Thursday, May 22, 2014
Kickin' Up Dust
The song from the old musical, "Porgy and Bess," should describe the cattle's return to summer pasture. But as the mamas and babies left the corrals, they were kicking up enough dust to warrant a line in a sad country music ballad instead.
We waited 2 1/2 weeks longer than normal to take cattle to the Rattlesnake Pasture. The decision to delay was a collaborative one between Randy and his cousin, Don, who co-owns the pasture.
Drought again plays into management decisions for Kansas farmers and ranchers. For more than 100 years, their 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.
After seeing the cattle raise up the cloud of dust Monday, I thought they had better eating in the pasture south of our house. That's where we began the cattle round-up. The cattle have been getting supplemental feed and hay there while they've been waiting for the Rattlesnake to hang out the "Vacancy" sign this spring.