Hard work. Big Rewards. Bigger blessings. Life on a South Dakota ranch.
Sounds of Winter
Winter has many sounds— snow crunching, limbs creaking, ice cracking, cows and horses eating hay, the chains on the tractor tires clinking, and for most of the last month, incessant wind blowing! It is depressing to wake up in the middle of the night to hear the wind howling and realize that it didn’t even lie down with the sun. It makes even sunshiny mornings cold and brutal. The last few mornings, albeit very cold, were virtually windless (only 5-10 mph winds and not 20-30 mph) and thus much more comfortable.
Crunching snow, if you have never experienced it before, is actually quite loud. There is no sneaking up on anyone with the snow crunching underfoot. They say that snow crunches when it is really cold and dry. No I haven’t researched it. I’m good with this explanation. It is really cold, and the snow is really powdery and dry, and I hear it crunch really loud. That works for me. Lots of things keep me awake at night… why snow crunches when you walk on it is not one of them.
A couple of days ago a new “winter” sound met us when we were out doing chores. The feeding tractor left before me, which meant that Huck The Wonder Dog (which is a perfect name for him because he really does make me wonder sometimes) headed out with the tractor. I was heading to the shop when Huck came tearing back to the yard. I didn’t think much about this other than to wonder how he knew I was out and about as I hadn’t whistled for him yet. We headed out and stopped over south at the water tank where Pine was putting out mineral. I needed to grab some goggles out of the pickup as it was snowing some and hitting me in the eyes. And yes, sometimes I’m a wimp about things hitting me in the eyes. I can admit it. Wimp.
Pine was on the other side of the fence (the tank waters two pastures) and motioned for me to shut things off and listen. I’ll be danged if a coyote wasn’t howling like crazy, and he sounded like he was awfully close. Being married to a man who LOVES to coyote hunt has its advantages. Hours of coyote calling videos enabled me to correctly GUESS that it was a challenge howl (which my coyote calling husband confirmed), and the coyote did not like Huck. Pine said he had been howling for some time farther away and when we showed up (Huck and I) he had come in closer. The picture below shows exactly where we spotted him. He was only about 350 yards out (confirmed with Pine’s range finder).
This is the breeding season for coyotes, thus probably the reason the coyote was so bold. Needless to say, Huck and I didn’t see him again as we were bringing cows to feed in this area later in the morning.
Thought I would share this picture with all of you who don’t follow me on Facebook. This was my fun, obviously snarky, picture I posted this week. It has been shared close to 200 times so I’m not the only one who could relate to it! 🙂
Please continue to comment on the USDA’s proposal to allow importation of beef from Brazil. At this point, the website only shows 221 comments. I would love it if we could all FLOOD the website with comments. You do NOT have to be a livestock producer to comment. Consumers need to comment, as well. As a consumer, as well as a producer, I need to know that the food my family eats is safe. Pleasecommenton the USDA website. Let them know that the US does not need Brazilian beef imports.
For more information, please follow the link below to read my article in the Tri-State Livestock News this week regarding foot-and-mouth disease. Feel free to share it with as many people as you can to help educate both producers and consumers alike on what is happening with the USDA.
Like father, like daughter. My heart is smiling.
Until next time, or as my JARW friend Carolina from NY taught me, Ate a proxima (that is “until next time” in Portuguese!)