Blogs, Shipping, and Cold Weather
I am always urging friends, acquaintances and strangers to log onto the Western Folklife Center blogs. I even gave the address to the two women who were sitting on either side of me on an airplane yesterday. Talk about a captive audience! I have learned that many folks don’t understand the “Continue Reading” option. Click on this to continue the essay and often find more photos.
I enjoy perusing the other blogs. It makes me realize how many different faces Western agriculture, and culture, have. It is particularly interesting reading the ranch doings of the Dofflemeyers. In general, their cycle of birth, growth, shipping, and of course, death, is similar to ours.
Early Winter on Trail
Cherry Grove, Carbon County, Wyoming
photo by Pat O'Toole
The striking difference is our seasons. They are calving now, and posting wonderful photos and descriptions of that transition. We calve in March and April, mostly, brand our calves in May and June, and are now preparing our calves to ship—the steers to feedlots and eventually to your table, and the heifers to a new life as future mother cows. Some of the heifers we keep so that they can become our own future mother cows.
I love looking at Linda Duferrena’s wonderful photos. Their northern Nevada seasons parallel our own, much as their work does.
Foggy October morning
photo by Sharon S. O'Toole
I have to admire all the bloggers, and their generosity in sharing their thoughts, lives, and adventures with us all.
Right now, we are sorting all the sheep, and sending the lambs to a feedlot in South Dakota, where they will eat corn and other feed until they are ready to slaughter, at about 140 pounds. They average around 95 pounds now. It is hard to see them go off, after seeing them safely into the world, fighting off predators all summer, and “husbanding” their health and well-being. They are going into good care, with a feeder whom we have worked with for many years. The ewes call for about a day. My father always says they have to bleat enough to remind the other ewes that they are good mothers.
Soon, the cows will be bawling for their calves, as the calves too file onto a truck and into other care. After a day or two, the cows settle down, and start their long winter of eating hay and gestating next year’s calf.
We have experienced an unusually wet fall, after a desperately dry summer. We are now getting intermittent snows, which are good for the thirsty country, but damp and chilly for us, as we work through the necessary fall work.