Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fishing for Bales

I realized my blogging/photography life has someone of a conundrum.  When there isn't a lot going on, I have post after post of feeding cows, the cute babies, and nothing terribly eye catching or exciting.  But then we are busy as ever, I have HUNDREDS of photos to edit, tons of stories to tell and no time to sit down and tell them...  So I am sitting down at the computer ready to tell you a story, pump out some photos and carving out some time for my blogging life.

This winter/spring has been different for us.  Very different.  First of all, we didn't have winter... We had a flurry every so often but we never had the cold-for-days, snowed-in, stranded-for-days winter that we usually (ok, maybe not all that dramatic, but still... no winter).  But it was also different for all of the cows calving at home.  So many more to feed, keep an eye on, and tag.  So many more cuties around!

We are experiencing a new "difference" lately.  We are hauling down hay and feeding in Locomotive.  With the lack of feed and the lack of rain, there just isn't enough feed for what we need. The nutrition of our cows is super important so we trek down south with hay and get 'em what we need.

For a while we were taking down just a couple of bales at a time.  But that was getting long and slow...  So we figured we would load the semi and flat bed up and take a few loads out.  It wasn't all too irregular of an occurence- people haul hay all the time.  Nothing to tell the blogging world about, right?  That's true, until it was time to unload.

You see, we don't have a tractor down in Locomotive.  Unloading hay minus a tractor means that we get to be creative.  It didn't occur to me that we were missing a KEY part of this job.  Its not like they can dump themselves and we can't really push them all off.  So... What's a rancher to do?  How about fish them off?

The Rancher apparently knew EXACTLY what he was doing not bringing a tractor down.  I never doubt that he knows what he is doing, but to me there were no clear solutions  He always says I lack faith in him... I just tell him that I just wait to be dazzled by his brilliance!  So he brought a big ol' hook and rope to pull all the bales off.  In reality it was pretty simple.  The Ranch Boss was in the truck, pulling the bales off.  The Rancher would do the fishing, hooking and catching the bale, and I was the go between running the hook from the bales on the ground to The Rancher.  When we had so many pulled down that we couldn't any more, we just pulled the semi up and went at it again.  So easy!  So much so that we did it again and I brought my camera to show you.

We get to be a little creative in this life.  The Rancher lives for twine, duct tape, and his save-your-life drawer of nuts and bolts.  Life tries to throw a kink in your plan, but we my guys around, we always have some new brilliant way to make it.  Like fishing for bales!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Association Branding- Day 1

We ad our first glorious day of branding our BLM cows with the association over the weekend.  It was pleasantly a typical day with no surprises.  The wind blew, the food was great, we all returned home covered in dust and we got a lot of branding done. 

In between giving calves shots (because that is my specialty) I had some time to take some other awesome shots!  (I guess I really am specializing in one thing!)  There were some fun moments for me to capture- like a pair of pants that just didn’t last the day and are beyond repair!  Of course my little boy always has his rope in hand ready to attempt to rope a calf. 

I even had a new memory to capture…  There were a few boys with a grocery sack they passed back in forth throughout the day as they were collecting all of the testicles.  Why?  I dunno… Maybe to give to their dog or cook up for themselves.  But I wonder if they kept them…  Cowboy E kindly fried up a rocky mountain oyster for them.  They weren’t impressed with the taste… AT ALL!  In fact I think one boy said that it was absolutely awful. 

Then there were the classic moments to capture…  I always find a face or two grimacing at the stink of the singed hair or carefully placed quick the calf just gave.  The cowboys always turn out to be photogenic and ready for a photo shoot.

Brandings have to be some of my favorite ranch life moments to take.  There are the cows, the calves, the horses, the cowboys, the newbies, the oldies, the cooks…  So much to enjoy.  And now that I’ve rambled enough you really can enjoy!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Enjoying the Monotomy

Are you tired of hearing about our somewhat monotonous life lately?  The cows have babies, we check the cows, we tag the babies, we feed the cows, we go to locomotive and then we repeat it all... Nothing crazy or extraordinary is happening so I don't have stellar stories for you.  I guess I could make one up... Would you know the difference?  Don't worry, I won't...

On this sunny day the kids and I loaded up in the truck to truck down to Locomotive.  Sometimes I like to go just because it gets the kids out of the house so they can't destroy the house so much.  Seriously, I am ready for summer for them to spend all of their time outside.  I feel like a make ZERO progress... I'm sure no other mom has had that problem, right?  I heard a saying the other day about how trying to clean the house with kids around is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos.  Yes.  Truth.

So we drive with dad.  The Rancher has a bike stashed down with the cows to buzz around the cows we quick.  The kids and I take that time to do some exploring.  We find sticks and rocks and tags and occasionally something cool like old plastic pipe.  Ya, know... typical childhood treasures.  We throws rocks and take walks while trying to avoid the poop and not chase all of the cows away.  Its kinda hard for me to take ranch pictures when I can't find the cows...  This fine day we stopped by the troughs to throw rocks in they overthrow ponds.  I'm pretty sure I was the coolest mom that day!

They threw rocks.  I snapped pictures and this is what we ended with!

Monotony can be nice sometimes... You enjoy these photos and I'll go whip up something a little crazy!