April showers ........

Remember that the latest story is at the top.  Scroll down the page to find the first entry from April 5-- The cows came home

showers???    NO!    Snow!!!    several inches deep

Saturday we had showers and then it started to snow a bit at supper time.  My helper, Leonie, and I went to the Two Bar C to pick George up to accompany us to the Bruce Rawling concert in Meadow Lake.  On our way out of the yard, I noticed a pussy willow bush bursting with the soft grey flowers and I wanted to take a photo, but we wanted to be on time so I didn’t stop. As we drove north on the grid road, it started to really snow hard and by the time we reached the Two Bar C it was white.  In fact, the airport road had some interesting tracks where the vehicle ahead of us made some squiggles in the snow.  I drove cautiously and we arrived early enough we got to speak with Bruce before the show.


Bruce put on an impressive concert with mostly his own compositions and played 5 different instruments.  I’d call them all guitars but I’m sure they have more technical names that Mr. Gibson could teach me.  Since Bruce grew up in this community, there were many at the concert who had been his contemporaries or friends of his family members or taught by his Dad.  I think he enjoyed meeting so many who were glad to recall fond memories.  I felt very moved when he sang a song, he had written for his Mom, who passed away last fall.  I remember her clearly and was sorry to hear that she is no longer with us.


When we walked out the door after the concert, we were extremely surprised by the amount of snow covering everything.  We looked at each other in disbelief and asked, “Is it Christmas time?”  My friend, Janet, who had joined us at the concert, was still ‘winter ready’ and hurried to bring her snow brush to uncover the Nissan from its burden of the heavy, wet, white stuff.  The drive home included one squiggle on the part of the Nissan, avoiding some deer, who must have thought the storm had gone on long enough and were out foraging and promising George when we dropped him off, that I would call as soon as I got home to let him know we were safe.  It was indeed a winter wonderland again.


Poor Louvic had to get up out of his bed of snow Sunday morning when I went out to greet him.  Why he slept there, I’m not sure, but he moved very slowly and stiffly when he first arose.  I was headed out to get my pussy willow photo.  That venture was not successful since all I saw was the icicle encase pussy willows, that no longer appeared very spring like.  Maybe tomorrow spring will return?


The cows came home April 5, 2019

The crew helped to sort our Winning Ways cows from their pasture-mates at the Bar P this morning. Then we put them on the road and brought them home.



Marilyn leading the way to the gate
Marilyn leading the way to the gate

There were 6 riders, 3 truck drivers and of course Louvic to ensure that no cow got left behind.  We brought the herd along the gravel road with only one silly young cow getting on the wrong side of a water/ice filled ditch. She eventually decided that she would have to retrace her steps back to the beginning of the water and then lope down the road to catch up with the herd.


George Millar, our pilot truck operator, told me that today was the best Cattle Drive we’ve had so far. I would like to thank all the courteous drivers who slowed down and went past us slowly and politely.  The cows proceeded down the highway in an orderly fashion and although there were only a few riders they mostly stayed in the right-hand lane.  The bridge was a scary experience for Howard’s horse, so Dale and I went beside her to reassure her that the sound of running water was not alarming. The paparazzi appeared along the way and took photos so we could display our adventures for the world. (Amanda was on her way to work when she stopped to capture some moments of the drive.)


Thanks also to Amanda, the crew enjoyed a great snack when we halted for a break along the highway.  Howard spotted a fence along an old pasture underpass and thought we could hold the cows in the ditch beside it, while we had our treat.  The older cows certainly knew they were headed home and were not easily stopped for our break.


Once we turned off the highway onto the trail to Nesset Lake, the truck drivers were no longer needed to escort the herd. George had some chores to do and Rahel and Jordan headed to the Home Ranch to make sure that “lupper” was ready when the riders arrived. The cows know the trail and happily followed Howard and Maria.  In fact, they got so close to Brandy’s tail, she gave a cow a well placed kick, much to Maria’s surprise.  It was not a matter of chasing the cows in the trees, but rather persuading them that they did not need to become so engaged in scratching and rubbing down trees that they forgot where they were going. Marilyn, Lilly, Louvic and I did the persuading at the back.  Leonie on Tex  found herself in the middle of the herd, sort of flowing with the motion  of the cows around the Lake and up the hills on the west side.  The lead cows were happily munching on the bales we had put out for them, by the time the last stragglers and those of us persuading them, arrived at the gate into the E7 paddock.


As we headed back to the yard, we encountered an entire herd of escaped yearlings!  Fortunately, they are very curious and habituated to the sound of humans and so came running to us, when they heard us.  We sent them back toward the yard and put them in with the cows in the East Pen. I went to see where they had escaped and standing in front of the wide-open gate was the old lame cow who has been the yearlings’ mentor all winter. She appeared bewildered that she was the only critter IN the pen.  I closed the open gate and tied it, not just chained it! We sorted the cows from the yearlings and then headed in to feed our horses and ourselves.