Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Branding Day

It's been really busy at the Boots farm, but I finally have time to finish my Wyoming saga.

A few days before we left, the Rancher family branded this years' calves. In northern Illinois, we don't see much branding of cattle. In fact, I haven't seen any, although I would not call myself well-experienced in this area. So, to say the least, I was a newbie at this, but I wanted to be of some use. Wendi left me in charge of the house this early morning, while cattle were gathered and sorted in preparation for branding. While we had sorted the heifers earlier in the week, and had them vaccinated, this time we were sorting the bull calves. They were to be tagged, vaccinated, and--hang on, guys--castrated.

My job, though, was to see that the kids were up, fed and dressed. Then, in preparation for the lunch that would be fed to the branding crew, the kids and I had some dips, spreads and desserts to prepare. All of this needed to be done by 8am. Sadly, I had been having trouble all week with my iPhone. Not only did I have no cell or text coverage, (although, somehow, I was able to receive texts) but my clock was confused. It keep vacillating between Mountain time and Central time. Several times during the trip, I set the alarm to Mountain time, but was woken up by Central time. This day was no different. I woke up without the alarm, and wondered, "What time is it?" It was 7:30. I was out of bed in a flash, and halfway to the kitchen, where the clock is firmly in Mountain time, before I realized there were voices in there. Sure enough, my clock had skipped time zones on me while I slept, and it was really 6:30 in Glenrock. Longer story shortened, cattle were gathered, food prepared, kids dressed and soon it was time to head for the corral.

Ranchwife spent much of the morning roping calves, and dragging them to the center of the corral for branding. It looked and sounded somewhat like this.

Since I spent most of the morning vaccinating calves, I didn't get any pictures of her roping. I did get one of her holding a calf for it's turn. Smile for the camera, Wendi.

Here's one of the Rancher in action. His job was castrating the calves, and keeping the morning running along as planned. Younger, more sensitive and male readers might not want to enlarge this photo.

Our favorite cowgirls got involved in wrestling calves, too, concentrating on the smaller ones.

Wrestling calves was fun. So was talking to cowboys.

After branding, a scrumptious lunch was served. Cold beverages were consumed. Your Blogger took a nap. And the calves were reunited with their mommas. Later that day, calves, mommas and poppas were driven to a new pasture, with lots of grass, water...and no branding irons! Bovine bliss!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wendi sure knows how to show her guests a good time! ;)