Well, the Bag Lady had such a busy day yesterday, she didn't have time to compose a blog post in advance! On the other hand, it gives her something to tell you about!
She did some laundry and house cleaning (don't envy her because her life is so glamorous!) and took her truck in to the garage for a tune-up. When she and the Rancher got back from picking it up in the late afternoon, they decided to go for a walk around the place. When they got to the corral, they realized that almost all the cows and calves were actually in the corral. It was another hot day, and the corral is surrounded by big trees, so it's shady (and there's a water source) and the whole herd was lying down, resting.
The Rancher decided it was too good an opportunity to miss, so he and the Bag Lady snuck around and closed some gates and trapped the animals. (She knows you are wondering why they would want to trap the animals, and she's about to tell you - patience, grasshopper!) This sneaking around plan wasn't entirely successful, and the Rancher and Bag Lady did get in a bit of a cardio workout (interval training!) chasing the few who made a break for it. In the end, the humans won, even though the Bag Lady almost collapsed from the exertion. She hadn't had anything to eat since her breakfast cereal, and she prefers to blame that fact, rather than admit she is really out of shape.
One of the necessities of ranching is having to do a few things to the calves when they are young. Sometimes these things can be done almost immediately after the calf is born, but this year, with the Rancher and Bag Lady both a little crippled up, these things haven't been done. Now that the Rancher is feeling a little better, he decided it was time to get caught up. His brother had volunteered to come out from town and give a hand, so after the animals were locked in the corral, the Rancher called his brother.
His brother came out and the three of them separated calves from cows and herded the calves into the barn. It was hot and dusty work, so once the calves were locked in the barn, a wee break for a beverage was taken. Then they set to work ear-tagging and ringing. (Sounds rather charming, doesn't it?) All the calves had an identifying ear tag inserted, and (if you are male, you might want to skip the next part of this sentence!) the bull calves were turned into steers by putting a castrating ring on them.
Here they are, inserting an ear tag:
(click on any of the images to enlarge)
Naturally, this is a rather noisy occasion, as the mothers stand outside in the corral and bawl at their babies to "get out of that barn right this minute and come to me!" (naturally, when the Bag Lady took a second to take a picture, the cows had all turned away....)
After all the ear-tagging and ringing was finished, the calves were released and reunited with their mothers:
As soon as the corral gate was opened, the cows took their calves and left for the furthest corner of the place!
The Rancher's brother stayed for another beverage and a bit of a visit, then he went home to have his slightly delayed supper (it was 9 pm) Shortly after he left, the phone rang. The Rancher answered, and after a few cryptic sentences, hung up, turned to the Bag Lady and said "Get your camera" It had been his brother on the phone, explaining that as he was passing the edge of their property, he saw a deer with a newborn fawn! The Rancher and the Bag Lady jumped in the truck and drove down the road. Sure enough, there was a deer with her baby. As soon as the truck slowed down, the deer took off running across the field, tiny spotted fawn at her heels. The Bag Lady apologizes, and begs you to click on the picture to enlarge it, then use your imagination and try to spot the little brown dots in the centre of the photo, just above the pesky tree branch that was in the way....
Oh, and the Bag Lady took this next photo at 11 pm the night before last, in an attempt to show how light it still is at that time of night at this time of year. The flash went off, but it really didn't illuminate the Bag Lady's entire yard....
And, finally, one last picture that was on the Bag Lady's camera that she has no clue how it got there....