Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
It snowed, snowed, and then snowed some more.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cows, cows, and more cows

This is a weekly post. Roger and I started on Monday moving cows on Willow Creek and this is a play by play of how it went....

Monday we ride up the creek to get the cows that had decided that they were not going to come home for the winter, but what they must have not planned on was that if they crossed the creek, it might just freeze. So we find them almost to Meadow Creek across the creek and they were happy to see us, if they had hands, they would have been waving them. Up and down the creek we ride looking for a spot to cross them, while Roger risks his horses life to ride across I stay on the safe side to put dirt on the ice so they will think it is a trail. After several minutes of yelling Roger yells to me to come over and help him, so I risk my life and walk across. We got the cows pushed up to the end of the bank, built a tree fence and stood our ground, and they looked at my newly made trail and cross. This was an easy day.

Tuesday our solar power quits, no idea why and it won't start working again. The washer broke, and our brand new 2 week old generator blows the piston through the top of it. Back to the dark ages we go.

Wednesday we are sorting the 1st calf heifers out of the herd so we can bring them up to Main Canyon and start the 24-7 calving project. So Roger and I gather up all of the cows in the Bull Canyon pastures and sort them, take the cows back to the pastures. Now I know that cows can't talk but they must have some strange form of communication that they can hear for miles, because we took these cows by surprise and this job was just to easy. In all we got out 15 heifers and 2 steers and 1 bull calf.

Honey Moon Cabin
Thursday came along and we were gathering the cows from Jay's cabin and all the rest that were across the creek by the Honey Moon Cabin and taking them down to Bull Canyon to sort the heifers out, or so we thought. I was on the good side of the creek and Roger was on the slick, steep and very icy side. My cows took off and left without any problem, and Rogers cows were trailing along pretty well, up the steep icy slope of the canyon wall and down to the Honey Moon Cabin. I really think this is when his herd asked the cows at Bull Canyon what was up, because they became completely difficult. We took them down to where they have no choice but to cross the creek, in a spot that never gets deep or freezes over, I had already thrown dirt on the bank so it would look safe to them. About 1/2 of his herd crosses without a problem, and then they stopped and not a single cow would cross the creek. So being the nice person that I am, even after being yelled at like it was my fault that the cows were no longer cooperating, I once again walk out on thin ice to cross over and help him. We stood there yelling and throwing sticks and snowballs at them for over 2 hours, and not a single cow crossed the creek, I was to the point of exhaustion so I said, let's take them back to the Honey Moon Cabin and cross them there. Yep that's right, back track for a mile to cross the creek at a crossing that he had just came by, since my horse was on the other side of the creek  I told Roger that I would just ride up and cross over and turn them for him, but no, he stomps through the creek and gets my horse for me. Now we are taking the cows back through the willows that are so thick that you can barely make it though them all the while they are whipping you in the face, just to cross the sissy cows. When we get back to the Honey Moon Cabin, it only took another hour to get them to cross and the ones that are crossing are running down the creek the wrong way and all we could do was watch them and hope that the rest of the sissy cows would hurry up. The cows had made it all the way back to where I had started in the morning by the time all of them had decided to cross the water which was 2 feet deeper than it was at the first crossing.

After we get the cows turned back around and headed back up the creek, we could hear a roar of a diesel coming. I thought, this must be a hunter that tore off his exhaust because there is no way anyone would ever drive a semi across the bridges down here, I know I sure wouldn't. As we are sitting there wondering what was coming, an oil field truck comes around the corner with some big thing on the bed. Roger and I look at each other and start to laugh, he said that I had better go see where he thinks he is going, so I did. This guy said that he was going to Flat Rock to a work over rig, I really started laughing and told him that he better turn around because if he went around the next corner that he would not be going anywhere. I did mention the fact that it does get pretty cold and lonely on the creek at night. This guys tells me that he doesn't really want to go back the way he had come because he had barely fit, oh yeah, laughing like a fool now!!! So I said, 'the next bridge you come to will not hold you up and your about 3 feet to wide to fit on it, the road turns to a wagon trail just around the corner, but you can do what you want'. Then I pointed up the cliff wall and told him that Flat Rock is up there, he then asks me were the Indian 7-11 is at because he must have missed it. Once again I am laughing, so I asked him, 'who gave you these directions?' Shaking my head as I  rode off to catch up with Roger who I figured must be up to the corral by now. He wasn't, the cows had decided that they had walked far enough for one day. We finally made it to the corral and Clay, who had been up there waiting for us all day, comes around the corner and almost runs into the cows. He had thought we had quit and went home, whatever we still had to take the heifers back down to Jay's cabin. One long day.

Friday we are going to hurry and get the rest of the heifers out of the cows that are in the Leech Place. The first 25 are a breeze, we gathered them right up and they marched right through the gate. We go back and get the rest of the cows and bring them up to the fence - there are no corrals to use. Roger had let some of them run past him up the back side of the creek, so I sent him into another willow patch to fetch them. I push my cows up the hill by the gate and get ready to start the 'super skill sorting'. I had gotten about 10 cows out and pushed them down the meadow, still no Roger, so I go back and get a few more out and push them down the meadow, still no Roger, so I am now thinking this is going to be another long day. Pretty soon I can hear Roger cussing up a storm, and around the bend he comes with 2 heifers, but he turns and goes back. More cussing, and here he comes with another heifer.

Since Roger is the rookie, he had never been involved in the art of hill sorting before, so I tell him how it works, more cussing from Roger. I do get so very tired of hearing this form of communication.  I get some cows out and he pushes them down the hill. This went on for a long time, then it was time to get some of the heifers out of the way. Now heifers are just STUPID, but we are going to take a shot at the gate. Oh no, they won't go through the gate, so I tell Roger not to let them past him to keep them pushed up the hill. Little did I know that he had decided that it was time to water the snow!!  I ever so politely inform him that he needed to keep his butt on that horse and keep the heifers up the hill, after I had gone back to re-gather the ones that had run past him while he was watering. About the time it was getting cold, Roger says, 'let's cut the fence',  I said, 'then you will really have to be on your toes to keep the cows from going through it, ok'? He cuts the fence, and I should have let him cut the fence a long time ago because if it is his idea he will a great job  and he did keep the cows out of the hole. It did take him a while to understand that there is a difference between cows and heifers, but only a few cows got through. We started at 7 am and finished at 5 pm, the horses were so tired of trying to stay upright on the icy snow, but we got the heifers out!! Another long day.

People often say that it is a dream to live this way, well I can tell you that after a week like this one, it feels like a nightmare!!

No comments:

Post a Comment