We have been very busy. It is that time of the year when the grass begins to turn golden and our cattle get gathered up. The largest animals that have spent almost 2 years running around these hills get taken in to the local USDA meat processing facility to stock up ours and our neighbors' freezers and then the calves that all look similarly are taken to our local auction yard and the calves that don't quite look like the others stay on the ranch to be next year's grass finished animals. I really don't care for this aspect of raising cattle. Not at all. I feel like the child control guy in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, who drove around claiming he was giving away candy only to slam the cage bars into place when they believed him. But I use sweet smelling and tasting alfalfa in the back of my little orange Kubota for the bait. Sometimes the cattle follow me for miles. I always give them a lot of hay when I catch them though, it eases my conscious. Silly me.
This time we used a little horse backup a few times to keep them together and moving, it helped speed up the process a little. I also used a horse to get in a little calf that inadvertently got locked on the outside of the corrals. It was fun and I think my little mare Stormy had done this work sometime before in her life. It is a good thing she is a short horse because we had to rip through a thicket of trees to cut off the little bugger. Yee Haw! One branch almost scraped me off, but we did it and next year we are going to try to be real cow folks and use our horses more in gathering. Horses seem to make it more fun. We all still agree that driving the Kubota still works best though and our two resident cowboys for the summer, Tater and Eric the Bold, used the Kubota to finish finding a few strays after I left the ranch. Yep, I left them on the 12:30 bus heading south. It felt good to leave right in the middle of the week I dread most.
I sit right now on my sister's computer in a major city after spending a successful day shopping with our daughter for a wedding dress. Successful because we all cried when she put the right one on. It is a romantic, classic, yet old fashioned dress in a champagne color that really put a beautiful glow to her skin, with a pick up skirt (if you know what that is, which I didn't!). Timeless.
Mark called to tell me Flower looks to be going into labor, so hopefully he will post some photos as soon as she delivers her kidds. She is so humongous and she waddles around and looks terribly uncomfortable.
The colt's name is Sequoyah, for those of you who might not have figured it out from Mark's clues in the previous post, and he is a wonderful colt. He is very friendly and curious and gentle. He loves to be brushed and scratched and have his little bitty feet picked up.
It is hard for me to be away from the ranch, but so much harder for me to be away from my honey. We are two in one and to separate feels like losing a part of myself... soon my daughter will enter into such a sacred union too. She'll be blessed.