"Feral ~ from feminine of ferus wild: having escaped from domestication and become wild"...




Thursday

Okay, everyones sick of winter - Wheres Spring?


First off, shout out to my Blog friends who have been stopping by to check up on me and cheerleading me to health by leaving get well wishes - it helps to make me sentimental because then I cry and then the sinus pressure is relieved for a little bit... I do believe that half of the pirate germs have been evacuated, and the ones that have holed up pretty deep are finally being forced to come out and fight in the open...The good germs are pretty pleased. So is the kleenex$$ company...but anyhow thank you for helping me battle the pirate germs! Youre the best!
this is pretty good stuff - anyone else try this?



We have had too much time to sit and contemplate while being ill   - kind of like one of those Bette Davis movies where the bitter little heroine is sitting by the window, sniffling sick in her patched robe and blanket, wistfully wishing for better things to come along...Although Im pretty sure she never screeched out loud   "WHERE THE HECK IS SPRING AND WHY IS IT NOT HERE YET????!!!!! "  and shook her balled up tiny little fist weakly at the world outside her window...

We ARE sick...and we are tired...of winter. 

But at least I know Im not alone because  Im pretty sure this lady here feels the saammmmme way ~

"Where is Spring, darn it???!! "

Im pretty sure too she is  moo-screeching occasionally  "GET THIS THING OUT OF ME!!!" 

uhmm, us moms can all relate to that one...  


we miss the buds. Where are you?


we miss the little first flowers. Where are you?


 we even miss the rain that brings green grass..and mud. Where are you?


 

Okay, heres the one thing though that I dont kind of miss ~



the hills have eyes...


This is a pretty scary picture above because your talkin' a herd of  hungry females, and they are just waiting to spring on any sprung green grass they see this Spring.  First of all, before I go any further, let me explain something that I know for a fact doesnt happen inside many states, although maybe accidently -  There are these laws called  "Open Range laws" in Montana - livestock can move freely at will ~ if you dont want livestock on your property its up to you to fence them out.  What that means for us is that there is approximately 153 acres of fence of ours to check and mend, because these eating mommas are walking the line looking for breaches, openings, breaks in the fence, all to get to our producing hay fields and pastures. Another item is "Grazing Rights" on Federal Land.  We are surrounded by the Custer National Forest, so our Rancher Friends have grazing rights around us.  Grazing rights means that they can put their cow ladies and calf pairs out in these areas when the US National Forest Range Management guys tell them they can during a certain time period.  It helps the cows out as they are able to move around freely and eat, it helps the rancher out by letting his home pastures rest, it helps the National Forest so that the fire danger of dry grass is grazed down,  and it helps our US beef production market be able to compete with the international markets. These laws are important, and what paves the way for producing food for our nation and others.  Its a win-win solution for everyone.

However, you just dont want cow ladies stomping in your hayfields in the Spring because its basically the equivalent to hooved locusts. BIG hooved locusts. So we have to be on the lookout and "mend our fences" - now you know where the friendship term  "mend your fences" comes from ! Anyhow, we have 4 and 5 strand barbed wire fences, and as with anything that ages, *uh hem*, it occasionally will become weak and snap. Theres also posts that need to be checked for weakness, high spots in the low wires where commando cows can squeeze under, and low spots in the top wire where the Elk pushed it down going over. SO  when the snow melts, guess where I will be?

Moooving on... 

(whaaat? Im on drugs, remember?)

 
"Im hungry and I want pickles and GREEN GRASS. Your GREEN GRASS  lady..."


These lady cows can be pretty intimidating to us.


  Because they are organized... 

 they practice lining up in formation...

 practice blending into foliage


 
and even have trained scout cows on lookout for holes in fences...




The good news is though is that I have time to mend as grazing rights arent open until May.  

And while Im thinking about mending, they will start to drop calves. 

And we do mean drop, literally. 

Everywhere.




WARNING - For those of you who dont know about this process, please take the following advice seriously ~ Even if you see a little guy on the side of the road in Ranching Country, you must never interfere - Open Range Law - dont worry, momma knows where she left him.  This is where someone from another state and from a big city could get into trouble - these are not homeless dogs and cats, so dont pick them up and put them in your car and take them home to cuddle and call them George.  This is free range country.  This is Montana. And they dont like when you do that.  Its called "cattle rustling" and will get you jail time.  Seriously.   No matter how cute the little bugger is. This is not "City Slickers IV."

Okay, now that we cleared the air on that one, check out these little babies from last year!






Arent they adorable?  The Rancherpersons will come along, as they do, many times everyday to look for new calves.  Once they find them they tag them, check for any illness in both momma and baby, and give medicine or shelter as needed.  You can read more about working ranches here , or look for links to my blogger friend's ranches on the left hand side of this blog ~ they know what they are talking about and will use professional terms.  I am just a lowly timber cruiser remember. But we do love being part of the equation of the West - we are Hay producers.  Our hay crop feeds the neighbor Rancher's beef cattle that feeds our Nation and others, and we are very proud to be part of this.  And its up to us to take care of our part so that others can take care of their part. We respect the Rancher, as should all of us.  It is a hard, messy, tiring job during calving season, but the rewards are great.  If you do believe a calf or momma are under duress and no one is around, look for the Rancher - they will know exactly what to do, because they know their job, their livelihood, and know it well...

So come on Spring, where are you ???







~



26 comments:

  1. Glad you are feeling some better... at least you sound better... Those fence lines will wait for you. Seems like no matter how good you put them back there is always some critter working to take them back down as soon as you are done. Calf drop has been in full swing in our area for a good month now. Tough critters, these cattle.

