Like the old days, hillsides
slick and wet, we brand
between rains, hurried loops
bunch a hard-won victory
for work-worn bones.
Morning Advil or Aleve
for squeaky hinges
lubricated with a plastic cup
of Crown, hot meal grinning
with good company.
For a moment we are young again,
but with muted bravado—understand
Tony’s deadpan disappointment:
tonight’s storm retreating north.
Not quite the coup to drink whiskey to,
we want more sore evenings
by the fire, just to hear it pour.
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
Photos by Earl McKee
We branded last Friday and were lucky enough to have Earl bring his camera to his corrals in Greasy – a beautiful day! In the slideshow are Kenny & Virginia McKee, Tony Rabb, Doug Thomason, Brent Huntington, Zach Shaver, Chad Lawerence, Chuck Fry, Clarence & Frances Holdbrooks, Robbin, Bob & I. Thanks all!
Posted in Photographs, Slideshows
Tagged branding, Brent Huntington, Chad Lawerence, Clarence Holdbrooks, Doug Thomason, Earl McKee, Greasy Creek, Ken McKee, Sulphur Peak, Tony Rabb, Zach Shaver