Countdown to calving + first picnic of the season

Today’s Weather:  High of 61.  Low of 26.  Beautiful and sunny.

Today On The Ranch:  About a week ’til the first PV calves hit the ground this year and, after a few quiet months, business is picking up around here again!  Time to get all the mamas situated in their calving pastures.  First item on the agenda:  moving first-calf heifers off of winter grass and distributing them between Butte Camp, Horse Camp, and Ridge Camp (traditionally each of these three camps calves out a third of the heifers).  Beau left home about 9:30 this morning to work toward that end.  He, Sam, and Vergal spent the day horseback — counting, sorting, and trailing heavy heifers.  Meanwhile, Brian and Tyrel were moving cattle around at Horse Camp.  Beau’s trailer rattled back into headquarters about 8:30 tonight — not really because anything went wrong with the day’s work, but because it was just a long day, and he said the trail through The Hayes Place was pretty muddy and slow.

Nathan, the high school kid from Roundup who worked here last summer, pulled into the yard this evening and I pointed him to the bunkhouse.  His school is shut down because of the Coronavirus scare, and the gas station he was working at laid him off, so we’re darn glad to have him back… whether it be for a few days or a few weeks.

What’s Inspiring Me Today:  As of today the springtime birds are officially back, singing those familiar springtime songs that connect me to every springtime I’ve experienced in my lifetime of living in this house.

Today’s Best Photos:

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With Beau gone all day, the kids and I were free-wheelin’ it.  I packed a lunch and we hiked up to the gravel pit for a picnic.
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There was a little time for digging in the dirt today, too.  Sometimes there’s a little devil on my shoulder questioning whether our unique approach to educating our kids will measure up to more traditional and formal methods when the cards are all on the table in the end.  For now I have to choose to trust that all the spare hours our kids spend digging in the dirt will somehow pay dividends for their future selves!
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This was the point during the picnic when hard-headed Muggins became convinced that he needed to walk over to check the “bull tank,” “for Dad,” as he repeatedly put it.  Never mind the ditch and the electric fence between us and the tank.  Don’t you love it when a 2-year-old is convinced he needs to go the opposite direction from which you want to go?  In the end we compromised:  I did take him to check the bull tank… but we didn’t take his route!

© Tami Blake

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