Tag Archives: irrigation

Dawn on the Pasture

 

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When I arrived yesterday to change my irrigation water, a coyote was nonchalantly studying these cows and calves from just outside the fence. The cow beneath the Valley Oak was lying close to her calf, hours old. The cows, of course, knew he was there well before I did. Taking an indirect approach, coyotes will gradually work their way among the cattle acting preoccupied and harmless until they become familiar to a bunch, all the while looking for any weakness among the calves—hence the Trickster moniker.

We have completed our first month of calving and pleased with 50% of our calves on the ground, a bright spot in the middle of this drought, though our total cow numbers have been reduced by half these past four years. This is the third calf for this particular bunch of cows bred by Vintage Angus bulls.

 

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As the light turns softer and shadows longer, early mornings can be rewarding with lots of wildlife this time of year, especially where there is water. About twenty Canadian Geese are stripping the ripe seed of the water grass elsewhere in the pasture and our little bunch of wild turkeys, that are becoming used to me and the Kubota, are rummaging for bugs where I’ve completed my irrigation.

I take my camera, never knowing what I’ll see.

 

PERMANENT PASTURE

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Near the Solstice,
my irrigation water languishes,
lollygags in the pasture
of short-cropped green
and a few too many cows—

soaking and absorbed
fifty yards shy
of the wilting end
to my temporary world.

Fifty years ago,
my mother’s father
curtly admonished me,
forever instilled
that nothing is permanent.

After a dark night
of chasing dreams,
I wonder if death
is nothing—
nothing more
than a good sleep
while the water runs
to pasture’s end.