Friday, February 24, 2017

Over Hill, Over Dale...

As we hit the dusty trail...



 I know that is actually a WW I marching song, but it just fit. :) I've been spending a lot of time in the feed truck, or rather "WE" have and this is our chariot:


Skeet has been my trusty sidekick, chief navigator, bunny patrol, bovine locator, quail flusher, and antelope hunter lately:


All in a day's work for the head of ranch security:


He goes absolutely ballistic when he sees antelope. You can kind of see some through the middle of this picture...or at least tiny specks of them:


I apologize for the quality of these pictures, but I just had my phone and it's about 4 years old. I've been making feed runs for DH. It's not hard, just takes time, but I'm glad I can help a little. I load up the cake feeder


Making sure to push it back into the corners so I can get a full load. Then apologize to the handful of bulls who have gathered at the sound of cake cubes being fed into the feeder. Sorry, fellas, today's not your day.


load a few sacks of mineral:


And head out:


I feed 2 pastures on M-W-F and two others on T-TH-S. There are others too, but these are the main ones right now. The feed run takes me 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  I'm learning the habits of the cattle in each pasture as well as the nuances of an old, rusty feed truck that has seen better days. Still, I am thankful every day when it makes a clean feed run and rolls us safely back to the house. We've been on this place for 12 years and I've gone with DH a lot, but I am still easily turned around in a few places now that I'm the one doing the driving.

DH doesn't understand why, and I tried to explain. 128,000 acres is a lot of country and when I go with him, I am usually visiting with him or focused on capturing something with my camera. I'm not on the lookout for water leaks or the steer with a runny nose or whether we turned left on the third road (which is really just a cow trail) from the 4th dirt tank, just past the 2nd gate or right on the second road just past the plugged well. I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the fact that the wind is blowing up a storm from the West today and that the cattle have drifted to the dirt tank down in the draw and that I have to have the truck in the right place if I'm going to call the others up with the siren. There is an art to this cattle feeding gig.

Only 97 here.


There are 197 in Chuckbox. Surely 100 hd of cattle cannot be that hard to find


Well done Skeet.


The other day I heard DH tell someone on the phone that I was making a hand. In this line of work, that is high praise. I know he's just being kind because I'm a long way from earning that title, but it made me tear up anyway.

13 comments:

Dorian said...

LOL, if it's any consulation, I would get turned around and lost too! You have to really pay attention not to. Well done Karin! :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see what you do. I think you are brave to be out there alone. It is very understandable that you can get confused when it all looks similar. I have a good sense of direction but my husband has none.

Sherrill said...

WOW!! I knew it was a lot of work but never dreamed it was THAT hard. So glad there are those who love it--don't think I would. And yes, 128,000 acres is a LOT! I'd get lost out there.

Tired Teacher said...

Kudos to you for filling in when you can. I know your husband appreciates your help. I love how attentive Skeet is to his job: I'm sure he is a big help.

weddingdressblue said...

Do you know the Hank the Cowdog books? I just wondered because of the "Head of Ranch Security" reference.

Judy said...

That is amazing that you help work to feed all those cows. I'm sorry is so hot because California is drowning in water. We have our first day of sun today in over a week! It is strange how the weather pattern is. Thank you to you and skeeter for helping your husband. I pray he is better soon.

Laura K said...

Holy cannoli - 128,000 acres?! That's a heck of a lot of square miles - and to me, it all looks so similar. I can totally get why you might get a little turned around. Hope the GPS in your phone works out there to navigate you back to the ranch house!

Chantal L. said...

Yep, I think you're making a hand too. Kudos to you for doing all this extra (to your daily routine) work and enjoying too (well, it looks like you're enjoying it or at least you're happy to do it.) Your sidekick is so cute btw. ;^)

Dar said...

You definitely have my highest praises for all that you do in the kitchen as well as the field. He's a wise man to recognize he has a wife that can do most anything and is willing to help out. I really admire you both and know that you are blessed to have each other. In my next life, I want to come back as a woman with a Western man that loves to ranch. I know it's not easy, but very rewarding.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us a glimpse of some of the hard work it takes to put food in our grocery stores. I am just one generation removed from the farm and not at all sure I'd be up to the task if I had to make my living this way.

Cindy in NC

Janet O. said...

I am always so impressed with what you do to pitch in on your spread.
And tell your hubby that I am that way on marked, paved highways. If I am not driving, I can not recall the way!

allthingzsewn said...

Impressive day. And pictures to boot. You got it all goin on girl. How is DH's back doing. Has the washer come home yet.

Alycia Quiltygirl.com said...

your chief is doing a great job!! So..... can you google maps it when you get lost and have your phone leade you home ( bwahh haa haa haa)

You are a hand!!

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