“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”
– Robert Frost
My head cold is still lingering. Yes, another week of restless nights, head gunk, deep cough and tired feeling. I haven’t the most cheerful person to be around. Wednesday was a tough day; Thursday and Friday I felt better. Due to my end of the week rally, I didn’t go to the doctor. However it did cross my mind. After two nights of coughing attacks it has crossed my mind again. We’ll see how the morning goes.
To add insult to my head cold, while doing chores on Tuesday I broke my glasses. It was a cold, wet, misty morning and I stopped at the calving barn. While there I thought I’d clean the ice off my glasses. I grabbed a small towel and went to clean my lenses only to have the frames break in half at the nose piece. I cried. J got out the supper glue and patiently glued my glasses back together. So far, they are still attached and I am wearing an old pair outside. I’m holding my breath until I can make a trip to the Big City. J got Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Chocolate Chip Cookies out of the ordeal.
Thursday morning after chores J and I ran the replacement heifers (pictured above) through the chute. They got a pre-breeding shot, hoof-rot shot and oral wormer. These girls are ready for green grass and bulls.
After six months of running the feed wagon, we ran out of ground hay. The replacement heifers got their first bale of long hay on Saturday. J got the feed wagon cleaned up and we put it away for the summer. This is one of my favorite sings of spring!
During calving season there comes a day that no rancher looks forward too. That is the day no cows calve. We are on the downhill slide of calving and the girls have slowed down significantly. This is normal and expected, but the day we get zero babies is kind of a let down. The next few of weeks could be long and drawn out in the calving department.
Thoughts of branding have moved to the forefront. The calf working crew is lined up, vaccine ordered and cattle corrals cleaned. J’s Mom and I have a meal plan in the works too. This week we will get all the little details of branding preparations ironed out and pray the weather stays favorable. We are shooting for Thursday.
We are looking forward to getting the calves worked and having our first of two branding behind us.
As April comes to an end I am left wondering how the month passed so quickly. At the same time, I know that May is every bit as busy as April. Between working calves, fixing fence and trailing pairs to summer grass we will have our work cut out for us.
Have you branded calves? What are the big May projects at your ranch or farm?