PDF LOG 44795

Monday, August 15, 2022


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

bush hog paddock big bull 1…..open paddock big bull 2a…start mowing grass again….did the front and along the drive and the trailer lot….had dominoes pizza for supper….day turned pretty as the afternon progressed….temps were moderate…mostly sunny and no rain

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

another oretty day….supposed to be hotter today…..horses were near the open big bull pasture when I went to feed them….had to call them up the cow lane to get them to the stable….my right ankle was being problematic again…..it was swollen and sore so I just laid around on the sofa and let it rest…..didn’t even put a pair of jeans on today…..wore my sweats all day long

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Another pretty morning….my ankle is much improved this morning….the flerd came right up the cow lane as soon as they saw me going toward the stable…..they are eating now…going to ashland feed store in a bit to restock some feed ingredients then home to resume grass cutting…….As I finish this days report it is actually Friday morning….just came in from feeding the mule and dispensing token snacks to the horses…..I did cut grass for a couple of hours and then I got a reminder of an event Thursday afternoon so I came in and took a bath and went to the event…so more grass cutting tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Friday morning my ankle was initally pain free but now it hurts a little….I think it is getting better though….another pretty day but it is supposed to be warmer today….

Saturday, August 20, 2022

bush hogged big bull 2a and opened big bull 2b for the flerd…..then started mowing again with the riding mower.  Got the whole yard done this morning except for the trimming …..but that never ends….figured out that lace up shoes are agravatting my ankle…..by lunch time my right foot was sore again….spent the afternoon with my feet up and watching some of the old cowboy stars on the western channel.  gonna go do the afternoon feeding in a little bit

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sunday was another do little day…the equines were in big bull field so I once again let them thru the shortcut around the old barn site to go to the stable for their morning handout….they only get a morning handout becaUse Dixie is getting to be an older unit like me….so she gets to eat morning and night….the others just get a taste so they won’t feel neglected….Had a facebook memory pop us over the weekend….it was a ten year old photo I took of Stewart riding Dixie when we went to deleware to look at her….does not seem that could have beeen ten years ago…..we also stopped briefly at Wye Plantation on that trip….ankle is still being a little problematic but much inproved over last week….did mow and close  big bull 2b and opened big bull 3a…..i have decided against sowing fall covers this year….save a bit of money and we have grass foujr feet tall that we are grazing now and i have alll fall for paddocks to regenerate. light rain in the afternoon…..I caught up on my Randolph Scott movies

JAN 16 2022 PDF BLOG

JAN 16 2022   PDF BLOG

American Cowboy Picture

Baby Jim
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.  

PDF LOG BLOG 1 4 2021

Dreary Dank and Drizzly for the last 48 hours here….checked the gauges this morning and there was 6/10 of an inch in one and 5/10 of an inch in the other….so we averaged at 5.5/10 of an inch. On top of what we had two days ago and all the rainy days prior to that…..looking for alligators to take up residence before too long….Beavers have moved into Jacks pond below my house…have not seen them but they are working on the trees.

The ground is absolutely rotten…water standing everywhere…mud everywhere.

Nothing of great import accomplished in the last two days….

A lot of piddling little things that will have to be repeated soon.

Going thru hay like Sherman went thru Georgia….have ordered some more.  considering how to scale down livestock.  No decisions…just considering…

Both the cows and the equines have some sacrifice areas….the cows can get up on the hill where it is a little drier…the horses can go to the wood lot in the front and there are a few dry spots there…most paddocks are closed to keep the animals from destroying the grass and the cover crops they will have in the spring.

Everyone looks good except Dixie….having trouble putting weight on her…all the others are pretty fat…the soupy ground is causing Pete some soreness and softness in his feet. I have nowhere drier to put him….

