Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More photos from the calf roundup

Here are some more scenes from the old-fashioned calf roundup and processing day. Above is a shot of the cowboy getting both of the calf's hind legs roped. Success!

Although mostly the cowboys were doing the roping, cowgirl Tana gave it a try. She got right in there and started swinging that rope around her head.

Here she is concentrating. See the rope going across her thigh? She roped a calf!

Here's Tana and her horse keeping the horse in place as the processing team goes to work. Tana said she didn't think she was going to be doing any cowgirling that day, hence she didn't get all dudded up.

Here are three cowboys wearing the "proper" cowboy attire. They're waiting as the calves they caught get processed.

Back in the truck little Aron and Desert Boy didn't really know what to make of each other. It will be interesting to see if they grow up to like what their outfits reflect. Aron may be a cowboy like his daddy while Desert Boy may prefer tractors and machinery like his daddy. Or maybe not!

Even Ashley got into the action helping, despite being nine months pregnant. I wish I looked that good when I was nine months along!

It was a busy, fun day.

Here's a mama cow checking on her calf. All the calves quickly rebounded after getting their shots and found their mamas for comfort.

Caleb and Desert Boy watching from the back of the truck. Caleb also got down and sat on calves and carried supplies.

This is a cowboy from another ranch who came to help.

Here's cousin Clay. He roped quite a few calves. Clay was the youngest roper, at age 16, while Lee was the oldest, at 90. Both did very well.

Ranchhand Tim was having a great day. He much preferred processing calves this way to the calf table in the corral like he did last year.

Here's the processing team waiting for the calf to get the last vaccination before being released.
Merlin is from another ranch. He was clearly experienced in roping and consistently brought back a calf every few minutes.

Fortunately it wasn't a very windy day, because the horses and calves did raise a bit of dust!

Definitely the action was more exciting, but the back of the truck crew had fun watching! I was glad to have the opportunity to be there for awhile on the warm spring day. This was the first time our ranch had done the calf processing the old-fashioned way, as far as anyone could remember (although I didn't ask Lee, and he would be the one to ask!). I guess it's time to go practice my roping skills so next year I can help out ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Two-tailed Swallowtail

I saw a beautiful swallowtail on our golden currant bush and couldn't resist snapping a few photos.

They came out well enough that I realized I would be able to identify the butterfly. A couple years ago I wanted to learn all the butterflies in the area, but once I learned there were more than a hundred species, I felt a bit overwhelmed and didn't learn much. Now I'm ready to try again.

When I came in the house, I went on the internet to my favorite butterflies website. One of the neatest things about the website is that it has a list of butterflies and moths by county, so that quickly narrows down what you see. I found that there were about six different swallowtails, and by checking out the photos, I learned that this one is a Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata). In the photo above you can clearly see the secondary protrusion on the tail, along with the pretty blue and orange coloring near the tail.

The two-tailed swallowtail uses nectar from a variety of plants and is fairly common in western North America. I really enjoyed watching it get that nectar--the butterfly balanced delicately as it sipped the nectar, then swooped to the next flower.

One down, quite a few more to go...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preschool Party

It's my turn to carpool to preschool once a week, and I was fortunate to be there for Elizabeth's birthday party. All the kids were so excited. Anytime you mention party, they can hardly sit still. But if they know that there's something good coming, like cupcakes, they can sit for a short while.

So many happy faces! The kids really love preschool, and it's so good for them to start learning how to interact and have some structured activities.

While they were waiting for the cupcakes, Teacher Gwendy reviewed colors with them.

Then came the special moment: cupcake time! Elizabeth was even wearing a Birthday Girl shirt with three cupcakes, so she was having a great day.

Yudneli really enjoyed the cupcakes.

The funniest was Charley, who not only finished his cupcake but licked his plate and those of the kids around him. Those were definitely some good cupcakes!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Old Fashioned Roundup--with Lee

Last weekend, the cowboys on the ranch held an old-fashioned roundup to mark and vaccinate calves. Usually this is done in the corrals with a cattle chute and a calf table, as seen in last year's post on processing calves. The old-fashioned way means that the cowboys have to go out, rope the calves and bring them to a processing area where a team does everything they need to quickly. There were 200 calves to rope. Here is a sampling of photos, with more to come in future posts.

This post focuses on Lee, our 90-year old cowboy. He was out there pretty much the whole time and was definitely one of the best ropers. It takes a bit of strength and flexibility to twirl that rope around, but he managed it time after time.

Most times the calves aren't very cooperative, and sometimes they require a bit of a chase. Lee's eyes are a bit worn out, but once he knew which calf he wanted, he could see just fine to rope it.

Once he roped the calf, it was time to bring it across the fenced area to where a crew was waiting.

The calf is preferably roped by two legs to make it easier for those processing to handle. More on processing in the next post.

I never saw Lee smile so much as during this day. He was certainly in his element. My husband reminded me that Lee won a saddle in a roping competition when he was 70, competing against all ages. Lee's wife said he enjoyed roping so much he used to take a month off each year to go do it. It's so great he had the opportunity to practice those skills again.

Here are a few more shots of Lee in action.
And here's a short video of Lee bringing in a calf, and then it being vaccinated, ear marked, and ear tagged.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Growing Fast

While the bigger kids were playing in the water the other day at the playground, we put the two babies side by side on the picnic table. It wasn't so long ago that Desert Girl looked petite next to Isaac. I guess she didn't like that, so she's been eating like crazy and has gone through a growth spurt. The puffed sleeves also give her a bit of a football player look.
She and Isaac have also learned to stick out their tongues on cue. Just kidding. They were both in very good spirits and were happy to be looking at me standing above them. And maybe they were trying to catch flies.
Here's the full body comparison. Of course they're both so busy moving their legs that it's nearly impossible to get a photo of them with straight legs while they're awake.
Okay, Grandma, hope you enjoyed this post, you said you wanted some new photos!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Best Part of the Playground

We went to the playground the other afternoon and were delighted when a couple of Desert Boy's friends also came. They started out swinging and playing on the slides. But then the real fun began.
It was time to take a drink! And what better way to get a drink than from a spigot.
Elizabeth went first.
Desert Boy managed to get wet quickly, imagine that!
Ava thought it was great.
It was amazing how a little bit of water was so amusing to everyone.
It was nice to have it warm enough that it didn't matter if they got splashed.
After the spigot had run a little while, there was a puddle, which meant even more fun, especially since all the kids were allowed to play in it.
The kids sure worked up a good appetite for dinner.
I'm not sure what happened here--Desert Boy needed a hug for something or other. The kids are generally good at playing together.
But they are kids, so they tussle over things like who gets the ball.
I think this was Desert Boy's way of saying that he was really tired--but he didn't want to give up the ball!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates