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Been pretty nice, warmer temps, some wind of course, some snow, some rain, water is running down the creeks.. we are getting a few calves.. cows prefer eating short green grass over dry, old hay.

Next week is Cowboy Poetry week, so Shelane Graham, who is the rural library teacher for our area, talked me in to going to the rural schools while she has her class, and discussing and presenting poetry, especially cowboy poetry. It’s been fun and hopefully we have stirred some young minds.

Good Friday, today. The day our Lord was scourged and crucified for us. Cindy and I watched the Passion, by Mel Gibson last night. It is hard to watch and from what I can read it was not even as bad, the way they show it, as it probably actually was. Hard for me to comprehend that kind of determination, courage and love, that a man would go thru’ all of that willingly, just for me…and you.. and everyone who believes in HIM. Of course, he was God/man so we can rationalize that he had super human strength and endurance, but I think we need to remember, that as a man, he felt every lash and nail and curse and all other pains and ridicule, just as we would. As God, he understood and had such deep compassion, that he was willing to allow this to happen. To save all who believe in him. And of course, we know, as Paul would say, the Rest of the Story! We know he will rise on the morning of the third day. And if we believe in him and follow his commandments, we too can do the same, on the day we leave this earthly life behind!

I hope you have a Blessed Easter and remember, it isn’t about bunny’s Easter eggs and baby chicks. It’s about the One who rose up and reigns in heaven! Viva Christo Rey!

Yup, it is that time of the year.. started raining Tuesday night, woke up at daylight to snow and it has snowed of and on since with up to 40 + mph winds. Looks like over a foot of snow here, but hard to tell as much has drifted and some has went into the ground.

We’ve seen worse, but never much fun for those who have livestock out in it. Especially those who are getting calves now. All the ranchers are out in it, doing their best to feed and save the lives of those baby calves.. sleepy and tired and still going… this is the test of cow people on the northern ranges… South of us they just had a real bad one with terrible flooding a few weeks ago.

The frost is out, so it is snow on top of mud.. the good thing is that this will melt right in, where the soil will take it.. the bad thing is, it will run off and flood where the soil is saturated.

Yeah, ranching on the the northern plains sure is fun. Good thing we have God with us, holding us by the hand and helping us…if we let Him.

We went out and saddled up a bunch of horses and moved all the cows south of the road, up into the 80, across from the house… looks like we got a spring blizzard coming in.. starting with rain on Tuesday and then switching to snow Wednesday, early morning.. lots of wind.. they are predicting about an inch of rain and 6 inches of snow as of now.. but that can all change as we get closer… Gramma rode Pilgrim and I rode my colt, Feather… Chance and his crew rode their regular mounts. Nice warm day today, a little breeze. We have had a few heifers calves that weren’t supposed to until later and a couple cows, as the bull got out early last year… but we are not really calving, so it won’t be real tough, but we still have to watch them close in case something does calve and it’s amazing how a spring storm can make cows calve.

60 degrees or so and supposed to be warmer tomorrow.. I fed yearlings then went to cleaning corrals.. they ain’t perfect but much better than they were. I hauled a bunch of old dried manure that had gotten pushed up in a pile for years, out onto the hardpans last fall, with Chances dump trailer.. I have about got the pile back to the same size! This will shrink down as it dries out.. lots of it real sloppy… we are going to have cattle in the corral Friday or Saturday so it will be nice to have them better.. still need to push manure up in the lot out back… I make piles, they dry out and cattle love to lay on them and they even give a little wind protection… if we had a manure spreader or the money to hire one, I guess we could scatter it and make the grass better in places… but I don’t so I won’t.

