Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A run through the run down

 It's that time of year around here, where gathering, branding, breeding, sorting, shipping, weather related delays (hopefully), and numerous other tasks converge into a few hectic weeks known as spring work, spring ranch work, the spring rush, that time of year etc...
What I was unaware of, until about two weeks ago, was that this seasonal workload conveniently hits at my fiances about three weeks before it hits here, and dwindles down just in time for ours to kick into high gear. After about 10 days of firsthand experience at his house, I'm back home with a much more thorough understanding of how the timeline goes around his place, and with dark bags under my eyes as we get into the heart of our spring work.
Here is how it has gone. I have lots of photos I was, and still am, hoping to share in multiple detailed posts. But, I also realize that time will pass, there is also a wedding being planned in the midst of all this, and if I don't share a little about these tasks going on right now, I may not get around to sharing anything.

May 6 - Helped clean the drill and also "helped" plant Barley for the first time since I was old enough to walk.

May 8 - A fellow Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher State Committee member and myself drove to Sheridan to read last year's Ag Books for Kids and lead a coordinating activity on seeds as a part of the 1st grade's plant and soil section. I was so thrilled when they called and asked about having me back! What a wonderful compliment to the Ag Books program, and all the work our committee has been putting into making it great in our state!

Throughout all of this my fiancee was AI'ing his heifers to Connealy Irish, which was largely selected because of me. He has been teasing me that I will have to deal with the result of my first management decision for as long as the resulting cows are around, so about 10 years.

May 9 - My future SIL tilled up half the front yard and the some other areas for our grass and tree planting projects, part of which is coming up below.
May 10 - We put CIDR's in my fiancee's cows, which are used to help synchronize them. Those are the CIDRs above.

 May 11 - AI'id early in the morning, then went to two rope and drag brandings.

 May 13 - Planted between 1,000 and 1,500 trees (I have yet to hear the official number). This was very cool, and one topic I am hoping to cover more in depth! These trees will hopefully grow up into a natural windbreak and help keep all the snow from blowing in the corrals and yard, provide more moisture in the field they border and help protect the livestock in blizzards.

I headed back to Wyoming on May 14, and on the 15th we hung this new gate at the end of our alley, cleaned up and prepared for branding, and got a few more odd jobs done before the rain started!

 May 16 - My dad, brother and I gathered our three-year-old pairs and kicked them into a pasture closer to the house. I managed to get this picture of my favorite calf of the bunch : )

 May 17 - Our first branding of the year. Photo courtesy of Double H's mom.

May 19 - We headed north for my uncle's first branding, and finished in a drizzle that turned to a nice rain that lasted all afternoon and evening up there. It hit here the next day, and between the rain and the wind I stayed in and worked on wedding stuff.

Yesterday my brother and I spent the day horseback, sorting and tagging our calves, getting the bulls gathered and put behind an electric fence to assure they avoid sexual temptation for three more weeks. All but one, who was put in with my cows to help them get on their future South Dakota schedule, which includes calving earlier than we do.

Today I took a trip to town to be a part of our local Ag expo, hosted by our county Cattlewomens. This is my second year doing a booth, and my topic this year was explaining the differences between beef and dairy cattle. We looked at different breeds, I brought items from the grocery store that came from each type that we looked at and talked about, and the students decorated a cow cookie as one of the breeds and then told me what breed and type of cow it was.
Tomorrow we're branding again and Saturday morning is my uncle's second branding, followed by a wedding Saturday night.
Wedding plans have also continued throughout all this, and headway has been made! Invitations are out, I finally found someone to do our cake, started on decorations, worked out more specifics on the reception and various other tasks.
Somewhere along the line an article or two has also miraculously appeared, and a few have been skipped. I really appreciate my self employed status this time of year, and the wonderful, understanding people I do work for that are also ranch folks and therefore understand why the schedule is so erratic for these few weeks.
While I love this time of year, I'm also always happy to see the last cows turned out to summer grass, and know that the rush is over and we can settle into the summer months before we hit the fall rush, and do it all again in reverse.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, you have been busy! Nice pictures. Good job with the Ag education. My daughter got the summer intern position with PPA - Progressive Partnership in Agriculture setting up the Ag Adventure tents at the June dairy breakfast and county fair. Good luck with the wedding plans. Blessings from Ringle, WI.