Friday, July 08, 2011

Riding and raking....

How about a run through the creek?  We had to bring the heifers through a pasture that is wet, wet, wet.  There used to be a time when our cows hardly knew what it was to cross a full creek, but now they lumber right in.  The horses do too, right behind them.  The wet weather has caused some hoof rot to plague part of the heifers.  We put out  mineral and some salt treated with organic iodine that usually keeps the hoof rot at bay, but now and then it can't be helped and the critters must be treated with a dose of tetracycline.

 A couple of the bulls were due to come out of the heifers too so we sorted off two heifers and the two bulls and brought them into the corrals.  The bulls got a free ride ( in the horse trailer) home and the heifers were turned back out to pasture.

 Here were our rides for the day .... Tommy, Texas, and Pete.  PC was already loaded in the horse trailer so I didn't get his picture.  Wait.  Yes, I did.  He's the buckskin in the photo above this one.

On the way home, I just had to snap a picture of the neighbor's pasture.  It's full to the brim with sweet clover.  It is beautiful to the eyes and is sweet to the smell.  There's just nothing like the fragrance of sweet clover in bloom.

The rest of our day is spent in the hay field.   Eldest son mows, I rake, and Hubs bales.  Actually, I don't want you to think that I rake ALL the hay.  I mostly spell someone for a few hours every now and then.  But it seems I am spending more time on the rake all the time.  There is just so much to do these days and it's something I can do (and I like to do) to help.  The rake is connected to an open-air tractor and I love being out in the fresh air, smelling the hay, and feeling the heat of the tractor motor and the sun.  I don't mind the heat at all, so it's a good job for me.  I take lots of water along and wear a brimmed hat to keep the sun off my face.  Otherwise, I wear shorts, sandals and a tank top -- catching some rays.  If I know I'm going to be out there for several hours, I always grease up with some sunscreen and take along a long-sleeved, lightweight, cotton shirt to cover up when I've had enough sun.  

There is so much hay yet to cut and bale.  An unbelievable crop for us this year.  The haying has been fairly slow going for us since we seem to get a rain shower about every other night.  We can't bale wet hay so it must lay out in the sun and wind to dry before we can turn it and bale it.  It is very satisfying to see all those rows of raked hay to the side of me.  I know that I've contributed a little bit to help to get the hay in.
Next week we start to artificially inseminate part of the cows.  For me, that will mean more hours in the saddle, which I like.  There will be sorting to do on horseback and then all the cows and calves will be taken out to summer breeding pastures.   It is just so lush and green and all the waterholes are full of fresh water.  We know we are blessed.

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.
~Psalm 23 

Who likes Marty Robbins?  Raise your hand and sing with me....


  1. It is wonderful to read what you do. I do love the smell of freshly cut hay and since the hay fields have been used for houses around here it makes me sad not to see it like I once did. Though early in the mornings I can still smell them if the wind is right. I love the picture of the horse and that huge open space as you round up the cows.
    It is just beautiful and and wonderful life.
    So glad I got to meet you.

  2. Jody, what an amazing life you lead! I'm just enjoying so much looking at your pics of daily life with horses and cows, up close. I can't imagine :) I love the photo of the huge fields of clover. Made me think immediately of how much our bees would love that!

    When I was a girl, my aunt treated us all to a trip to Colorado, and we visited some sort of ranch one evening, ate supper there, and listened to a show, put on by the "cowboys," I think. I've always remembered that they sang "Cool, Clear Water." Their version had an echo after each of those words. I've never forgotten that song.

    Thanks for the memories!

  3. I bet you are in such good shape! Love these photos. Those horses are beauties!

  4. Livin' the Life Ms. Gumbo! It sounds heavenly there -- your horses are gorgeous. I think I would have loved to have been a farm wife -- especially the way you write about it. We had a terribly wet spring this year, but the last 3 or so weeks have been so dry that there are big cracks in the ground now. Hopefully we'll get some rain next week!

  5. Wow! It's amazing to me how you can make hard work sound so fun. I'm sure your family apprecciates your help very much. I love the photos the the little slice of working on the farm that you share with us. I can almost smell that fresh cut hay! The pictures are lovely. Looks like you live in a John Wayne movie. :)

  6. G'day Gumbo Lily. Ah, life on the land, it's a great way to live. I shall be sorry to be leaving it in another nine days. I always liked Marty Robbins. I think I have one or two of his old records here. I shall go and have a look. Take care. Liz...

  7. Oh such beautiful GREEN! I've never smelled clover Jody. Is it somewhat like the smell of freshly cut grass?

    Busy days for you and yours.


  8. Hi Jody, I'm so glad to see that your crops weren't ruined by that awful storm! But what is this raking you speak of? Please tell me you're not walking behind the tractors with a garden rake (I'm picturing the ladies in Lark Rise following the threshers picking up bits of wheat for the winter ;). Is there some kind of ride on machine involved in raking -- I hope!? Don't forget, 'rest on Sunday' ;).

  9. Oh, the horses are beautiful! You are the best worker ever, Jody! Don't you love summer?

  10. So nice to see your lush, green fields. Our hay crop is in until we have rain to make the grass grow. We're very dry here and very hot to go with it. We may have to start feeding hay.

    I wear a long sleeved shirt even inside the cab on my tractor. My skin is so sensitive; a doctor told me one time I should have married a prince instead of a farmer.

    Farm life is the best, isn't it?

  11. What translation is the Scripture verse?

  12. I enjoy reading about your day even though I have no desire to have as big a farm. But you write so descriptively I can really enjoy the time spent haying too - the smell of your neighbors clover - all of it. It's so interesting to read the day to day doings of your farm!

  13. I want to take a field trip to your house--literally! I could help with the hay. I can rake. Oh, my goodness, Jody, here I go, romanticizing your life again, but it does seem filled with good, satisfying work.

    You know, if you need some extra farm hands, I've got two boys over here looking for some summer fun ...


  14. What beautiful horses! Love the peek into your ranch life. I hope you get some good R&R after all your hard work.

  15. I love to hear about your days. They are different from mine. I so admire you and all you do. xoxo Clarice

  16. Yes, you are blessed. I loved riding the 'rake' with you today, and helping round up the cattle!

    Blessings, Debbie

  17. We've been enjoying watching the local farmers getting in the hay. We've had frequent showers also, so it's quite a feat to get it dry enough to bale, but the fields are full of big round bales. It's a reassuring sight for those of us who buy our whole supply of hay!
    You are blessed to work with your family in the great outdoors!

  18. Plain Ol Vanilla,
    No, clover does not smell like grass, but it is a very, very sweet flowery smell. Maybe close to a strong sweet pea smell.

    The rake has big, round wheels that have rake tines on them. They sweep the hay and turn it into the middle. I pull this rake with a tractor.

    Thank you for your comments!


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