Home Sweet Home

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Such Thing As A Normal Day!

Ok folks this is a wild story that will be certain to make you laugh, I wasn't laughing at the time but I am sure that if I was a by stander it would have looked pretty funny!!

Clay sends me this message -'Go get the cows back off of Meadow Creek and watch out for the wild bull' - Wild bull pretty much says it all, right!! Well I was thinking one of the old Herford, red and white, very easy to see from a distance, wild bulls. Roger and I had just gathered the upper part of Meadow Creek together, so I tell him to wait and hold them while I zip down to the lower part to get the cows. I was riding Harley and he has learned how to gallop, but zipping and Harley are two words that really don't go well together.

As we go through the gate I see the cows take off and I was thinking, 'Man I hope Harley can catch up to them'! Not that I was doubting his skill, but his speed was in question. Harley is a pretty good horse, he is still classified as a colt and all colts are STUPID and unpredictable to say the least. We are running full out and Harley notices some pipe laying beside the road, instead of shying (like most horses would do), oh no not Harley, he puts on the brakes and skids to a stop to look at it!! I was expecting him to jump side ways but not stop, so yes I was almost threw off over his head and before I could get myself back in the saddle he takes off in his all out gallop again. It somehow managed to regather myself in the saddle and get my focus back on the cows which had now regained their lead in this race to the opening in the newly built pipe fence to get them turned around. This is when I happened to notice that the cow in front was pretty bulky and stocky - OH CRAP THE BULL!!

Well I could tell that we were going to meet head on in the corner, and I now knew exactly which bull this was. He has a scar in the center of his forehead and a few target marks on his chest from our meetings last year. This very large Herford-Angus inbred and this bull is mean and completely crazy, that's why he has so many scars on him. He must have 10 lives just like a cat. Last year all I had was my 22 and he didn't have very much respect for it, it must have felt like a deer fly bite to him, but this year I am a bit bigger on my sting but it only has a short 2 inch barrel, so the range isn't the same. Harley is way to stupid to know that he is just about to get flattened, so I baled off. Yep that's right, at a full our run I jumped off the horse and took cover behind a grease wood bush. Now I have to hand it to Rusty because he quickly figured out that something was really wrong with this situation and he bravely went out and turned the bull just enough to distract him, so I pulled out my pistol and took aim at his chest - again. I was shaking so bad that I had to say to myself, 'you better get your crap together here!!'

Now another thing that I don't like to tell people is that I don't know my right from my left, but I can tell you that I figured out which eye was my right eye and I stood there facing this raging wild bull, and I took a deep breath and fired. He dropped and slid to within about 25 feet of me and the dogs, then he gets back up and was snorting and bellering towards me, so I fired again. He stopped and turned and was trying to run off....I fired again, this one must have hit him in the hind leg because he hit the ground again......and then he gets back up and limps off!!! I only carry 3 rounds in my pistol because I don't want it to go off accidentally and shoot me somewhere important because I just tuck it in the front of my jeans, so I just stood there and was very thankful that he was leaving! I was thinking that now I knew how the young Indian kid felt on Dances With Wolves when the buffalo was charging towards him, can you say HOLY CRAP THIS IS GOING TO HURT!!!

When all the dust had settled, I looked to see where Harley had made it to. Harley was standing about 10 feet behind me, and he had a look of gratitude on his face. I guess he had finally figured out that this was not a typical cow, maybe it was the all the noise that the bull was making as he was charging towards us.

I then realized that I was shaking again, and I am not to proud to tell you that I was scared to death. I would rather take on a bear any day than one of those wild bulls. I don't know if he lived or not, but I did get the rest of the cows stopped and turned around and started back towards the gate. Roger finally came looking for me and he asked me what was wrong, I told him, 'well I found that bull, he was the same one that would charge us up Kelly Canyon last year, and he hasn't gotten any friendlier!' Then he asks me, 'why were there skid marks in the road?', I replied, 'Harley needed to stop and look at the pipe.'

It wasn't until I went to get back on Harley that I noticed that he was shaking just as badly as I was, maybe this will make him think about things a little better. Sure hope so, cause this could have turned out very ugly if that bull would have gotten to Harley and I.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Heifer Number 13

The number 13 is often associated with bad luck, and in heifer #13's case she has had her fair share of the bad luck.

When you look at her she just isn't the best looking cow, she has a double chin, short legs, she walks with her toes turned out and the most unattractive part of her is her butt! I am guessing that in the cow world she would not come in rated as a ten.  In her case though, she has a personality that just makes you love her through all of her short comings.

I first noticed her when I was pushing the heifers up from Willow Creek, I couldn't help but notice her because she is always the last cow in the herd and she is pooping all the time. Out of the 117 heifers that we pushed up Main Canyon past the sink holes, heifer #13 was the only cow that managed to fall into one of them. In fact she was the first heifer that I have ever watched walk into a sink hole, and with her extremely short legs it took a great deal of pushing to get her out of the hole.

Shortly after we got the heifers up to Main Canyon, we noticed that she wasn't doing very well. She was loosing weight and most of her hair was falling out, so I made the decision to bring her in with the bunch that were calving so we could watch her. She made it about 2 days and then she disappeared on afternoon so I went to search for her, I looked everywhere I could think of but couldn't find her anywhere. Finally Jay came to help and we looked in the late calving bunch of heifers but she had just up and vanished........I was feeling pretty bummed about loosing her but when I got off the 4 wheeler to shut the gate, I could hear this mooo mooo. I looked around and in the swampy part of the meadow were most cows DON'T try to cross the creek, there she was stuck up to her belly in the muck and mud. We pulled her out and she was just fine, but only heifer #13 would be that lucky.

