It’s just a season. These words bring me comfort whether in the seasons of life or just the day to day doin’s on the ranch. In part one, I talked about the newness and business of Spring. We are now fast approaching the long days of Summer. This time is also known around her as Hay Season. By the time summer rolls around, the grass in the hay fields is nice and tall. That means it’s time to harvest it. We mostly use big round bales for feeding in the winter. But we also bale square bales to stack in the barn, and to sell to other farms and ranches. During hay season, the days are long and usually hot. It’s a time for hard work and long days mowing, raking, baling and stacking the hay in the barns. We watch the weather close during this time also. We don’t want to mow a field if the forecast is calling for rain because if the hay gets wet it loses nutrients and the cattle don’t eat it as well. If the weatherman happens to get it wrong and storm clouds start to roll in the hay crew has to double step it. In addition to all of this, the cattle need to be rotated from pasture to pasture. We do this so that the ground has a chance to rest and our cattle get the best nutrition from the grass. It’s important to us to be good stewards of our animals as well as the land.
Keeping track of the water sources is important during the summer, especially during times of drought like the last couple of years. If the creeks and ponds get low or go dry, we have to haul water daily to each herd.
Cattle rubs are put up to help with fly and tick control. A cattle rub is rope of fabric that will absorb insect repellent. It is hung between 2 objects where the cattle cross frequently (fence post, trees, gates). As it rubs across the animal, it kills existing flies and ticks and helps prevent others from gathering. It is a way we try to keep the animal comfortable.
As you can tell, it’s a very busy time of the year. Some days we don’t come in from the field until well past dark. And when we do it’s pretty much shower and fall into bed. When I was still working, (See my post From Desk Job to Shoveling Horse Poo) Jonesy and I didn’t get to spend much time together. There would always come a point that it really bummed me out…I missed him. I am thankful that now that we are working together I can at least wave from my tractor to him on his tractor!
When the last bale of hay is stacked in the barn we will have some time for each other. After all…It’s Just a Season!