I took this photo almost exactly a year ago, but the scene is the same tonight: It’s raining. We start shipping yearlings at 6 o’clock tomorrow morning. Most of the trucks are already here at the ranch, idling through the night and waiting to load come daylight.
Inside our house, it looks like this:
The kids are finally asleep, and Beau is finishing all the paperwork that is required by the source- and age-verified beef program the cattle are enrolled in. Still tonight he will sign, scan, and email the numbers he’s checked and double-checked regarding the 1,800 head that will leave here the next three days.
We’ll both be horseback shortly after dawn, kicking calves out of pens and into the alleyways, pushing the whole bunch ever eastward: on and off the scale, past the brand inspectors, up the ramp and into cattle pots. It’s a process that’s repeated here every year at this time. But it still hasn’t lost its excitement for me.
© Tami Blake