Friday, July 1, 2016

Hide and Seek - Pasture Version

A date to the pasture may not be wine and roses. Instead, it's wildflowers and a gulp from a dirty water jug.

And that's OK. I prefer it that way.

I was glad to check out this season's latest blooms in nature's flower shoppe. (I added the extra "p" and the "e" to make it fancy - even with a little mud on my jeans.)
An overcast morning made the yellow cone flowers and the purple woolly verbena seem even brighter against a muddled blue sky. 
The insects really liked the flowers, too, though I didn't realize it until I was back at my computer, looking at the photos.
We weren't at the pasture just to enjoy the scenery, though that was definitely a perk. Since we'd gotten rained out of wheat harvest again, we needed to check the mamas, babies and bulls at their summer "vacation spot" - the Ninnescah pasture.

You can barely see the water down in the draw. Click on any of the photos to make their bigger.
Honestly, I was starting to get a little nervous during our pasture promenade. We were certainly seeing a lot of pretty scenery. But we weren't seeing the cattle. I know the Bible tells me not to worry, but I also know that I'm an unfinished work in that particular area.

My thoughts were swirling with as much velocity as the wind racing past us on the 4-wheeler:
What if they got out?
What if they were stolen? 
The only "livestock" we were seeing were birds in the air and perched on top of fence posts.
We were hearing the rush of water at the dam ... but no mama cows calling to their babies.
By the time we reached the far end of the pasture, I could hardly enjoy the beautiful vista as we looked back to the north
"Aren't you getting nervous?" I asked Randy.
"No, not yet," he replied. "There are plenty of places to hide."

Yes, there were.
At first, they were barely discernible in the dark shadows under the trees.
Just like we humans, they were seeking a little summer relief under the shade trees.
With the rain nourishing the prairie grasses, the mamas and babies are looking sleek and well fed. The bulls were hanging out with them, too. All was well! We just had to play the farmer's version of hide and seek to find them.
I enjoyed the trip back to the pickup even more because I left my worry behind - right under those trees with the cattle.
And there's a lesson there, I suppose. If I don't let go of the worry, I can never really be present and joyful in the moment, can I?
Since the cattle were where they were supposed to be, we went to Hutchinson for a movie and supper. But on the way home, we had a detour to a big old cottonwood that Randy wanted to show me. It was during the golden hour, when the setting sun is casting beautiful light everywhere it touches.
It's less than a mile off the road we usually take to Hutchinson. It's so big I couldn't get it all in the photo frame and it dwarfed my 6'1"-tall farmer.
So our date ended where it started - on the back roads of Kansas. This time, however, we were in a car instead of on a 4-wheeler.

This excursion happened a week ago, June 24. This morning, skies are again overcast. We've got our fingers crossed that the rain will bypass us for a few days so our Wheat Harvest 2016 can continue.


  1. The cattle certainly do look very good! And they were just enjoying the shade which no doubt was a relief.

    So glad to hear that you are out and about, making the most of the down time due to wet weather. Hope you really enjoyed the movie and supper.

    1. Thanks, Lynda. We did. It's nice not to have to cook once in awhile.

  2. Sounds like a fun "date" day, Miss Kim. I love your opening sentence, prairie flower and pasture pictures.

    It's always a relief when the cows are in and ALL the bulls home. J is the cattle checker around here. He knows the pastures the best and if something needs doctored he's the guy.

    We have a lot of the yellow cone flowers across the prairie. The purple cone flowers are less abundant and not very colorful. I think the purple is faded due to the drought we are in.

    J started cutting oats yesterday. It was cool and cloudy all day and is overcast this morn. J was sure we could catch a rain if he swathed oats, lol!

    Good Luck with the remainder of wheat harvest!

    1. We got more rain Friday night and Saturday night, so we are shut down again. We went to a different pasture yesterday to check on cattle and fences. And, of course, I took photos.

      Good luck with the baling. We need to swath alfalfa, but it's too wet for that, too. Randy just about got the pickup stuck - just servicing the combine. So I guess it's hurry up and wait again. The price of wheat just went down under $3 today. It's all pretty discouraging.

    2. Wow, you must be wet. Mom and Dad got a good rain Friday night, .90". Our friends in the South East corner of South Dakota also got some much needed moisture, over 2"!

      You are close with the wheat. I hope you can get in the field soon. A bet your 2nd cutting alfalfa looks good.

      Yea for getting the chance to relax on the 4th! Did Randy have any luck with the fish? What book are you reading? If you need a lighter read with personable characters and a happy ending, I would recommend "More Than You Know" by Nan Rossiter. Yesterday I started "The Shoemakers Wife" by Adriana Trigiani. It's a WWI era story.

      We moved the oldest group of pairs this morn. It was 59* when I got up. I was a little surprised after yesterday's heat. J checked the oats and things they will go by noon!

      Hope you have a wonderful day and rest of the week.

    3. Thanks, Robyn! Yes, the 2nd cutting looks good, but we will also have to wait on those fields to dry out some.

      I am about to finish "Flight Patterns" by Karen White. It has been good, though not exceptional. Thanks for the book recommendations.

      It is very hot here today. Because the humidity is so high, the "feels like" temp that the meteorologists are talking about is 108! I am hoping that the humidity goes down before the county fair starts next week.

      You have a great week, too!

  3. What a lovely post to read. That cottonwood is soooo impressive. Hope it survives for many more years.
    I love the wild flowers and I can imagine your relief when the cattle were discovered.

    1. Thanks, Helen. Yesterday, when we checked cattle at another pasture, they were readily seen, so we could just enjoy the ride on the 4-wheeler!