It’s here already. Combining started on the first of July.
The heat is suffocating. The ground is dry and cracked and the wheat is burnt golden brown and ready to cut. Lots of wheat ground was cut early and baled. There was just not enough moisture for it to grow and the wheat head to fill out. Hay is in very short supply and worth a fortune right now. The wheat bales will at least be something to fill a cows belly. Hopefully baled green there will be some nutritional value. Most of it will be ground in with good exorbitantly expensive alfalfa.
The air has been heavy with smoke this summer. The scent of it is overwhelming every time you step out side. Every one keeps asking where the nearest fire is. We have been lucky so far no big ones real close. Today it looks foggy out from the smoke and the closest fire is near Edgemont SD. That’s not enough of a fire to bring us this much smoke, so it looks like we have those Colorado people to thank. Hopefully this is the worst we get from them, the fires down there are horrendous.
But the blazing red sun doesn’t slow the combines any. I will be abandoned and alone for the next week or so as my husband, his father and a neighbor work in the fields.
Except when they call desperate for someone to bring them food of course.
Ava and I went for a beautiful ride this weekend. We hopped on Coyote bareback, double, and meandered about the yard. We paused to watch the guys, her little brother Cade included, switching semis around to different trailers getting ready for wheat harvest. We let Coyote, who is not spoiled at all, stop to graze. Why do horses like to eat the flowers off Canadian Thistle? It does seem like it would be prickly.
When we finished riding Ava decided we needed to make the horses pretty. First it was only Jerry. Since she is a girl and all. We braided her forelock then we braided her mane. That was so much fun, she decided Nevil would like to be able to see. So we brought him in and braided his forelock, not his mane cause he’s a boy, and decided a bridle path might be good too.
Poor Coyote, turned out already, didn’t leave soon enough. So he got to come back to receive the works. That’s what he gets for sticking around to mock his now beautiful and manicured pasture mates.
I took pictures of Ava with her hair all braided to match the horses as she helped groom them, but my phone ate them. Stupid phone.
Last weekend was hot horribly, miserably hot. Perfect weather to wash the…..
No simple washing of cars for us. Perhaps this weekend we will get down to those mundane matters.
The horribly dry weather has lead to an early and poor wheat harvest. We saw the first harvesters going on June 26 and probably won’t be far behind. Time to get ready. Every body knows a clean combine works so much more efficiently or at least cuts down on fire hazard.
On another note, I was in high school before I knew that warsh was not spelled with an R.
The Daisy Dog found me last summer. Her wet cold nose pushed into my hand as I walked along. After jumping out of my skin I looked down to see a skinny little dog looking up at me. She wiggled and squirmed and begged to be petted.
“Why hello there” I said “are you for me?”
She said yes. It was very clear I swear I could hear her. So I took the Yellow dog with a pink nose home with me.
Daisy is still skinny and still little. She doesn’t believe in eating as there is too much to do in life. She doesn’t walk, she bounds, often visible in short burst as she clears the tops of three foot weeds chasing pheasants. She loves every one and every thing. Her joy is expressed clearly as she leaps up to greet any newcomer with happy licks and a furiously wagging tail. Not to say that she is ill mannered. She comes instantly when called and is a surprisingly good cow dog. Mostly because she comes when called, a trait I have found to be rare in cow dogs. She easily goes all day behind the cows not pushing to hard or biting at heels.
Or she did until she discovered the joy of four wheelers. She loves four wheelers with an undying love. With that much energy why run when you could ride? Now she runs desperately to the nearest four wheeler and begs to be let on. She’s not picky she’ll ride with any one. She balances precariously on the back, tongue blowing in the wind.
When people ask me what kind of dog my little Daisy is, I smile and tell them “Why she’s a yellow dog of course!”
They have been after us for a while now. Creeping ever closer. No one ever sees them but we know they are there. They attack in the darkness of night or in the broad light of day, stealthily so as not to draw attention. So far no real damage has been done but I’m sure they are just biding their time.
When walking through the garden one peaceful evening we came upon a labyrinth of gopher tunnels. Not the one or two fresh mounds that have been popping up regularly but a maze of freshly dug tunnels. Starting (finishing?) by the green house he dug straight down a row of newly sprouted corn. Fortunately he missed it by inches. His path was clearly visible above the ground. The tracks lead south forking and branching in a mad flurry until he ran out of energy at the edge of the tilled ground.
Nothing is more fun then shopping for horses. I love to browse the internet looking for that perfect deal. Moms old gelding’s health has been getting steadily worse to the point that he is mostly un-rideable. She made the mistake of mentioning that she would like a replacement. Skip of course is not going any where. He will stay a pasture pet well loved and well fed, but a horse that could be ridden would be nice.
I was on a mission. Goggle is my friend. So is Craigslist for that matter. What would be fun? Morgan is preferred but not necessary. Gaited is also at the top of the list. Maybe something older, who want’s to mess with a youngster especially now that my brothers little boy is starting to ride. A good fast walk is a must.
We picked up our niece Ava last night and went to see Brave. I have been greatly anticipating it. The previews looked great, the horses, her hair, the accents.
It was… just like the preview. I wish they would give a little less away.
Loved it though. The horses were very fat but well done. The moral of the story was excellent. Bad guys and even good guys were very scary for a six year old. I’m not sure Ava saw most of the movie. She watched with her jacket over her head.
Taking Ava home we stopped at the fountain and watched it for a bit. The lights were on and the night had cooled down enough not to be so miserably hot. Family’s were scatted across the lawn watching the dancing water. Alliance really has a beautiful park.
I was looking for a new horse and trying to decide if I wanted to go with the old Morgan cow-horse blood lines or the gaited Morgan lines which
trace even farther back. To the beginning you could say. I had been told that I could have one or the other but not both. Every one knows gaited horses can’t work cows. I studied and did my research noticing over and over that the same names were popping up. I realized that many of the great Morgan cow horses were gaited, duh. It makes sense, with lots of ground to cover and no pick-ups or four wheelers the guys would have wanted a smooth ground covering gait. So I looked and called around until I was referred to the Arapaho Ranch. I have never seen them advertised and no web sight but word must get around they sell lots of horses.
So we went and looked and I came home with Arapaho Jerry. She doesn’t show a lot of gait on the ground but once I had her riding out on the trails she would gait down hill. Then when I asked for a trotting leg yield and gradually we learned a cue and occasionally became more often. Depending on her mood she is capable of almost any gait I believe. Once when upset about her buddy being gone she broke into an incredibly speedy saddle rack and we zipped past all the guys on Quarter horses we had been moving cows with. They looked at us funny.
She proved quiet cowy to. I loved showing her at ranch horse competitions. We were the only non Quarter horse and gaited as well. I love being the underdog. She loved to work cattle. When she really gets into cutting she will squeal and ring her head. Maybe not the best form but she is having fun. Calving this spring she ran away (tried to) with Nocturne because a cow was leaving and dang it she knew she was supposed to bring it back. We switched horses after that and I let her have her head a little. She hadn’t lost a thing from her show days. She nearly dumped me turning a cow on the fence. By the last year I showed her we won four out of five classes one second and a judges choice award for best ladies horse at the show. All against very nice Quarter horses.
My point being that the gait seemed to help her work cows. She would pace along side them ready to spin on a dime. I never once felt that it hindered us. I guess you can have the best of both worlds.