A beautiful day Friday, I took my camera while checking the calves we branded, photographing this one resting comfortably in a bed of mustard greens, along with the gray cow and calf born late September.
We’re taking the whole bunch back to Belle Point this morning after a slow 0.30″ rain yesterday afternoon and overnight–the same rain we raced yesterday morning while branding Tony Rabb’s calves just over the ridge in Antelope Valley.
Forecast for 8:00 a.m. up until the last moment, skies were clear at daybreak as the storm approached from the coast. Tony made the call and we hustled through 100 calves before the first drop landed at 11:30 a.m.
I note, not so much for posterity but to jog my failing memory, that we had a lot of fun at the quickened pace, far from ‘old people slow’. My first opportunity to help the neighbors brand this season, I took Bart, Robbin’s wonderful gelding, who worked well-enough to have some fun himself, a tough little horse hard not to like.
I also found the Burrowing Owl in his digs Friday while checking the heifers just recently exposed to Wagyu bulls. The first wave of family arrives today. ‘Tis the season.
Posted in Photographs, Ranch Journal
Tagged Bart, Belle Point, branding, Burrowing Owl, family, mustard, neighbors, rain, Tony Rabb, Wagyu
Breaking early without the lingering
after-rain clouds camped upon ridges
of damp clay and granite turned green,
fractured blinding light claims November
flesh glistening from branch to twig,
dripping jewels, millions of diamonds
sparkling across the flats and we are rich
and shivering, warming deadened scars
around coffee cups to share the moment.
This is the rock
you claimed last winter
beside the dusty road I traveled
with bales of hay—
your hole, your home
though I may own it
and all the ground around
the living wage you make
of bugs, beetles and mice.
This is your rock.
I find my friend hunting
on my way to cut wood
for a branding fire.
One of the guys I ran into on the way up into the Greasy watershed was this Burrowing Owl. I haven’t seen one on the ranch for several years, in part because they keep moving their colonies. I’ve run into this a owl a couple of times at the intersection of Pogue Canyon and the Mankin Flat Fire Road in past months, even hunted him with a camera once with no success. Yesterday, I caught him early in the morning with the point and shoot. Funny, funny little fellows.