Friday, October 14, 2011

Make-Believe Cowgirl

I call this photo, "Cowgirl: A Self Portrait." OK, here's the truth: I'm not much of a cowgirl. A sorting stick does not a cowgirl make. But I am worth my weight in free labor ... whatever that's worth.

This portrait in light and shadow was less objectionable than the one in which I was trying out as the lead actress in a stain removal commercial. Though this session of cattle sorting did not end in a broken toe, it did include ungracefully tripping over a weed in the corral and landing in a pile of manure. It did require some adept work with stain remover.

(You can see the weeds that reached out and "grabbed" me.)

I don't understand how the weeds can flourish despite drought conditions. We were doing the cattle job about a month early because the cows and calves were running short on grass in the pasture. So how can weeds survive in the face of exceptional drought? I guess it's just in their stubborn nature.

This pseudo-cowgirl is stubborn, too. After falling unceremoniously on my rear end, I got up and continued the job. (I may have said something to the boss about weed removal in the corral and I may have pulled a few and flung them over the fence. But I did continue the job.)

This is the first time in Randy's farming career that he has had to sell calves in the fall. Because of this year's drought, we didn't raise enough hay or silage to feed both the cows and calves all winter long.

So we are keeping the cows, which will have the next calf crop in February. On sorting day, Darrel Harner with Harner Trucking out of Sylvia came to haul the calves to Pratt Livestock for the Thursday sale.

There was great debate about the correct number of calves.

Randy thought there were 103. I counted 104. After doing some math on the side of his semi, Darrel said 105. He was the one opening different compartments in the semi like a giant puzzle and getting the calves situated for their ride to Pratt.

Turns out, Darrel was right. Even though both Randy and I were wrong, we were glad for the "extra" calf.

Up next: Our day at Pratt Livestock

Farmchicks Farm Photo Friday

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