Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Saturday in the Park ... er ... The Pasture

With apologies to one of my favorite music groups, Chicago:

"Saturday in the park.
Think it was the 4th of July."

Yes, it was a Saturday.
But it was a pasture instead of a park.
And it was Memorial Day weekend rather than 4th of July.

It was a lovely Saturday. But there wasn't the sound of people laughing or dancing or anyone playing guitar in a busy park. Instead, there was the music of cascading water and the call and answer of mama cows and their calves. There was the trill of birds and the rustle of a gentle breeze through prairie grasses that helped keep the insects at bay.

We were there to check cattle. A neighbor had some of his cattle get into the pasture we rent along the Ninnescah River. While he was sorting them out, he noticed that one of our bulls had a problem. We were there on a recognizance mission.
We didn't find the bull at first, but we saw his pasture mates, looking sleek and full from ample grass fed by generous spring rains.
Mamas and babies were curious about the 4-wheeler that came to invade their solitude on the prairie.
Just a little bit of family resemblance with this mama and offspring, don't you think?

Yes, we were there on a cattle checking mission. But we just happened to bring our fishing gear, too. This spot on the Ninnescah has long been a favorite fishing spot for Randy and our kids.
Randy went back to the pickup for the fishing gear and I searched for photos - not fish. I much prefer that anyway.
The water roared over the dam. From a perch above the bridge, it was difficult to separate the froth of the water with the delicate white wildflower blooms along the upper banks. 
The rushing water gave me vertigo as I peered over the bridge and the roar filled my ears and my senses.
Soon, Randy returned with the fishing gear. After all the rain, we could only reach this spot with a 4-wheeler.
Randy set us up a little downstream from the rushing water, where he hoped the fish would smell the fragrance of the liver he used to bait our hooks.
And they did! Randy caught three catfish and not even my lack of patience kept me from catching one catfish, too.
After I caught my fish, I left Randy along the river bank.
I wandered the pasture, pausing to shoot photos of wildflowers, some of them so tiny that it was like a treasure hunt to find them in the lush green grasses.
I wandered away from the rushing waters at the dam to the tranquil flow downstream.
After our 5-gallon bucket was full, it was time to search again for the bull.
The search took us to the far corners of the pasture, where we could look at the vista from the highest point in the field. (Granted, it's not high, but we live in the flat part of Kansas!)
Unfortunately, the view to the other direction confirmed the neighbor's suspicions. The bull is no longer able to do his "job." (I will leave it at that. This is a family blog, after all.) The guys had hoped to go back on Tuesday to bring him up to the corral. But after another 1.40" of rain, that job was postponed until today. Once he's caught, Randy will take him to the sale barn.
 It was a sad ending to a beautiful morning. Poor Mr. Bull!

But we took in the beauty as we rode back to the pickup. Things could be worse. After a dry winter, we've been blessed with abundant rain this spring, refreshing the pastures and giving the cattle abundant food.

Our bucket of fish gave us an abundant meal on Memorial Day, too. Best of all, Randy was the chef!


  1. What a wonderful day and such great rain. Such a shame re the bull. Do hope you get a good price for him.
    Love all these photos but I think the best is Randy relaxing with his fishing rod.

    1. I'm sorry I'm so slow in replying. I was at a church conference from Wednesday through Saturday last week. It's fun to do something a little out of the ordinary!

  2. chrisharry11@mail.postmanllc.net

  3. Oh, those darn bulls! J calls them a necessary evil. They can sure make a lot of extra work of checking cattle.

    I love that you took time to enjoy the prairie, fishing and photograph. I think that is somewhat therapeutic.

    I told J the other day that the sky is blue, the grass is green, then you look out across the prairie and see purple and pink and yellow. What a creative God to bless us with beautiful wild flowers and colors in random places.

    1. We are blessed to witness all the beauty, aren't we?

  4. It is so wonderful that you and Randy take time out to go fishing and take photos. It certainly does make a nice day of it checking the cattle. Sorry to hear that one of the bulls is not so good though.

    1. Thanks, Lynda. Randy got him delivered to the sale barn. We won't replace him until next year. Hopefully, he (or his pasture mates) did the job.