3/8/21

Sure been great weather. Hard to complain. Tho’ I do hear some are worrying about whether we will. Get enough moisture this spring. I remember doing the same, many years ago and my Dad telling me, “It always has rained. It will again” And he was born in 1914 and lived thru’ the dirty thirties. And they knew what it was like to be dry.

One time he and another old timer were visiting about the thirties and the years they got some rain. Dad told of helping a neighbor lamb one spring in the thirties. Said they didn’t see the sun for a month. Red Owl creek ran bank full for a month. They had no lambing shed, just sheep tepees. He said the little lambs would get about so big ad die, just from being wet all the time. And then it quit raining and as he put it, “It was just like turning off a water tap. No more for a long, long time.”

Of course it eventually rained And they both recalled there were years in the thirties when it did rain somewhat but the grass hopper ate everything that grew. And when everything was gone, they all just rose up in the air and flew away. Must have been something to see.

We had hoppers last year and they were not as bad as I had seen them in the past but they were bad.. I sure hope they aren’t this year. And I too, hope it gets to sending some moisture. Warm gentle rains later on is my order. But I will take what we get, as I have found we might as well. Because that is what we are going to get. And nothing we can do about it.

Can you imagine being the guy in charge of rain and snow. Come fall and your getting orders for snow from snowmobilers and skiers. Others are ordering dry and warm. Then you get into spring and one guy wants rain, another wants snow and the guy who is calving is wanting dry and warm! And then spring planting… one guy is trying to get everything seeded and he still wants warm and dry, another has his seeded and wants rain to make it grow and some where there is another who is still calving and wants warm ad dry. Then the calving gets caught up and you think, whew!!! I can rest up awhile.. send some rain.. but no, there are people wanting to get branded and they don’t want rained out! And some guy is wanting to be the first one in his neighbor hood to cut and put up some hay!!!!

I tell you, it wouldn’t be a fun job. Cussed one second and praised the nest! Probably about as bad as being God. And we all know how people talk to and about Him!

I hope you get just as much moisture as you want and at the time off your choosing… me? I will take heart in another thing Dad always said. “God will provide us with just as much moisture as we need. And evidently, some years we don’t need as much!”

2/28/21


We got snow! Wow!

  Okay, maybe not wow. But some people seem to be pretty excited about it.I guess if your a skier or don’t have to deal with it all day long, or a kid, but then I repeat myself…, you might get excited about snow. I don’t mind it. What we have won’t stick around too long and it will hep settle the dust. It will soften up the grass my cows are grazing. It makes every thing pretty again. 

If I was feeding hay with a team, and could use a bobsled to do so, I probably would like it better. I really enjoyed feeding with a bobsled. The way it just slipped so easily over the snow and so quiet! All you heard was the soften clip clop of the horses feet and the sleigh bells ringing. ( I always had sleigh bells. An old rancher wrote one time, just the sound of them helped warm the temps up 10 or 20 degrees and I found out he was right!) 

Of course, where I live, we seldom got to use a bobsled much. Too windy. It usually blew the snow into drifts and bare on the flats… so you seldom had good enough snow to pull a sled, every where you needed to go. I do remember one winter that was pretty snowy, cold and tough. I fed with a bobsled every day for 90 days. Seems like winter started at Thanksgiving with lots of snow and wind and kept it up all winter until mid April. ( As I wrote that last line I see it came up as MUD April… yeah, pretty much!)

I miss feeding with a team. Sure these tractors and pickups have cabs and heaters, but when you were young, you never noticed the cold so much and you just put on enough layers that it din’t bother as much. And I only had to drive about a mile, at the farthest to get to the hay stacks and cattle. The only place I couldn’t get warm or protect were my cheek bones. Can’t even get whiskers to grow on there…always wished I had one of them helmets like the Astronauts  used.. but then my team probably would have run off from fear!

Another advantage to a team, was in the spring I was in awful good shape. At first from pitching hay and even after I started feeding big round bales and made a bale wagon. I still had to get off and on the wagon to load each bale and run two winches. It helped to keep you warm. My only complaint was I needed suspenders in the spring as my pants were pretty loose fitting, especially after I switched from long handles to brief underwear!

Well, I suppose by the time you read this, most of this snow will be gone. But South Dakota being South Dakota, I am betting there will be more before May 15th! 

Keep your snow shovel handy!

2/22/21

The weather is sure nicer than last time I wrote. Sure helps out on the feed situation here. I want it to stay like this until spring and then get real nice!

Them poor folks down south who aren’t as used to extreme cold and snow sure suffered. And it sure proved we can not solely rely on Windmills and Solar panels for all our electrical needs! Whether some like it or not, we need coal and natural gas and propane also.

I saw some who said that we need to make all of the electricity going into the US Capitol buildings solely solar and windmills. If so, I bet them folks down there who are supposedly running this country, would have set up and took notice!

I am older so remember when I used to feed with a team and lots of days below zero and the wind blowing, while I was pitching hay, at first and then later with a bale wagon to feed big round bales. I dressed for it so it wasn’t all that bad. Kind of like jumping into the water at the first of summer, the water was cold, but after the shock wore off, you got used to it!