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  2. Well I do know what you are talking about! FENCE FENCE FENCE, WORK WORK WORK or RUN RUN RUN! Get well soon. Love your post. Looking for spring but not so much the work or running. B

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  3. Arizona is open range too...and if you hit them with your car on the highway you have to pay the rancher! But one funny thing is if you hit a cow that is the only time your insurance deductable is waived...lol..don't ask me how I know! you describing them on the outside looking in made me laugh..kind of like me making brownines and then telling myself I can't have them...

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  4. You sound better, everybody has been screaming for Spring! We are getting it here, early flowers in bloom, trees starting to bloom, there will be Spring knocking on your door soon! Chin up!

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  5. Your head is definitely clearing a bit - at least your mind is - maybe not your sinuses yet. :) A hungry herd of cattle (especially mommas with babies) is nothing to mess with, for sure. Your best weapon is of course deFENCE. :) (Had to get you back on the pun front...)

    Our acreage here is just a scrap of what you have, but I too feel good to know the hay our front pasture produces goes to feeding the neighbors' beef cattle and keeps the cycle going in some way.

    Come on spring in Montana!

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  6. I'm so glad you are on the mend! Thanks for an itty bitty lesson about the real Montana! I'd love to hear more!

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  7. Beautiful cows! I lived in Sheridan Wyoming for a couple years in the 1970's. Beautiful part of the country.I am sure Montana is just as beautiful. We had a long winter and I just remember wanting Spring badly!

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  8. thanks for the interesting post,Things are different here in Nova Scotia,we have to keep our cattle in,no free roaming off property allowed or you get in trouble.
    I loved your pictures.

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  9. Excellent post, we too have free roaming in certain parts of Alberta (although not where I live) but we do have many gravel roads that travel through pastures, so its like free range.
    Very Interesting to hear about how other places ranch. And glad you are feeling better.

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  10. I know they're supposed to grow into their ear tags, but it always makes me smile to see that little face and that giant tag...

    Free range is definitely different than here--although we're in a constant battle to fence them out of our backyard...

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  11. Hi Feral Gal, Great Post and Photos...........Our only open range in Calif. is in the Nevada border. I feel bad posting, showing off my spring and all, but I do enjoy your visits. "Hope your feeling better"

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  12. Great pics and glad your feeling a bit better!
    and yes here in Indiana we wish it would be spring soon!!!

    Thanks
    Leontien

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  13. That whole free range thing blows me away. Here in Iowa, I have fences and it is my job to keep my cows and other livestock on my property in my fences. As such, we will be building a huge section of new fence this spring. Love seeing all those ladies and their babies!

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  14. Ditto to what everyone is saying; about spring, work and your health!

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  15. Great pix of the girls! And, whatever, you had, you'd better to continue to take it slow & easy...no relapsing allowed...relaxing yes!...:)JP

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  16. I love this post! Hope you are all healed up soon. We are ready for spring too!

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  17. We have a few signs of spring around here and so glad for it. I think everyone, across the U.S., is tired of old man winter. Glad you are on the mend!

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  18. Beautiful pictures! Glad you are feeling better, it has been a hard winter with sickness, everyone I know has had illness in their house for weeks! xo Caroline

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  19. Hi there,
    First of all thank you for visiting my blog. I found this post very interesting. I did not know free ranging was still around. I learned so much from this post - I just watched some old cowboy/western movie the other day and the cowboys and farmers were fighting because of the free ranging cows. I thought those days were over. Tells what I know.

    About your sickness...I totally relate to tired of winter and being sick. I got a cough, fever, chills, the last of January. On Feb 5 my husband took me to the Emergency Room. I'm JUST NOW getting better. I was on steroids, anitibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and some inhaler type thing. I had pneumonia and pleurisy. All the sickness this year is crazy. come on Sunshine and warmth!

    Cindy Bee

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  20. Hey woman--hope you are feeling better!! Nothing worse. Great post and awesome pictures as always. Thank you for joining up to FFF! :)

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  21. Great pictures. My in-laws are from Montana - father in-law grew up in a very small town called Wesby - on a farm - and my mom-in law grew up in Lewistown - I think Lewis town is famous - something about a toilet being in the middle of the state or something like that... I live in CA and - the country you describe in words and pictures is breathtaking... I would love to see it one day.
    Love
    Kelly
    I've Become My Mother
    Kelly's Ideas
    Amazing Salvation

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  22. You are sounding like you are getting better...nasty germs how dare they really.I enjoyed this post. There has been open range just about everywhere I've lived ( not here though)I think the cattle believe it is their job to take down fences. I love calves( too bad they grow up to be cows)sorry Cattle Ranchers, now having said that part of me is glad they grow up to be cows cause I enjoy eating beef.

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  23. I'm definitely glad you're feeling better. I can't wait for spring either. Have some of my own fences to mend and I don't mean the people kind.

    I know about free ranging but didn't know it was a seasonal thing. That makes sense, I guess.

    I can just see some tourtist picking up a calf on the side of the road thinking it was an orphan. Not good.

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  24. I love your "cow lady" pictures. "The hills have eyes", "hooved locusts"...you have a way with words. Loved reading this post.

    No, I can't say that I've tried "chicken poop" on my lips. Glad you are feeling better. And I too want spring to get here too. Hurry up Spring! You are making us all wait on you.

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  25. Listen...
    YOU wanted to be in montana... so no complaints about snow.
    Not allowed.
    :p

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I am feral, so although I dont respond at all like most domesticated bloggers, I will try my best - Thank you for even wanting to leave a comment, as it may draw me out from the woods from whence I came!

Or under a rock, it depends most days...