The Busyness of May

May is one of the busiest months on our ranch. It’s also a transition month as calving season draws to a close. After we brand calves and get pairs to summer pasture, we look forward to a slightly slower schedule.

J and I played musical pastures last week. Monday we brought the bulls home. We sorted off the bulls we are going to use to breed replacement heifers and moved the rest of the guys into the “new bull pasture.” The “new bull pasture” is one that J and his folks built a few years ago. It’s a small pasture at the end our driveway. It’s a short-term isolated pasture and there are no cows in sight.

Tuesday morning we moved the replacement heifers to the south pasture. Then we moved a group of pairs to the pasture we took the heifers out of. This way the pairs would be ready to trail to summer grass later in the week.

With the heifers in the south pasture we thought it would be a good idea to turn on the pipeline tanks. J also thought it would be good to check the well pit that feeds the pipeline. J opened up the small lid to look in and found the pit had filled with a couple of feet of dirt. Not good. We got a guy to come look at the pit. He came to the conclusion that a digging animal was the cause of the excess dirt. There is only one way to get dirt out of the pit. Luckily Roy needed a break from mechanicing and was willing to help J toss dirt.

Wednesday J made a parts run to get what he needed to fix the well. J did a little dirt work around the pit to promote water drainage. Even though we don’t think the dirt washed in, J wanted to make sure water will not wash in. We replaced a corner post, tightened up the fence and turned on the tanks.

This unexpected problem turned into a two-day project. Ranch life, you never know what you are going to come across during the course of a day.

Thursday morning we moved the first group of pairs to summer grass! J and I bundled up and left the house shortly before 5 am. I looked at the temp before we left, 34*. It was a good day to be the person leading the cattle in the pickup.

J and I moved the second group of pairs to summer pasture on Friday morning.

It’s an awesome feeling to get pairs out to grass. The cows are ready to have some freedom and so are we!

Thursday afternoon J and I took a drive to look at our hay fields. The areas that caught snow or had run off go through them (i.e. low spots and swales) look ok. Other areas are very dry. The ground has cracks brought on by extreme dry conditions and the dirt is powdery dry. The first week of May we had a hard freeze; we are seeing damage to alfalfa due to the cold. In addition, we found a few alfalfa weevils and can see plants that they have damaged.

The chance we had for rain last week resulted in .10″, barely enough to wet the ground. We have another chance for moisture today. The long range forecast shows no rain in our area. We are thankful for the cool temperatures we had last week and that the wind didn’t blow much.

J and I enjoyed a quiet weekend. Saturday J went to an auction sale. I stayed home to catch up on housework, bookwork and blog. Sunday we went to Church. In the afternoon, J weed eated and I did some food prep work for branding.

I am reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The last book I read was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I found a link on Facebook listing “books every person should read at least once” that inspired me to go back and read a few classics.

This week we are going to brand the last group of calves and get those pairs out to grass. We have a few stranglers left to calf and will work the baby babies when the last cow calves.

We have an eventful Memorial weekend in store, Puffer’s are coming to visit! We haven’t all got together since January of 2015 and are looking forward to their visit. We also have a few other things going on. It always amazes me that we can go months with no social engagements, then have four things on the same weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the blessings of spring!

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5 Responses to The Busyness of May

  1. Alica says:

    You guys really seem to work so well together! I hope you get a much needed respite from the crazy busyness…but I know how that goes on the farm. Praying for rain for you.

  2. Pamela Galindo says:

    Hoping you get rain……what was that lizard-type critter? I haven’t seen any in my part of the country. Tuesday we expect 102 degrees which is pretty typical for the central valley of California….so begins a long, hot summer for us; we may not see rain until the end of Oct. or early Nov. Enjoy your Memorial weekend visit and be happy that a lot of your hard work is behind you.

    • Robyn says:

      Thank you for the well wishes and rain wishes too. The little critter is a salamander. We are looking forward to having most of our spring work behind us and enjoying time with friends.

      Hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend and be safe in the heat.

  3. Kim's County Line says:

    There always seems to be unexpected repair projects on the farm.

    I hope you get rain soon. We had a dry winter, but spring has had good moisture and cooler temperatures, which is good for filling the wheat heads. The wheat is starting to turn, so it still could be an early harvest, but not as early as it could have been without the cooler temps of the past few weeks.

    We have a new hired man starting today. Fingers crossed!

    Enjoy your Memorial Day! We will do the annual cemetery tour with my folks after church on Sunday.

    • Robyn says:

      I’m glad you are getting rain. Mom and Dad (south central Nebraska) and even eastern Nebraska have been getting a lot of rain. In fact, Dad said they need sunshine to green up the crops and dry things up enough that they can get some work done.

      Good luck with the new hired man. I hope he works out. Good help is priceless. There are days that three people would make life a little easier around here.

      Enjoy your weekend and visit with your folks.

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