Better than Dad. He always said when he was a kid growing up in the teens (he was born in 1914) that when they wanted to take a bath in winter they’d have to go chop a hole in the ice on the dam and then chase all the polar bears away, then take a bath! I believed him for awhile… then noticed there weren’t no polar bears around these parts anymore.

I am sure glad somebody invented hot running water in a house and indoor plumbing! The first school I went to just had outdoor toilets so I know about using them when it is cold out! But it sure built character, I guess. I notice most of the people my age who live around these parts sure are characters, anyway!

Heres hoping the nice weather lasts and we get lots of warm spring rain.

Burrr er!

One thing about this country, when it decides to change the weather, it isn’t fooling around! Wow! As I write this, it is still pretty cold and from what I read it has slipped clear down south and them folks are getting a taste of what we usually face every winter. Oh well, fair is fair, we get a taste every summer that they get then!

I saw a video a year or so back of a rig to feed grain and cubes to livestock. Made from a wide tired and the center where the rim would be, blocked, with iron or steel and a pipe thru’ the middle. It hooks up to a bale unroller and there is a small door to load it with. To use it you just set it down and drive along and as the wheel turns it spills out cubes or grain when the hole gets to the bottom and then quits dropping any out, as the hole rotates to the top again. It looked pretty slick so we made one.

We found a fairly wide tire and about 3 and a half feet tall. We cut a fairly large flap that you push down inside and block open to put the feed into the tire. In side that flap we cut a smaller hole for the grain to come out of. After you finish filling your grain, you pull the flap up and closed and it will stay shut. It works as slick as I thought it would. My son, Chance has no faith in any ideas I come up with so he was skeptical if it would work and reserved judgement until he saw it for himself. After seeing how well it worked, he even gave me credit for a good thing we could make ourselves!

We have been using it last winter and this winter and the only thing we would do different is use a wider tire. I was out feeding with it this morning and watching the cows come to feed. There are several that run along and try and take a bite on the run, and not really getting much to eat. The rest just calmly stay at a pile and eat at it until it is gone. Then move on to another pile. Until all the feed is gone.

It seems to me, the ones who stay calm and just go about their business, so to speak, get more and at a much easier rate. The ones who run along trying to get the most, probably don’t.

Kind of reminds me of some people and how they go thru’ life. Some just keep at the job at hand, calmly and stay with it, working steadily. Others are always running to the next pile, thinking they are get more. 

People are funny critters, as Baxter Black observed. Hope by the time you read this it is much warm

2/10/21


Turned out to not be so bad today.. got up to 6 or so and not much wind. We put in a tank this winter, a tire tank and hand’t used it until today… it was really iced over.. had to do a lot of chopping to get down to water.. almost a foot.. water line coming up thru’ was ice almost to where it comes in, so we got it running, took off the float and just letting it run to thaw all the ice out.. I went and checked a bit ago and there is still lots of ice to melt. We brought the cows down south in and put them up west and they can come in to the lane behind the house where there is plenty of shelter and stay out of the wind and get a goods drink of warm water. This is the first we have fed them any hay… They were pretty excited about the fish grass and didn’t even hurry to come to the hay. I just watched a hay auction and some about 50 miles west of me brought almost 200 a ton.. we need more but hopefully can find it closer and cheaper.

2/9/21

Cold! Or should I have spelled that… brrrrrrrrrr!

It sure decided to act like winter lately.. hopefully by the time you read this in the paper it will have warmed back up to our balmy weather we had been having.

Guess we shouldn’t complain, as in this country, you just know there is going to be some cold. Maybe it will kill off the last of the box elder bugs!

I was talking to friend in Texas the other day and as we were finishing up our conversation on the phone, he told me to come see him. I told him the way the weather was fixing to get it might be real soon. He remarked it was supposed to only get up to 10 above down there… well, heck, might just as well stay home I guess.

Speaking of Texans, I went to a horse shoeing clinic some years back, put on a guy who used to be from this area. He mentioned that he and his wife had moved to Texas not too long before that. “What? Why on earth would you want to move down there with all them big talking, bragging Texans?” I asked.

He told me that he kind of worried about that himself, but so far had found everyone to be real nice and welcoming. He had mentioned to an older rancher about this and said he was kind of surprised. As he put it to the rancher, “You know outside of Texas, you people don’t have the best reputation.”

The older rancher told him, “Son, what you don’t know is that every fall we go in and cull all the sorry dinks and ship them out of state.” He paused for a moment and then said, “ Most of them move to Oklahoma!”

I laughed pretty hard and told him that Cindy and I had spent three days, one night in Oklahoma. Not putting down either state, but we had a room with no heat or hot water and it was a small enough town and late enough we didn’t bother looking for another one. And I can say at least I didn’t  drive thru’ Kansas either time!

But thats a story for another time. Here is hoping your tractor don’t gel up and your stock all makes it thru’ this cold snap in good shape!