The cows are doing okay and the three calves are growing very well….I am feeding them about 3 lbs of grain per head per day and they look pretty good.  They are beginning to know the routine and have stopped fleeing when I am around….this evening they were standing right at the feed tub with me when I put the feed in….Still very pleased with this years heifer calf….she is growing right with the bulls and is right pretty….If we ever dry out a little I will try  to take some pictures….right now everything is muddy.  The steer is doing very well and I need to try and find a processing appointment for him…but most processors are all booked up.

PDF LOG BLOG 1 2 2021

PDF LOG BLOG 1 2 2021

First Saturday of the new year….felt like a Monday because everything was pretty much closed yesterday for new years day.  

It rained last night…..weather terrorist missed again….they said light showers….I could hear it beating on the roof over the sound of the television….it had pretty much stopped at 11 when I took Apache out for his evening relief.  I had two gauges out and this morning one read 6.5 tenths and the other maybe six feet away had 8 tenths…average 7.25 tenths.

Made the weekly foray into Ashland this morning…..usual stuff…Breakfast at Waffle House…then to the feed store and then to Walmart for perishables…..stopped by tractor supply and ordered a wheel for my driveway gate…..getting tired of carrying it every day….had to order one that would go inside the gate as I don’t have clearance from the post to put an in stock end wheel.  Found this one after searching on line and went to tractor supply to see if they had one…..of course they didn’t so I am still buying something that I hope will fit my application….That is what I get for hanging the gate too perfectly 25 years ago….

Then back home and unload the groceries and then unload the feed……by then it was 1:30.  The weather was very pleasant and it would have been a lovely day to ride but with all the rain the ground was miserably sloppy and too wet to go on public trails.

I had trash to go to the transfer station so We loaded up and Apache assumed his position in the copilot seat and off we went….We decided to go to the one in Doswell and also try our hand at getting a GPS of the trails we went on last week at North Anna Battlefield Park.  We went to the park first……The parking lot was full….I had to wait for someone to leave to get a parking spot….I did not think to count cars but this parking lot is not nearly as big as the one at Poor Farm Park.  But the trails as Poor Farm park would have been sopping wet today.  We decided to give the crowed park a go anyway….

The original intent was to GPS the trails we walked the other day…..but there were so many people….people with kids….people with dogs,,,,people with kids and dogs and people with people….we soon got rerouted….

Went to a point on the gray Trail that we did not hit the previous trip….it was a point at the apex of the confederate lines that overlooked the River and would have commanded the field of battle.  The earthworks  (still plainly visible)at the top of the hill were elevated probably 100 to 150 feet above the river and it was a sharp drop off… impossible to attack.  Today I had the GPS but no phone or camera so I did not get the spectacular photograph…..below is the route we walked today…..just 2.04 miles but it was good exercise and Apache was tired when we got back to the van…..

I mentioned dogs….we saw the usual assortment…… for the most part…..

There was one family who had one that impressed me….I asked what kind of dog that was and the man on the other end of the rope said something that did not register with me, so I still don’t know what kind of animal it was…..I would say in size it was as big or bigger than the man….I would describe it as a cross between a wolf and a small bear.   The thing was huge…..black and brown and had eyes that just looked right through me….Apache wanted to make its acquaintance but that thing could have devoured Apache in about two bites….and probably me in a couple of more bites…….fortunately it did not appear to be aggressive…..

From there we went by the transfer station to drop off our trash and ran into our old
Friend Court Warfield.  Court was the one who had red angus on Jacks place next to us for several years after Jack died.  We had a nice short visit…Court tickled me when he said Who would have thought that a Trip to the trash station would turn into a social event.”

From there we made our way home and did the evening chores and supper.

PDF LOG BLOG 12 28 2020

 This is the first edition of the new and improved PDF LOG Blog.


We have a web site that we don’t use much so why not post the log to the blog and make life simple…It also gives me more room for verbosity than an excel data block and I can format things to look normal.

