Culture Shock, or My Bully Loves Me.

My Sweet Baboos.

My Sweet Baboos.

Oh how I miss them! My yearling bull calves. They are the most fun. You know, cows could be spies. You wonder how an animal that weighs over 1000 pounds (and some of these bulls grow to be a ton) can sneak up on you, but they can! If you turn your back to a herd of cows and then turn around, they’ll be closer to you. Turn your back again and then turn around and they’ll be even closer. Turn your back again and when you turn around they’ll be right up behind you and you won’t have heard a thing. It’s like some horror movie with cows. Except if you look at them they back off quick.

Except for the cow that tried to kill my daughter when we were out tagging. Now that was one serious cow. She also broke a gate and nearly killed her calf in her attempts to kill us. She makes great babies but she is a real problem. I doubt she’ll be on the ranch next year. Too dangerous.

My bully boys are so sweet! These are the new yearling bulls. Four more come next week. Pity I won’t be around. I love feeding them. Almost got close enough to pet them, but I had to settle for a big nose in my face. That was as close as they’d let me get. Of course when the cows are in heat it will be a different story. It’s not that bulls want to kill you, it’s that they are fighting over the cows and if you get in the way, well then, it’s kind of like Homer Simpson and his pie.

So… I got to ride my daughter’s cutting horse, Sissy, and we moved pairs into another pasture. I helped with a C-Section, which was sad because we lost the twins and nearly lost the cow, although by the time I left she was feeling better. We moved her to the medical pen near the house – I kept tabs on the two C-Sections and Dolly and her twins. Unfortunately, my calf, Bonnie, kept her distance. However her brother Hank is a love. I got calf kisses every morning.

Wish I lived there all the time. You live your work and work is your life. We get up in the morning, check the heifers, feed the bulls and the horses, grab coffee, check the older cows, feed everyone- including the steers way up the valley, vaccinate, tag, move pairs, check the cows again, pull out breech babies, check cows, grab lunch, feed the bulls once more, make a real supper, bring up the heifers, check cows and check cows and check cows. We ride through every pasture at 6 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. And then there are fences to mend and sick babies to tend and hay fields to plow.

When this particular daughter was little, and she loved horses, (we had three), I always told her, “When you grow up marry a rancher.” And she did! The only time she ever, in her entire life, listened to me. Now she lives on 8000 acres at the foot of The Crazies– their property extends into the mountains. They have 500 head of cattle, more now with the babies, 18 bulls, 8 horses, a big garden– when the cows don’t break into the yard and eat her produce– and she lives an amazing life. Nobody locks a door. Nobody locks a car, in fact, nobody ever takes a key out of the ignition. Her dog has the best life a dog could ask for. Besides, I get to watch elk, antelope, deer, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, sand hill cranes, wolves and bears from her picture window.

Looking toward The Crazies from the back of the calving shed.

Looking toward The Crazies from the back of the calving shed.

Yep, if the hubs would go I’d sell our place and move in a heartbeat, no regrets. Who cares that I don’t have cell phone service? Now that was a real blessing!

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Culture Shock, or My Bully Loves Me.

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I am passionate about the great outdoors and wilderness, Greta. People have this notion that ranchers do not like wilderness and/or are not nice to their cows. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ranchers, at least those I know, are stewards of the land and they love their cows, are passionate about their life.

      Like

      Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Ah, but there are plenty of trees, Alicia. Just not on the open plains. You have to go a couple miles up into the mountains. All forest. You could ride in the Viking!

      Like

      Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yeah. And my family is from Iowa farm country generations back. And I spent every summer detassling corn and hoeing soybeans. And we had horses. I love the smell of dirt and manure. I always wanted to marry a rancher but ended up marrying a Jewish doctor. How stereotyped is that??? šŸ™‚

      Like

      Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      It’s actually pretty funny, Amber. Especially when hundreds of cows manage to sneak up behind you and you don’t hear a thing!

      Like

      Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes, Anny, it is. Now if I could only move there… Hope all is well with you. Did you have a good trip?

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s