Portrait in Ice

Portrait in Ice
January 2017

Monday, May 2, 2016

Quality Working Conditions

We drove down the dirt road with the windows rolled down and heard the call of birds mingled with a the whip of the Kansas cross-breeze. Clouds made a crazy quilt pattern on a cerulean sky made bluer by the green of springtime. And I thought to myself, "I sure can't complain about the working conditions."
However, the picturesque ride or picture postcard destination didn't factor in my mud-caked tennis shoes or the fragrance of the day, eau de toilette (and we're not talking about that old-fashioned Grandma perfume, folks).

Yes, before we got to that picturesque drive, we had some work to do. We mounted our "horses" and started the round up.
It's always best if you can get them all gathered together and going the right direction. (I imagine school teachers can relate to that concept.)
That morning, we had groups in three different locations in the pasture. We needed them to cross Peace Creek and come together.
The guys circled around and got them heading toward the corrals while I stayed on the other side in case they decided they wanted to take another "swim."
But they minded their manners and made an orderly approach to the exit, out the gate and over the wooden bridge. 
Then it was a matter of keeping them on the straight and narrow toward the farmstead. That's easier said than done when there is tempting green wheat and alfalfa fields flanking the dirt road.
But with only some minor detours, they arrived at the farmstead corrals, where we sorted the mamas and the babies. (As usual, there are no photos of this portion of the round up. There are no extra hands for clicking the camera shutter.)
We separate them so that we can safely haul the babies by themselves. That way, they aren't trampled in the cattle trailer.
We ran the babies into a corral at the pasture to await the arrival of their mamas.
It's a loud reunion as the mamas call out to their babies.
Once we've hauled all the loads, we let them into the pasture together.
They then head for the "buffet" - a delightful montage of prairie grasses.
There's also time for a little soak at the spa.

It looks like a pretty good "vacation" spot for some of our cow-calf pairs, don't you think?
This morning, we moved the heifers and a "clean-up bull" to the Palmer pasture. 

Four more bulls had chauffeured ride to different pastures. Just like little boys at the playground, they had a bit of a scuffle to decide who was the most powerful.

One of our trailers has three different sections. Just like getting sent to time-out, the bulls made their journey in different compartments.
Moving day to the Rattlesnake Pasture is tomorrow. The guys will have to do it themselves because we are expecting some important visitors this afternoon. Kinley & Brooke will be here while Mommy is at a conference in Great Bend. The rain slowed us down, but it will make for some good eating for the cattle. I just don't know how they'll do it without me. (I think they'll manage.)

Mr. Bull made his presence known as he arrived to "visit" the ladies. He and his harem will be the ones going to the Rattlesnake Pasture tomorrow.


  1. Quality working conditions make me realize how very lucky I am to live this lifestyle. And nice weather makes our job a little easier.

    It's been nice here the last few days and my morning 4-wheeler ride has been enjoyable. I also love the meadowlark songs in the morning.

    Glad things went good getting pairs out to summer grass. We are planning to brand one bunch of calves on Thursday.

    Blessings to you for a good week, My Friend.

    1. I have been MIA on the blog after having the girls early in the week and then going to a Master Farmer-Homemaker Discover Kansas event on Thursday and Friday. It was a good (but exhausting) week!

      I, too, love hearing the meadowlarks and other birds sing. Quite a serenade!

  2. You are amazing how you get the work done but still manage to record the day on your camera. Another great visit to the farm. I'm curious as to how the quads crossed the water and what type of camera you have.

    1. I use a Nikon CoolPix. It's a point and shoot. I recently bought the S9900 to replace an earlier Nikon model because I was having trouble getting the older one to focus, etc. I use a smaller camera because I can carry it in my pocket, which means I can have it easily available.

    2. Between you, the end result is fabulous.

  3. Interesting to watch how others do the same thing and it all comes together---also the same. It sure is noisy when Mams and babies are separated for even a short while. Hope you had or are having fun with the kiddos.
    Pictures of the ranch on my blog. I wish I could be more detailed like you are. No writers bone in my brain. LOL

    1. It definitely is noisy! But I always enjoy watching the reunion of mamas and babies.

      Writing is something I enjoy - and have since I was a little girl. Sometimes I think I'm probably too detailed. It's hard to find a balance.

  4. Oh BTW: I like your May basket new header.

    1. Thanks! It's an oldie, but a goodie!