Fall weather, which just came in all at once with a real blockbuster of a Norther, sure gets the juices flowing. Maybe because I was born in the fall it’s my favorite season. It’s also when things start happening in ranch country. Fall weather means lots of riding and roping and sorting, good work for young horses and young people.Lately we’ve been recording new baby calves on a pretty regular basis. On my daily rides, prowling the pastures, I find new, fresh little bulls and heifers that I enter into the tally book. Soon we will pen the herd and put ear tags on the calves so we know who belongs to whom, it’s part of “mothering-up”. Later when we sell the calves, that ear tag will tell us who the cow was that produced that particular calf. My tally book then tells me which cows are working for us and which ones are freeloading. It’s all part of the management of a cattle operation. Then, too, when we gather the herd, we also vaccinate the calves for blackleg, and we brand them. This involves roping and wrestling with the little varmints. It is frequently accompanied by lots of laughing and jollification. Then when it’s all done we trail the herd back to the pasture and ride home to crank up a fire and see what damage we can do to meat, taters, beans and cornbread. At the end of the day this time of year brings some of the most vivid, blazing sunsets. Colors from Gold, to pink, to deep red, purple and all sorts of indescribable pastels spray fluffy and streaky clouds in the western sky. Makes you want to get down the guitar and strum an old cowhand song. So we do.
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