continued to the second water tank. SCORE! Four bulls, laying in the sun, chewing their cud.
Dino and I bought those four into the corral.
Tuesday, the ninth, I headed out to bring in the one bull I’d left on Sunday. You see, they don’t typically wander too far from where they’re parked this time of year either. There’s no need. The girls want nothing to do with them, so they tend to camp out close to the water, and wander only as far as they need to, to eat. Or at least that’s my experience.
It was a blustery, chilly day that day. I wished for some wooly chinks.
This bull knew the drill, too. He was laying down, minding his own. He saw me, looked at me, got up and starting walking North.
Here we are, almost to the gate:
Last week I also went to help the neighbor preg test yearlings. I got there early, so got to help him change a tire on a creep feeder, and move a creep feeder.
I also brought in my mare and her filly, Bombshell. It’s about time to start thinking about weaning her, but I wanted to get her eating some oats and feed first, and I want to get her mama, Shuttle on some feed, so I can get her in better condition going into winter.
Is she cute or what?
Friday morning I went after the now, lone bull, in the pasture. I didn’t ride too long before I ran across him. He kind of hung his head like, “Crap, you found me”, and then proceeded to try all sorts of shenanigans to stay with the girls. Gumpy and I prevailed, however.
Tuesday, this week, I helped our neighbors/ Zach’s cousin trail some yearlings to fresh pasture.
It was a beautiful day!
The yearlings really did a good job!
Herding yearlings can be a little like trying to herd cats- but if you handle them enough, correctly, with good hands, they learn to line out just right!
Dino did a pretty good job this day too!
There was a lone-tree, with pretty golden-colored leaves on it.
The cattle are on their way down a draw to the dam.
On our return trip, Dino got his foot caught in a stray piece of barbwire. I was really glad that Sharon had fencing pliers on her, as we had to cut him out. He got a few scratches on his foot, but nothing serious. And had I never roped his feet as a colt, the whole wreck would have been tremendously worse. But He has learned to come off pressure, so we were able to get him to a neutral place with the wire where there was no pressure and he stood there and let us untangle him.
He will certainly need to have his feet roped a few times in the coming weeks just to be certain there’s no leftovers from our wreck. But otherwise I couldn’t have been prouder of him. I used him to bring in all the bulls, save for the last one, and he’s really coming along nicely. He’s to a place where I can retire Gump completely if I choose.
In between all of this, I’m still working on getting on my craft fair booth ready. There’s planning, planning and more planning being done. I’m ordering art, and note cards, and making jewelry. On an unrelated note, I’ve sold a calendar to Australia, which is pretty darn cool if you ask me!
I hope all of you have had a super Fall so far!