Thursday, October 17, 2019

Proving Hypotheses, Bovine Version

Hypothesis: Photo quality goes down when responsibilities go up.

After examining my photos from a recent visit from our veterinarian, Dr. Bruce Figger, my hypothesis appears to be proven.

Bruce was there to work a small group of calves and preg-check 25 heifers. (I should probably call him Dr. Bruce or Dr. Figger, but he was in 4-H with my kids. He's been Bruce to me for a long time.)

But I digress. Anyway, since we haven't had a full-time hired man since the end of June, my list of responsibilities during said appointment expanded.
Most of my photos were from the rather unglamorous end of the cow (but not as unglamorous as Bruce's position, I must admit). After I helped Randy get four or five heifers from the pen into the lane toward the working chute, I inserted an awkward 20-pound steel pipe behind them to keep them in position.
Then, after each "young lady" finished her turn at her ob/gyn appointment, I would "urge" the next one in line to take her place. And after they were through the chute, we did it all again with the next group. (It was the country version of weight training to lift that heavy pipe multiple times.)
I think Bruce's other "assistant" would have had a better angle for photos. But Tess lacks opposable thumbs, so that option was out, too. (Even Tess refused to look me in the eye for a photo op. It was not a good photo day.)

I've been called into duty a lot this summer and fall for cattle chores. But after a cursory look through several files, I realized I don't have much photographic evidence to prove it.
It's a little hard to use my right hand for running the throttle on the 4-wheeler and my camera shutter at the same time.
And, without an extra person, I didn't figure taking a "time out" for a quick photo op would go over too well.
So most of my photos were taken before or after the actual work.
After we rounded up this group of mamas and babies from Peace Creek and I got them turned south, the camera went back into my pocket so I could "keep the dogies" moving, as they say in cowboy speak. (Not that I'm a cowboy either.)
I've had plenty of morning and evening excursions to the Ninnescah Pasture to help shepherd five pair of perennially escaped cattle back into the confines of the fence. And I've seen some new country as we've chased said cattle out of shelterbelts, through hay fields and back to their summer home. But, again, I've refrained from pulling the camera out during these already-frustrating round-ups. Hard to believe, I know.

I guess you'll just have to take my word for it this time.
Even though the photo quality isn't good, these two photos have to rank among my favorites of the summer/fall.
Many, many thanks to our neighbors, Keith and Hendrik, who penned our five pair of escapees and hauled them to our farmstead corrals while we were in Wichita with our granddaughters. Randy took the renegade cattle to the sale barn at Pratt this week. I had lost count of the number of times we put them back in and fixed fence this summer/fall.
I don't believe I've ever been so happy to watch a trailer leave. There's a photo worth framing - no matter the photo quality!

1 comment:

  1. Just love that final image. You have done incredibly well given the many roles you had to play.