Friday, June 14, 2013

Branding Day at Sixty Miles North of Nowhere

The two MIC ready to go (most important cowboys!)
#1 MIC rode her pony over to the corrals.  Pony is MIP (most important pony).  Mom is the MIH (most important handler).  Then we have #2 MIC demanding attention from MIH.
First we separate the calves from their mommas.  See the cow in the Middle here?  She wasn't leaving her baby.  Un-huh.  No way.  They finally had to rope her.  Grandson told me that cow was 'stuck' when his daddy roped her. Yep she was but we got her un-stuck.
Some participants in this ritual were none too happy about the brief separation.
Vaccinating each calf.
Branding each calf with our brand -- see the smoke?  Hot iron right out of the fire.  Does it hurt? Sure it does but only briefly.
MIC #1 practiced her riding.  Grandpa couldn't find the NEW pony blanket Grandma bought her.  C'mon Grandpa!!! The horse blanket is TOOO big.
Our brand on #2 son's saddle.
When you get bored you can always throw rocks, sticks or whatever you can find into the pond.
Ratchet & Melody were not sure what the MIC's where up to with that rock throwing!!
For the finale, you can STOMP in Grandpa's 'broken' water tank, now his cow feeder, which makes  a GREAT NOISE!

And that was the weekend at Sixty Miles North of Nowhere.  It was sure fun.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Drought, Dust, and Climate Change

The recent drought, as in prolonged drought really since 2004, has me dry and not enough water the new 'normal' for Sixty Miles North of Nowhere?

Perhaps.  We thought we would have to sell our cows this year but we just had a stretch of thunderstorms and now everything is green again!

But what if it hadn't rained?  What if we depended on those cows to feed a family like they did back in the dust bowl days?  How awful that must have been for them; scanning a sky for moisture they needed to feed their family, put in a crop, graze cattle.  Looking for rain that never came.

I interviewed a lady who lived through those days in the Red Canyon area near Lander, Wyoming.  She told me she got so desperate she shot prairie dogs to just feed her children.  Can you imagine!!  But she and her kids all survived.

And who can forget the depression era photo, Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange...Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California
Taken in a California Migrant Camp for the Resettlement Administration.  To read more click HERE

If you have ever looked into the eyes of desperation, this has to be it.
I recently read where this lady, Florence Thompson, survived the dust bowl as did all her children and they stayed in California.  I'm glad at least this photo has a happy ending.   

I am not sure climate change will have a happy ending.  Maybe I'm glad I probably won't be here to see it, although my grandchildren surely will be.  AND that worries me.