This would not be the only time that I would find heifer #13 stuck up to her belly in the swamp, no just this past weekend she was one of three that had tried to wade across another part of the creek that most animals don't even attempt crossing. There were the other 2 heifers that had managed to get themselves stuck to the point that we had to pull them out, but the difference between them and heifer #13 was that with her short legs she has no clearance so that we can get a rope underneath her to pull her out with. We had to pry her out with poles until she could get some clearance and start to wiggle herself out of the muck to the point where we could get a rope around her and pull her out. What was funny about this was that she never stopped eating the entire time, I think she is use to us saving her life and she just knows that we will come along and rescue her out of whatever jam she has managed to get herself into. She is always looking back to see where we are at.
I just hope she makes a good mom to her calf, which I am sure that she will expect us to help her have!!!

Always watching.
Making sure we're coming!

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Easy Day......

April fools day.
All week I was looking forward to Sunday. I had it all planned out in my mind, it involved sleep, food, baking, playing with Zina (who has felt neglected and alone all week), and maybe some fishing with the grand kids on Meadow Creek. A down right easy day, every girls dream.

You would think that after all the things that never go as planned that I would just give up planning and day dreaming and just go with the flow, but I hate not having a plan and know what I am doing ahead of time. I guess you could say that I like to be in control of my life, but I am in control of NOTHING out here.

Do they see me?
This week Clay was determined to get the cows off of Willow Creek, you see this time of the year the cows would rather lay on a fence and look at the green grass growing on the other side rather than have to go out and fend for themselves on the mountain. Cows can be down right stupid at times, and since these are the cows that have mastered the art of going nowhere you could say that they are the 'most stupid' of them all. First they get themselves stole by a buffalo that we now call 'Mr. Persistant', and Roger and I risk our lives on the slowest horses on the ranch to try to out run the buffalo to get the cows back. Then we get them pushed up Trail Canyon where the feed is so good that you would think they would stay for at least a day or two, but oh no. It just happened to snow around 10 inches, so the cows go out Trail Canyon and march in a perfect line back down Bull Canyon and V Canyon make a right turn and are back on Willow Creek within 6 hours. Now I am here to tell you that even on a good day, you can't move a cow with a new calf anywhere in 6 hours but those cows can make a new calf move right along as long as they are going where they are not suppose to be!!

The fellow from the DWR comes by and tells us that the wonderful horn hunters have opened all the gates going into Meadow Creek and Willow Creek and there are around 200 cows down there, and he wasn't kidding a bit, there were. Roger and I go to fetch them and push them back up V Canyon on the 4 wheeler, it was a cold day but we would be done in just a few hours so we don't take your winter clothes with us. Well we didn't get home until around 9 pm and thought that we were about to the point of frost bite. Then came the next day.
The Grumble boys!

We had waited a couple of days for all the cows to get back on the creek and decide to try it all over again from the bottom of Main Canyon, but this time Jay is going to help us. Jay, who hasn't rode a horse since Little Buck tried to kill him over a year and a half ago, is going to help us move the cows back up Main Canyon just a few short miles or so, it really depends on how many times you have to go back to get them started over again and how many times you have to go from side to side in the canyon to keep them from going back. In other words, it would turn out to be a 15 to 20 mile ride on a very out of condition body, of course Roger and I always show all kinds of sympathy for such a person. Jay wanted to turn around at the first fence line but I said, 'I don't think so, your going to the end of the road with us.' We left the creek around 9 am and got back to the creek about 8 pm, and it was cold all day long but on the way back it was about to hit the freezing point. Roger was not happy with me for not giving up, but Jay was so much farther beyond the not happy point. I am very proud of the fact that the cows we have been trying for almost a month to get off the creek have finally made it back to Crows Roost with calves following closely behind. I know that Jay had a very hard time crawling out of bed the next morning, but being saddle sore is nothing like giving childbirth so I don't know what all the complaining was about from both of them.

Jay and I
Saturday was a pretty easy day, Roger and I went back down the canyon and let the cows the needed to head back to the creek and get the stragglers up to Crows Roost. Pumped water for the cows and just spent a nice relaxing day recuperating.

Sunday finally gets here. I am laying in bed hoping that Roger will take the initiative to feed Zina, then maybe he will feed by himself. I am laying in bed just minding my own business not bossing anyone around and just relaxing and snoozing. Roger comes running in the house yelling 'GET OUT HERE AND HELP ME!!!!', so much for relaxing. There really isn't anything that puts me in a bad mood than noise in the morning, and I would put yelling in the noise category. I ever so calmly walk out to see if he was missing a body part or bleeding, he was standing in the door way, so I said 'what do you want?' He replies, 'come help me pull this calf'. Now I know that Clay is out here and is much better at this task than I am so I say, 'did you yell at Clay to come help you?' Of course he said 'no, why would I do that'. I said, 'so you might live long enough to see tomorrow!'

I have had no coffee, been rudely awaken, and yelled at. I am thinking that Roger has just blown my relaxing day all to heck, but I put on my sexy calf pulling attire and go to the corral. I get the calf puller and tell Roger to get to pulling, and guess who shows up - Clay. Rogers relaxing day just fell off the cliff for sure now. After the calf was pulled, two of the heifers tried to wade across the swamp and managed to get stuck in the middle, then we ended up pulling three more calves. We had the grand kids for the day, so we would send them back to the house, or just have them sit on the bank to wait for us to handle the emergency at hand and then go get them again. Just another day at Main Canyon. Little William said tonight, 'those stupid cows.' He is only 2 and has it figured out.

Madi is catching frogs.

William sitting on the bank waiting for grandma and grandpa.