Webbed Feet on Memorial Day
It’s been a few months since I have sat down and logged into my blog account. I have gotten lazy….well, truth be known I have been busier than ever. It seems to be so much easier to just post of my Facebook page rather than logging in here and writing, but I started this and I plan to see it through.
I have big goals ahead of me…..a book is in my future, but first I have to decide exactly what that is going to look like. :)
In the meantime, our life out here on the ranch has gone on……my last post was in December so let me update you since then. We had a fairly mild winter in my opinion. The spring was even quite warm for us…..almost too much so. The month of May definitely offered up a few surprises. We start calving in March. It’s a busy time of year for us and sometimes a worried one depending on the weather. The past two springs we have endured some awful storms that took lives (mostly calves). Things like that always leave a pit in your stomach, but it’s a given out here. My grandpa used to say that you had to have a calf killer of a storm in the spring to ensure less drought in the summer. Even though I don’t like hearing that….it was true when he said it and it holds true today. Our calving season was really good in terms of weather. For the first time in a long time we don’t have calves with missing ears and tails (meaning that the weather was mild and it didn’t storm/get too cold). It was quite dry around here….in fact, we had a fire in the spring….not normal for us and it was scary!
Luckily, we only lost a few hundred acres and no lives lost so all was well.
We usually calve our last few babies out by the beginning of May and we usually try to brand on Mother’s Day. This is the first year that we haven’t branded early or on schedule. Here are a few of our youngsters:
All was well in baby land this spring. I just love four-legged babies! :)
We were supposed to brand today but we had to postpone it until next weekend. Here’s why:
On May 7th it started to rain….
It rained two inches…..and then it started to snow.
It snowed hard for two days……it was a heavy wet snow and the wind blew, but it never got super cold. It was chilly enough believe me…..you didn’t want to be out without your coveralls on, but it wasn’t below zero. We got well over a foot of snow. It was the whitest Mother’s Day I ever remember.
Eventually Storm Venus subsided and the snow began to melt.
A few days went by and then it started to rain again……almost 5 inches worth! I’m serious when I say that I think we all may have webbed feet around here before long!
We were then faced with another dilemma….flooding. We watched the snow evaporate before our eyes and rain water had turned the hillsides into mini streams. We watched our creeks swell. It was unbelievable to see just how much water kept coming! Between my folks’ place and ours is a huge culver (like a 12 footer)…..we lost it in the night! Our house is on a hill above the creek and it was scary to think that the water almost reached us. Shane never slept a wink that whole night keeping watch.
Slowly the water began receding only to recover an amazing amount of destruction.
I can tell you this….we will be fixing fence for at least the next month if not into July. We have lived here 10 years and have never seen water like this. The old cowboys around these parts say that this has only happened once in their memory and that was 50 years ago. Apparently we just went through a 50 year flood! As far as we can tell we only lost one calf to drowning. I was sad to hear about that one, but if that is the only one we lost it is truly a blessing. As a rancher we never like to cuss the moisture, but sometimes enough is enough. As I write this, we are expecting yet more rain….and we are under a flood watch until Monday, May 25th. It’s a good thing that we weren’t hell bound to go do something on Memorial Day weekend….we would have been sadly disappointed. That’s one of the things that was the hardest for me to learn out here…..don’t make plans. And….if you do be prepared for them to be cancelled or to be a hassle to complete. This would be really hard to explain to someone who doesn’t understand reservation roads, gumbo mud, and the isolation of living out in these parts. I count my blessings daily though…..I have no complaints…..I continue to learn something new every day thanks to the mysteries of Mother Nature. I am definitely put in my place quite frequently around here. Once in a while when she isn’t looking though I make a daring escape to town to get groceries and supplies. I never lose sight of the fact that I am eternally grateful to live in a country where we truly are free to make the choices we do. I am feeling especially thankful to be where I am right now……I know that I am in the right place at the right time…..I hope this update finds you all well….surrounded by those you love the most.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend…..Thank You to all of our service men and women who protect us day and night…..and to all of our past service men and women. I can’t express the gratitude I have for all you have done and for what you continue to do. Let us all remember the sacrifices that others make for all of us……hold them close in your thoughts and prayers.