Our crew from back east took charge a couple of weeks ago and branded the last batch of calves.
They led the mothers and calves out of the calving pasture,
over the hill,
along the fence line,
and into the branding pen.
They sorted the mothers from the calves and led them out of the corral.
Reagan and Marley were great spectators.
These guys were also in the audience. They snorted and stared and were as grumpy as ever.
And then the roping began.
Tommy and Hillbilly worked hard and did a great job of bringing the calves in so they could be vaccinated and branded quickly.
Once they were down, the ground crew swooped in and had them up and at’em in no time.
A couple of days later, the cowboys and cowgirls led the herd up the hill so they could wait for the trucks to take them to the Laramie Plains
One little one tried to get away but Patrick and Jack guided him to the rest of the herd.
They went right in to the corral, with the encouragement from those on horseback, and waited.
On the last day of their visit, Marley’s mom and sister went shopping so we decided to have a photo shoot.
Marley was a fantastic model and we had a blast taking her “cowgirl portraits”.
We dodged a few raindrops and had moslty cloudy skies. But the sun popped out every now and then and we were dolloped with some lovely light.
All in all it was a great visit and even though we put them to work, I hope they enjoyed it!
Not really any choking going on, but plenty of roping.
Patrick had to put a little scare into this calf trying to get away from the herd. Even though momma is at the top of the hill and he’s taking him to her, his one track mind wants him to go back to the last place he sucked.
The last of the cows were trucked to the Laramie Plains this morning. It’s so dry here but there is plenty of grass and water up there so they will have a happy summer of grazing and lounging.
These past few months have been a lot of work for me and Patrick and I’ve been cowgirlin’ more than photographerin’ (I know that’s not a word but it feels like one today). We have a crew out from back east so I’ve been able to sit back a little more and document the action rather than be right in there with it. We’ve been herding cattle and chasing calves and we had a successful branding.
AND finally…drumroll please…..
…the last heifer to calve gave birth a week ago. Yes, our last calf of the bunch has finally arrived. Patrick says “she’s holding on to that calf like it’s money”. She was as big as a bus that last week and we are so grateful the calf came out okay. We’re done with calving for the year so maybe we’ll catch up on some sleep this summer. Ha! A girl can dream of zzz’s can’t she?
*Note: No animals were hurt in the making of these images. Their haunches probably stung for a bit but they all bounced back to their feisty selves the very next day. This is a healthy bunch of calves.*
As always, if you are interested in ordering prints, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you all of the details.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
We got ‘em. Patrick separated the cows from the calves while I got the vaccines ready. They started out with just a coo for their momma. Then the mooing got louder and louder.
“This hurts me as much as it hurts you little ones”, I tell them. I always tear up a little during brandings. But it’s a law, it has to be done.
They bounce back up after it’s all over. “Alright now #48, no disrespect. C’mon now”.
They look good though. I refused to do the actual branding so the guys had to get them to the ground and tattoo while I vaccinated. I was efficient while handing over the irons and giving shots at the same time if I do say so myself.
We were done in less than 40 minutes. They mothered up and started sucking almost immediately.
It was a little chaotic but they stayed paired up for a little while. Then we opened the gate to let them out.
And they hauled butt!
A few little ones went the wrong way so Patrick and one mother went to get them and lead them in the right direction. Even young calves think they know everything.
And off they ran to new pasture.
Phew! That group of 20 is done. Only 300 or more to go.
We were invited to a couple of brandings in early May. Yes, you’ll see a lot of Patrick on horseback, you know I can’t resist. But if you were wearing a cowboy hat, you were also focused on closely.
The weather, as I’ve stated before, is so unpredictable out here. I got sunburned at Tom’s on the 5th and we froze our fannies off at the Smalls’ on the 7th. Go figure.
Click the images below to view the gallery of each of these 2 brandings.
Yes folks, this day in May the wind howled and snow fell. Patrick grabbed my camera and took a couple shots of the mountains behind the house.
We worked all day Sunday. The weather was much better yesterday than today. We got 43 mommas and their babies paired up to be trucked to the Laramie Plains today for more grazing.
John’s cow dog, Dixie, did a great job. She perched at the top of the hill until John told her to come. She’s very obedient and works hard.
Dixie and I sat at the top of the hill and watched the cowboys work.
Once in the main corral, we had to make sure the babies were paired up with momma and then put them in separate corrals for the big delivery. They are going to love the Plains. The grass is getting greener by the day.
We needed to get a few more pairs from the meadows. I was told to get behind the fence and DON’T BE SEEN!
Branding. It’s exhausting. Not only for the cows but for the cowboys and girls too. We branded at Uncle Tom’s yesterday and Friday we’ll be at Kenny’s.
I’ll have more images up soon but for now, the only shots I’m concentrating on are the vaccines for the babies to keep them well.
Yesterday we branded 68 calves. We did most at the South Ranch and a few of the wilder ones at the main ranch. It’s always tough to watch the babies be split away from their mommas for their shots and the 5C but it’s only for a short amount of time. When they are released back into the meadow, the mommas are able to find the babies quickly. They mother up and get as far away from the corral as possible.
Remember Munchkin? I finally spotted him yesterday and he’s doing great! He’s too small to be branded yet but he’s nice and healthy.
His momma doesn’t let him out of her sight. She’s taking great care of him. Unfortunately that can’t be said for all the cows out here.
On our way home from the South Ranch we saw lightning in the distance. It was a nasty storm over Glendo and it was headed our way.
We got home just in time before the sky fell. And I mean it poured, thundered, and hailed like I’ve never seen before.
While looking over the grounds today to make sure there was no damage from the storm (there was none thankfully), we came across this horn. Deer lose their horns in December and start sprouting new ones almost as soon as they lose the old ones.
I think this is just the beginning of a stormy spring.