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Posted 3/11/09 (Wed)


I’m writing this early Monday morning. The wind chill is seventeen below and it is supposed to get worse the next couple days. We’re checking heifers pretty steady during the night. I’m sure glad that we did not get the heifers synchronized last year so they would calf in a nice, tight group. Sometimes it pays to be lazy. I know that a nice even set of calves is something to strive for, but I’ll take a live, albeit it late, calf any day!
 Over the weekend we were working a few cattle. Somehow, Shirley forgot to pour the bulls last fall. Pouring the cattle with an insecticide rids them of lice. But when you forget some, the lice spread, and by spring you are feeding a lot of the little buggers. Anyway, we were pouring some cattle around the yard and our nephew, Chad, came to help. Now Chad and his family, like many of your relatives, have been away from agriculture quite awhile. I know, I know, you hear this all the time, and many don’t worry about agriculture because they get their food at the grocery store, but you have to hear this story.
When we were just ready to start working these cattle, I checked on a heifer I had locked in the barn. Lo and behold, our first calf of the year! Now, even when you’ve been ranching your entire life, that is an exciting moment. I know a farmer strains his eyes watching for that first wheat to show in a freshly seeded field. And a gardener is out there waiting for the radishes to peek above the soil. I suppose it is the same deal, a satisfying feeling. And an anxious one with a storm looming.
I just had to share this with the kids. So Will went up to the house to get his son and Chad’s two kids. Well, Evan, who is two, is no stranger to cattle. He goes with me to the cow sale most weeks. And he can run the gate, when I’m sorting cattle, pretty good for a two-year-old kid. He knows Herefords and Angus and Brahma and Longhorns. He knows the bulls are the dads, and the cows are the moms. I mean, he is a cowboy.
Chad’s little girl is a long two, or maybe a short three. She grew up in Denver in the shadow of the Rockies, surrounded by a million people who don’t get their nourishment from cows, but from the grocery store. So she was in awe of this newborn baby.
After watching the newborn baby for a bit, they headed back for the house. Grandma Shirley asked Allie if she saw the new baby. Allie replied, “Yes, and the mama bear was licking it off!”
I tell you what; I am going to have fun teaching that little girl some stuff the next few months!
Bundle up; it’s cold out there!