Tag Archives: girls

Our Future

 

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According to my records, we’ve only had two days since the Solstice under 100°, but the mornings have been fairly cool from first light until 9:00 a.m. This morning was no exception, simply a beautiful Sabbath.

We’ve kept our replacement heifers close to the corrals since they were weaned in May and June, waiting for their Bangs vaccination for Brucellosis and second round of shots, deworming and fly control that has entailed pumping water daily. We’ve had a lot of eye problems due to foxtails and some foot rot due to bacteria encouraged by the wet spring. Having them close by has helped us gather for doctoring.

We think this year’s heifers are exceptional, both in genetics and temperament. They have gotten to know the Kubota since they were calves, and then again when it brought hay everyday to the weaning pen. So we utilize the Kubota when we gather—they come to it naturally.

Saturday, after Friday’s processing, I led the bunch off the dry feed and irrigated pasture, fed some hay, ready to open them to 300 more acres of dry feed and another source of water, our irrigation pond. By this morning, they were exploring the shore of the pond when I arrived to see how they were doing. Naturally, they all gravitated to the Kubota to discover tall, untouched green feed in the spillway of the pond where excess water flows back into the Kaweah River.

Followers of this blog know it’s all about the girls, our prejudice for females—after all we are a cow/calf outfit. Though we were quite pleased with our steers, it’s not about bragging rights as to how big or nice they were in the sales ring—just an annual dividend, they pay our bills. It’s about the girls, two-thirds of which, with a little luck, will be with us for ten years. They become our future.

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ABOUT THE GIRLS

 

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It’s always been about the girls
on this landscape, grass and water
notwithstanding: the basic elements

of endless awe as maternal blooms
before our eyes with faint reflection
from whence we came.

We have lent all we know, watched
generations grow into mothers—
it’s always been about the girls.

 

THE GIRLS

 

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Horseback, the girls work
cattle in the dust, sort cows
from calves before hauling

off the hill to the weaning pen:
a quiet dance to a rhythm
I can only see through boards

as cows ask with their eyes
before moving towards the open
space a horse has made

to leave their calves behind.
No loud bravado spurring
pirouettes into dirt clouds.

I turn away and walk
to the pickups and goosenecks—
remove my maleness

from these corrals that hold
a hundred years of urgent
echoes: men making mistakes

to invent new profanities.
Instead, the perfect sense
of girls instructing girls.