Spring or what passes for it, seems to have hit.. snow is mostly gone except in the deepest draws and creeks.. water running down the creeks and draws. Warmer.. I love that! Got a few calves, tho’ they are not supposed to be calving yet.. according to the bull turn out, but cows and especially bulls, can be sneaky… cattle are getting picky about what kind of hay they will eat.. starting to see a slight green tinge around.. it’s a good time of the year. We did get a bit of snow the other morning, but melted almost as fast as it hit the ground. Geese every where.. had a bunch of turkey’s come up almost to the house the other day. Seen my first Meadowlark yesterday. Horses are shedding. My colt humped up with me the other day. Ahh, spring.

Snow is melting and water is running. the dam out east is going over the spillway.. the big dam up west is almost full.. creeks are starting to run, tho’ not all of them, where you can see it.. I imagine some is running under the snow, but where it’s on top, it is mostly bank full.. I love it!

Chance topped off Feather fro me this afternoon, tho’ it didn’t amount to anything, he was fine, so then I went out and made a ride on him. He’s nice. I want to keep riding him every day I can. We got cattle in this morning and sorted the heifers off that are supposed to stat calving May 1st. Chance tagged the two calves we got out of them already. Moved the horses so they can go north up on the rocky hill. I plan on gathering thievery day, so will keep a broke horse in and my colt. It all feels like spring work, so it must be spring!

Ol’ Sol has been working and we have mud. Wonderful glorious mud!

I know, most people don’t like mud, but mud means warmth and snow going away and creeks and dams getting full, so I like mud. Give me a few weeks of it and I probably won’t be so high on it!

I saddled up Pilgrim this afternoon and rode him for the first time since he lost his eye.. same ol’ good feller.. maybe stumbles a bit more, but we were on uneven snow ground, so I won’t fault him. We went north and shut gates so yearlings can’t get next to one bunch of cows we have sorted off. We had to pick and choose and ride around draws where the snow was deep, but we made it. Nice to be horseback again.

Chance had a couple heifers calve this morning.. supposedly they weren’t supposed to start until around May 1, but I guess if they aren’t ones you had yourself, they can calve anytime! Both mama’s and babies are fine, but Chance is in a panic trying to figure out where to put these heifers who might calve next. He decided we needed to get a shed cleaned out and the corrals which are full of frozen and wet muck. So after I got done feeding I was helping him, me on the tractor, him in his skid loader… then the tractor started acting up, like it had water in the fuel.. we couldn’t get it running, so drug it into the shed and we are proceeding from there.. I am thinking this could be a real good opportunity and excuse to star feeding with the team.. not sure if I can talk him into it, we will see.. we can feed with the skid steer, but it isn’t quite as handy.

Anyway, we got snow melting making mud and I like it!

It finally started snowing about 4 yesterday afternoon.. of course the wind blew… not sure how much we got but ai think most of it blew down south east of us. We had all the livestock behind protection and fed.. went out this morning and fed again.. seems they all survived..as far as blizzards go, I have seen lots worse ones, around here.. I see they are having flooding in the eastern part of the state and north eastern Nebraska.. them poor folks are getting walloped. I talked to Fr Tyler this afternoon and they had rain and then snow, so got lots tougher conditions than we did. Sure glad we aren’t calving in this, but have in the past and if you got your sheds all bedded down and check real often, you save most of them..going to be muddy after this.. when there is bare ground it was muddy this late afternoon. It’s all moisture and we will be glad we had it, later on when the grass starts to grow. Not too big of drifts to dig out tomorrow. I am old school and remember digging out after thesis with a two wheel drive tractor and no chains, so with these front wheel assist tractors, this doesn’t seem too bad.

Supposed to get up to 40 some today and then late tonight, early tomorrow a blizzard stating.. looks like about a foot of snow and gust up to 60 mph or so.. sure am glad we have some shelter for the livestock to get behind… I will feed some hay this morning and then again this evening, behind that shelter. Pull your hat down!

4:30 pm and I just got in from plowing snow.. wind is still blowing, but there is water and mud on the road! Amazing what just a little warmth can do. Supposed to warm up and stay that way for the next few days.. praise the Lord!

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