Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moving Cattle

On Sunday my husband received a call from his brother Dave that he needed help moving 350 cows out of the meadow and into the corral so that they could be preg-checked (checked to see if they were pregnant) the next day. Desert Boy and I tagged along to photograph the event. We went down to the big meadow at the south end of our property, where the cows were contentedly grazing, unaware of what was going to happen next.

My husband doesn't like horses much, but he sure looks good on one! He even dug out his old cowboy boots so that he would be prepared. The cowboy boots usually remain on the floorboard of his truck, buried under irrigating boots, electrician's manuals, parts for different tractors, and grease-stained jackets.

My sister-in-law Tana is in the front, with Dave behind. They both know about everything you can know for riding horses, so I always try to soak up a little knowledge from them. My nephew Tractor Buddy is in the back, drafted into service and not too sure that this is what he wants to be doing. Our old cowboy Lee, 80+ years old and still riding strong, is along for the ride, along with Tractor Boy's dad (my husband's other brother).

Once they get into the meadow, the cows no longer are milling about in all directions, but sense that it's time to move. They gradually start heading in the right direction.

The horses and riders keep them going, and the cows are really well-behaved.

I am just loving every moment. The mountains in the background give a sense of the Wild West to the picture. It's quiet all around except for the sound of hundreds of cattle moving through the grass, mooing now and then.

Here's my nephew Tractor Buddy. He looks like he's doing pretty well on a horse. He chose his nickname, so you can see what his first love is.

The first 350 cows have been moved through the gate and are at the corral at the end of the area I'm waiting in. Dave opens the gate...

...and they start in. This area is really dusty, and you can see the dust cloud starting up, obscuring the mountains.

The cows ignore us over on the truck and just head right into the next corral where they're supposed to go. They were being really good! Sometimes they'll mill around and walk in circles and make life a little difficult.

The horse riders are really in the dust following the herd. Nevertheless, my brother-in-law Dave has a big smile on his face, glad the cows are doing what he wants. Or maybe he knew I was taking a photo.

Dave and my husband follow the cattle into the corral, eating the dust.

And then all we can see are ghost riders on the range.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos!
gs

Anonymous said...

Vroom, Vroom! Pumper Truck

Dessert Survivor said...

preg-checked? I had never heard that one. Great pictures.

Annette said...

great photos!

The Incredible Woody said...

I could almost hear the Rawhide theme playing...

Sliv said...

Such handsome cowboys, reluctant or not.

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