Springtime feeding finds me opening gates. Lots of gates. And closing them again. This was the first gate I opened this morning so a bale could get hauled in for some new pairs. The gates are getting more female friendly all the time, but there used to be several gates around the ranch that were definitely built for tall men to open and NOT for a short-legged and short-armed woman. Getting the gate open is one thing– closing the dreaded thing is a different story. I’m a strong woman and a challenging gate that you have fought with for 5-10 minutes can bring forth anger, frustration, praying, cursing, laughing… you name it. Work at closing a gate long enough and you eventually run the gamut of emotions. Then you are praying that you have a rope with you somewhere to help get it closed. There used to be gates on this ranch that when I couldn’t wrap my around the gate post and reach the fence post to pull them together to shut the gate. How the heck is a girl supposed to close a gate when her arm is too short to reach from one post to the other. Dang tall men!
This picture is the same gate as above, just heading back out it, closing it, and heading to the next one.
Gathering cows to feed and found this calf in the tree rows. You can’t see it here, but after crawling through the fence, pulling a glove off on a barb while trying to reach over my head and unhook my hoodie hood from the wire above me, ripping my pants, I ended up chasing this calf down to the other end of the tree rows to find the gate I ended up opening down there. Did he find it? Heck no– he crawled through the wires at the other end. Oh well– he is back with his momma and happy.
Heading into the next pasture– gate #4. Here is a video of gathering pairs this morning. You can’t really hear me over the wind but I say that I now have pairs heading to feed from all over. I say that you gotta love mommas that stop to feed their babies, unless it means you have to head all the way back over there to get her going again, and that you don’t gotta love mommas (the cow coming down the hill) that don’t have a clue where their calf even is! You will hear how LOUD the wind was this morning. It was blowing right along.
Below are the cow/calf pairs on one side of the pasture spread out enjoying the green grass. I gathered all these pairs and took them over to where the hay was being rolled out for them this morning. Did I mention the wind is blowing 40 mph and it is pretty dang chilly! However, it is NOT 30 below wind chill with snow blasting my face so enjoyed the morning nonetheless regardless of the wind!
The calves were tucked behind the rocks everywhere staying out of the wind.
So after getting everything in the second pasture gathered for feed, I then start walking through everything. I look for sick calves, hungry calves, or anything else that is out of sorts. Here is the video showing the second group on hay and over the wind you might hear me saying the above.
Then on to the next pasture where the 2-year-old heifers and their calves are located. I am now set to open gate #5. You can see the tractor coming past the other side of the hay corral to come around to the side where I was. Crazy enough– this is only gate #5 for me to open this morning as I missed the first gate this morning. They fed the drop bunch and opened their own gate while I was getting the Wild Child ready to go to Granny’s. She opted out of being my right-hand-‘man’ this morning. Can’t imagine why! So, back to gate #5 below.
Bales loaded, gate closed, and heading down to gate #6 to feed the heifers and their calves.
Just a little FYI for the morning– For all you readers that regularly open a gate, you can attest to the fact that the bottom wire that you slide up around the gate post is very important in trying to close a tough gate. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of opening a wire gate like this, the higher you can get that bottom wire slid up the gate post (the left post in this particular picture — the right post in this picture is set in the ground) the easier it is to close the gate. It is a learned art to successfully use your foot to slide that wire up while holding the gate post and trying to close the gate.
Hope you enjoyed riding along on my morning trek. It was a little lonesome, and quiet, without the Wild Child. The wind made up for it, though. No doubt about it– I live in the land of infinite variety, and I love it.