Thursday, May 7, 2015

Parting Shots

It's a little quiet around here. Our youngest babies have left home for the first time. I feel kind of like a mom when she sends the baby of the family off to kindergarten.

I was one of those moms who took photos on the front steps before my kids boarded the big yellow bus and off they went. So, it's only right that these babies also got their Kodak moment before they boarded their own brand of "bus" and we took them and their mamas to summer pastures.
We took the final group to what we call the Big Pasture Wednesday morning. For more than 100 years, Randy's family has been taking cows and calves under the canopy of cottonwoods on this dirt road to the Rattlesnake. Back when Randy was a child, the pasture was co-owned and managed by his grandpa Clarence Fritzemeier and Clarence's two brothers, Ed and Harve. To be fair to everyone, no one took their cattle to the pasture before May 1.  The tradition stuck. Now, Randy and his cousin, Don, co-own the pasture. They still follow the May Day rule.

We had already run those babies through the chute, so it was just a matter of gathering and sorting this last group yesterday morning.

In addition to yesterday's cattle duties, we also spent three days last week sorting, working and hauling calves and cows. Like me on the first day of kindergarten, these four-legged moms had a little bit of separation anxiety.
They didn't realize they would be reunited after a separate trailer ride to their summer homes.

Randy says it feels good to quit staffing the daily "lunch truck." He and Jake got the feed truck cleaned up and ready to put in the shed.
This little Masked Man was born the night before he went through the working chute. The guys ended up carrying him and another young friend in and out of the trailer.
Others patiently waited for their turn at their first "doctor's" appointment.

We did add a step in the process of "working" the baby calves this spring. Besides the yellow ID eartag in their left ears, Randy added a blue insecticide tag in their right ears. It will help control flies, ticks and other pests on the babies. It takes the place of a pour-on insecticide we've used in previous years.
Whether under blue skies of last week ...
... or the overcast skies yesterday, the pastures look in good shape after some timely rains during the past month.
It doesn't look like a bad place to spend summer vacation, do you think?


  1. Awwww. They're so sweet. All our babies are branded and out on summer pastures with mama. :)

    1. It's a good feeling, isn't it, Cheri? I will miss their antics in the pasture just south of our house, but they were starting to explore the notion that "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence," so it's good to have them moved.