When I rode with Steve Swartz the other day we discussed hiking as well as riding. Last winter Apache and I did a good bit of hiking on weekends. We did a lot of exploring at Poor Farm Park and discovered miles of trails. We did a couple of miles there at the end of last week. Steve asked me if I had ever hiked at the North Anna Battlefield Park. I told him I had been to the park but had never hiked any trails…He suggested I try it and said he hikes there a lot. Apache and I decided to try it out this morning. We waited until the sun came out and warmed things a little bit and then we ventured out…

I thought the park was a small one to commemorate a minor battle from the War of Northern Aggression. I was wrong on both counts. The battle was a fairly significant engagement and is explained in detail by the many markers along the trail. And the park is not small. Apache and I did both the Blue Trail and the Gray trail. There are several other trails that we did not venture down. The trail map box was empty so we had no idea where we were going. When we began I reached for my GPS and realized that it was sitting on the desk behind me as I type this….I had left it there after downloading my last adventure….So I do not have an exact measurement of how far we went. However having a little trail experience I estimate that we did about four and a half miles. I will GPS it when I find the strength to do those trails again.

It is a beautiful park and the trails are mostly paved with a good layer of rock dust….they are certainly dryer than the trails at Poor Farm Park. Several bridges and culvert pipes span the frequent water features. There are numerous markers to relate the events of import and the layout and action of the battle as well as still existing trenches and earthworks dug over 150 years ago. We were surprised at the number of cars in the parking area and the number of people we passed on a Monday.

This park is not for the faint of heart or for the infirm. I did not see it when we embarked on our adventure but there is a sign to that effect at the trail head. I took a picture of it as we exited…..When we started Apache was trying to tow me along…..When we got back his pace was a little more reserved and patient.

This battlefield was an attempt by the Northern Army to cross the North Anna River above Doswell, Va. The Southern forces were arrayed mostly along the hilltops overlooking the South side of the North Anna River. One of the trails took us all the way to the River. The signage indicated that there was an intense storm the first night of the battle and in the steep and rolling land every bottom had a flood of water racing to the river. The River was probably roaring as it was today. We had a pretty big storm just a couple of days ago and all the streams are swollen. I took a picture of it but the photo cannot convey the roar that I could hear downstream. We heard it from a half mile away before we ever saw it.

Had I been a union soldier someone would have had to shoot me to get me to enter that water in an attempt to cross it. Somewhere just out of sight downstream there was apparently a dam or a narrows which was causing the roar of the water we could hear but it was just out of sight. I don’t know how deep this river is here but it is not wadeable and was moving with some velocity…. And if the soldiers survived the river there are immediate steep hills to climb with the southern army pouring rifle and cannon fire down upon the heads of those attacking. The hills were numerous and steep. When we finally got to the trail that winds along the river I looked up at the hills above me and tried to imagine what it must have been like to try to climb those hills while being shot at by an entrenched enemy.

The Blue trail ended at a point on the river pictured above. There was about a half mile back track along the river and then a long steep climb. We noticed a shortcut that some hardy souls had been taking and guessed it went straight up the hill and intersected with the trail along the crest of the hill. We decided to try it as it was significantly shorter, maybe a hundred yards up a hill and we had to climb that hill one way or the other. This path did not have blue stone dust on it. It was a path thru the woods leaf covered and steep….VERY  STEEP…..things were going along okay until we hit a real steep spot and a foot slipped on the wet ground. I managed to grab a sapling and get a foothold. I crabbed sideways and got off the path and off the slick ground. Worked my way over to a tree and paused to catch my breath….we were about half way up and I looked down and realized I was in a bad way and could not go down…I would not have ridden a horse down that trail….knew I could not keep my feet under me going down….we looked up and saw a way to use trees for support and handholds and stay off the slick trail and with a couple of more rest stops we reached the summit and the path.

I am getting too old for this foolishness….at least I was not being shot at…….next time I will stick to the paved trails. Once we got back on the blue stone trails it was safer….but still several big hills to navigate….It was a fun outing.