JAN 16 2022 PDF BLOG
Photo courtesy of The Old Cowboy Archives
I just opened my blog and realized that I have yet to move into 2022 even though I wrote about it not starting in an auspicious manner.
Todays edition is more appropriately dated, as I sit here waiting for the next great snowmageddon event. As they say every day on our local channel 12…….its a first alert weather day. We are forecast to get from 3 to 78 inches of a mixture of rain sleet and snow and power will be out for millions for days.
Fear sells in todays news.
First some good news……
I mentioned in my last blog that I was looking for a replacement tractor. One of my friends read the blog and texted me about a tractor for sale. I went and looked at it yesterday and agreed with the owner on a price late yesterday afternoon. We will consummate the deal in the coming week.
It was cold here this morning…..17 degrees outside at 6:00 am….not the coldest day of the year so far as we have been as low as 10 degrees already this year….I am ready for summer, but I guess I have to slog thru the rest of the winter to get there. As another old friend use to say every year……”February can be a B___h”. One of the memorable snow storms I recall was the first week in March. It was back in the late seventies and I had about a hundred first calf heifers scheduled to start calving the first week in March.
We had about two feet of snow and I don’t remember how many calves we lost in that storm…..there were some that I did not know had been born at all until the snow melted and I found tiny carcasses. We did not have enough barn to house all of them…..but I had about 40 heifers in a barn….these were ones I had due dates on and real heavy springers. I would go over at night and check on these.
One night I went over and eased in the door. The barn did not have lights so I carried a big old fashioned battery lantern….the kind where the lantern just bolted onto the battery. This was an old type barn with a livestock area at ground level and a pretty good hay loft above. The interior of the ground level had support posts about eight inches square spaced every ten or twelve feet to carry the load above .
I stood just inside the door shining my light to see what was happening. There were a couple of new mothers tending their calves. On the far end of the barn was a heifer with the newest calf…I eased around the barn checking to see if there were any others. I was about mid way thru the barn when I saw another charbray angus heifer was trying to claim the calf of the new mama…..this gal was in the early stages of her own labor. I decided to try to separate them a bit so she could concentrate on her own business.
As I approached she spied me and decided that she must protect the babies and she charged me with malice on her mind. I ran…trying to avoid calves and other new mamas. Then the misfortune got me….at a dead run I connected with one of the support poles. I have no idea what happened after that…..I woke up about an hour later with a nearly dead lantern providing a faint glow…I had a good sized goose egg on my head….this dispelled my Daddies position that I was the hardest headed he had ever seen. The evil heifer was mothering her own calf and when I began to stir she resumed growling at me. But she did not charge again. I crawled to the door and managed to crawl through it and into the snow.
That March reaffirmed my commitment to fall calving….all you had to worry about in the fall is hurricanes.