February Snow

Sulphur Peak

Sulphur Peak

Pogue Canyon

Pogue Canyon

There are no weekends off this time of year as we juggle days around the weather, neighbors’ brandings and our own, trying get the work done. Low snow down to about 1,000 feet with the last cold front that brought 0.62” of welcome rain, we gathered the Wagyu bulls yesterday for their return to Snake River Farms in Idaho, for their TB tests and Health Certificates before they leave California.

Roads into the foothills are impassable, corrals too muddy to brand, neighbors try to reschedule plans to mark their calves, often with cattle gathered on short grass. This time of year, one day runs into the next until we’re all done.

Greasy watershed

Greasy watershed

Though hard on our cows who have endured nearly three months of abnormally cold weather, we’ll gladly take the snow, any kind of moisture with less than eight inches of precipitation this season, well-below normal. The snow melts slowly, retreating only 500 feet yesterday, to saturate the ground beneath like a time-released prescription. We are still feeding hay in the Greasy watershed each chance we get, but it will be next week, after three more rescheduled brandings, before we can get another pickup load up the hill.

Though I know we’ve had cold winters before, I don’t remember one with such a devastating impact on our cows. One day at a time, and before we know it, we’ll have wildflowers and then be complaining about the summer heat.

Robbin and Bart

Robbin and Bart

2 responses to “February Snow

  1. Practicals, aside, the snow looks beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that low before. Sending some melting warmth (and rain) your way.

    Like

  2. NEW GROUND

    Beyond knowing, beyond prayers,
    we gird our loins—prepare for change
    because we have no choices left,
    no other options but to adjust
    to going forward—there is no back.

    We have seen, and we have delivered
    death, treated simple sicknesses
    with rope and medicine, but mostly
    with the hope of bringing relief.
    We ride off. We are tough.

    A child, a son, a father—and now
    a grandfather—I have seen much
    I could not change. New ground
    for love and being practical, for
    staying in the middle of our saddles.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.