2/5/21

Since last I wrote about the new pup, she has settled in great. She is getting everyone trained to do her bidding! Well, maybe not the house cat. Skritchy ( a cross between Scratchy and Itchy) is a about three quarters grown bob tailed cat. As everyone knows, bob tailed cats are the best mousers! Must be doing her job as we ain’t seen nary hide nor hair of a mouse in the house for a long time!

But as I was stating, Skritchy doesn’t seem to think a tiny dog about a third of her size needs to be listened to or taken orders from. This seems to puzzle Bugz (the name the pup has acquired.. yeah, we get pretty original in naming animals around here) who has those dog genes that make her sure cats are supposed to run from dogs. Might be the problem is that Skritch has not admitted to nor attested to the fact that Bugz is a dog!

It is kind of entertaining to watch them stalk and chase and run away from each other. Especially now that Scratch has decided she doesn’t need to use claws to defend herself. She gets in a tipped over small box like a Mountain Lion in it’s lair and awaits the unsuspecting pup, who strives mightily to attack. Problem is, Scritch just don’t care. Have you ever noticed a cat can ignore something better than any other animal? But, when Skritch decides it is time to play, (I thinks she thinks Bugz is her own personal squeaky toy) the fight is on. She grabs the pup and envelopes her as best she can, but I got to give Bugs credit, she is getting pretty crafty at turning the attacks away and writhing from the grips of the feline. Kind of reminds me of watching these young boys at wrestling.

Other than that, life is the same old same old around here. The weather is turning colder and looks like winter might finally arrive. Worse the luck. Oh well, we had a good run of warm weather. I guess it is to be expected. Maybe the cold will kill off the last of the Boxelder bugs.

2/1/21

Since last I wrote, Cindy and I celebrated our 42 wedding anniversary. And most people, at the time we got married, told us it wouldn’t last!

I am amazed. We have a 40 year old son, who was just a little kid a couple years ago, it seems. And not very long go I saw a young man in the mirror and now there is this old guy who watches me shave. How does that happen so quick? One day your bullet proof and before your know it, you step off the porch step and turn your ankle and you can barely walk for a month!

Last spring, the first part of May, I ran to shut a gate before a bull got thru’, I didn’t want to get thru’, and stumbled and jammed my thumb. It still gives me grief if I use it too much or wrong.

Yup, I sure would have taken care of myself a lot better, if I had known I was going to live this long. One thing about getting older, is it is a lot cheaper for me to party. One drink and I am happy to quit, and if I make it to 10 pm it has been quite a night!

Another thing that happened, since last I wrote, is that Cindy got a new puppy. Our middle son, Tate, got it for her. ( He has now been cut from my will…) Little thing is so tiny! Chiwawa ( yeah, I know it isn’t spelled that way, but that is how it is pronounced, so that is how I spell it!) and Yorkie. She had a little Yorkie years back she loved, and has always wanted another tiny dog. 

I don’t like pet dogs. I like working dogs. Like my Border Collie. She works cows, cats and kids and would work horses if I let her. She will watch a gate to keep the cattle in or go get them if they get out. Jumps in the tractor or pickup with ease. Judy like a dog is supposed to do. 

This one, she calls Bugz, is just a play toy for the house cat! Hopefully she will learn to hate mice as much as her mistress and kill all she encounters. Right now she is pretty mean to the little stuffed toys. And the little puppy is too! 

Weather has stayed pretty nice. We didn’t even notice if we had a January thaw this year. I am blaming it on the new President. Seems like the thing to do.. blame every thing on him! At least that is what happened to the last one.

Well, I better quit writing and go see if the cat has eaten the new pup yet!

Hello!

Seems I don’t write on here as much as I used to. I guess it is because this blog and site have taken on another purpose and I spend too much time writing and posting photos on other sharing sites.. ie. Facebook, Instagram, Mewe and such. I started writing a weekly spot for a local paper and it seems to take up most of my ideas…

Tate got Cindy a little house mutt, against my objections. Thats it, he is out of the will! Little white booger with brown around an eye and around it’s tail. I say it’s, as she claims it is female and I claim it is male… the plumbing don’t look right to me, for it to be female… to low and far away from the tail… time will prove one of us right, I guess.

I had my 63rd birthday on the thirteenth and a friend who reads this blog faithfully sent me a nice card, as she always does. You would think I would be smart enough to remember her birthday and reciprocate…but I always forget. I am sure she knows how much I appreciate it and her and her husband. Maybe someday they will come visit again. I hope so.

Been a pretty dry, warm winter. We don’t get many of those. I used to think we had to have winter snow for moisture and especially to fill water holes. We have enough wells and pipeline we can do with out the natural and man made water holes, but it’s always nice to see them full. This is a high desert area and normally (like it is ever normal around this country) we get about 15 inches of moisture. Over the years I have noticed that the snows that come in March and April seem to do us more good than the stuff that hangs around all winter. And I bet we are about to get some. Seems like most of our moisture comes in April, May and June. But it always varies.

Dad always said, “The Good Lord will send us just as much as we need and evidently some years we don’t need as much!” Here is hoping He wants us to have a more normal type year, moisture wise. About the 1st of April when we are supposed to start calving, I bet we start getting some moisture.