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?
(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.
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...