Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Memorial Day weekend
I took time off work to extend the Memorial Day weekend to help my family with spring work. There was a list of things to get done while I was home. It read like this:
1. Brand cows' calves
2. Brand three-year-olds' calves
3. Help my uncle gather and brand
4. Put CIDRs in heifers
5. Sort a load of pairs
Getting everything on the list accomplished really wasn't expected, but we were hopeful. With all the rain and other things that just come up it's rare everything falls into place. But...we got it all done. It went like this:
Thursday, May 27th: after 9:00pm- My mom calls and says we are branding the following day. I am drinking with friends (not a good idea the night before the hottest day of the year and my first full day outside in months)
Friday, May 28th: early- I leave Casper just before 7:00 am to be in Lusk to pick up our electric branding irons that my mom forgot earlier in the week. Proceed to home to brand the cows' calves. Am very concerned upon arrival to find a few cows in the corral, one cow in the lot bawling and no people. This can only mean one thing: a big wreck. I saddle my horse at record breaking speed and am jogging out of the lot when the cows come around the hill. Come to find out the calf table needed extensive repairs when it was picked up early that morning and everything was just running very very late. We brand and everything goes great.
Saturday, May 29th: Gather and brand the three-year-olds' calves in the morning since we were all set up from the day before. Put CIDRs in the heifers after lunch.
Sunday, May 30th: Head north to my uncle's place. Arrive around 10:00am to help trail cows they gathered that morning to a holding lot in preparation for branding Monday. Spend entire day attempting to get everything paired up. The cows were awful this year. Check out my uncles "wildlife refuge" while waiting and visit. Finally give up after 5:00pm and have at least 3 calves and 1 cow going back. Stay at my grandma's house, which is always a treat!
Monday, May 31st: 4:00 am-Alarm goes off. Eat breakfast and head out to brand. Find all the calves have gone back to the bunch (pretty much unheard-of) Gather, sort and brand. Do 296 calves in 5 1/2 hours. Eat, drive home and go to bed. Holly gets sick.
Tuesday, June 1st: Not very early- Sort 40 pair into another pasture so they can be hauled to a grazing association for the summer Wednesday morning. Head to Lusk for a g-form meeting and drive back to Casper. Cook a good dinner and collapse on couch, where I am now.
It was wonderful. I got past the "My butt is sooo sore" stage, deepened my tan exponentially on my face and arms, saw the family and participated in several of my favorite tasks. Weather was beautiful too!
There will be more photos, I took several. This one will likely make another appearance as well. Right now it is just straight out of the camera and there are a few things I want to try with it.