Calling it fall pasture now sounds wrong that it is currently covered with a sheet of white snow, but since the calendar still calls this time of year fall we will go with it. Fall pasture. That's where we headed a week ago. The Rancher asked me one of my favorite questions- do you wanna ride? Um... YES!
It really was a fabulous day and a fabulous day for a ride. Unfortunately... there was one part of that day that wasn't so fabulous- I didn't bring my camera! I was so busy getting kids together and getting out before the cowboys left me that it slipped my mind. But in some ways it made for a different kind of ride.
I always enjoy being out for a ride and I love capturing the scenes of the day. But as I've been riding and photographing at the same time, I realized that as much as I take in with my camera I don't personally it take in. I look around seeing my next photo or noticing some exciting action and then I take the picture instead of internalizing what's happening. And that is exactly what I did this ride.
We gathered in the forest cattle, the same bunch we had brought in twice already. This time it was to sort off all of our remaining cows to head over a couple of hills to the fall pasture. Luckily they pretty well sorted themselves... a few of them were a little hot and if too many were that feisty it might have made for a bad day... When they take on the horse in front of them rather than running through the gate, you can see that there was plenty of fun that day. Once we got all of our cows out The Rancher, Cowboy E and I started moving them down the road.
It was uneventful. The cows moved slow because they were busy eating all along the way. The air was chilly but the sun beating down was warm and comfortable. We commented about how good and fat the cows looked. And we called for the dog keep the cows moving (NEVER move cows without a good cow dog... he's worth his weight in gold!). It was nice to have a moment to connect to what we were doing and take it all in. The creak in my saddle, the cow's hooves on the gravel, and the dog running were the only things to really take my attention.
This little uneventful ride helped me realize how beautiful of a life we live, in its simplicity and in its intensity. We have times of the year that we fall into bed exhausted only to wake up early again the next morning. Then there are the days that The Rancher gets done early enough to saddle up the horse for the kids to ride. In all of it we get to live a life where we work as a family to raise beef to help feed the world. We work hard, play hard, and have beauties all around. On this ride to fall pasture I didn't capture the day with my camera, but I certainly captured it with my heart. If only I could help you to see the imprint it has left on this rancher's wife.