Sunday, May 12, 2013

Branding season in full swing

It's round-up and branding season again. It's a good time to see what life is like here on the High Plains, and have some fun at it, too.

I enjoy the sights and sounds of these days. Neighbors and friends gather to help with the work, and then to share a "feed" and good conversation. It's hard, dangerous work but it's gone at with skill and enthusiasm. It's considered a good day if no one gets hurt and the work gets done with cool efficiency. Funny, but at these events there is hardly ever any direction given by the hosting rancher. He doesn't have to. Everybody just swings in and does what needs to be done. No questions asked.

These round-ups and brandings are indeed hard work for all, but they are also the social events of the year.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Goodness, how delicious!

Sitting by the Roadside on a summer’s day, 
Chatting with my messmates passing time away,
Lying in the shadow underneath the trees, 
Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!
Peas! Peas! Peas! Peas! Eating goober peas! 
 Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

That was a popular Confederate marching song. There are several more verses.

I am partial to salted-in-the-shell peanuts and I brought a few pounds of them back on my latest supply run. The dogs share my interest in goober peas. Actually, that is an understatement. They are passionate about them! I can't sit on the deck and have a few without the "peanut gallery showing up and wanting their fair share. I'm aware of the cautions about nuts for dogs, but a normal shucking session doesn't give them more than about a half dozen each— while I struggle to get a few for myself! (I've experimented with just giving them the peanuts in the shell. They will crush the shells and extract the nuts, but they would rather I do that for them.)

By the way, a shelled peanut is about the only comestible that changes Mag's usual exaggerated food-caution. If I offer her a morsel of steak, she will sniff it and inspect it for a second or two before taking it. And there will be the same ritual for the second, third, and fourth helping. But a peanut she snags without delay, inspection, or suspicion. Goodness, how delicious!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Life

The buffalo are well into their calving season. These little guys can run within scant minutes of birth. Great fun watching them enjoy their new environment. Moms and Pops are extremely vigilant at this time and it pays to keep your distance. They are not normally aggressive, but this time of year they can get very cranky and are picky about the company they keep.

May Day

The First of May and what do we wake up to? Four inches on the ground and still coming down right briskly. The day before had been shirt-sleeve weather. That's the High Plains for you. And this might not be the last one either.