Truly, our life’s blood
water, from stream to pivot,
brings life in winter.
After we rescued the misguided GPS traveler on the morning of July 4th, we moved on to rotating the bucks to a new pasture across the Little Snake River. Even though the grass is greener on the other side of the Little Snake, the bucks were not enthusiastic about crossing. It did not involve any swimming (although shorn sheep can swim). This was not, so to speak, our first rodeo, and we knew that eventually they would see it our way. It took a lot of whistling, throwing of sticks, calling back the dog, roping and pulling a couple of bucks across to serve as a “draw”, but we eventually prevailed. Our crew included Pat, Meghan, Bridget (on loan from Arizona), Siobhan, Bubba and me, plus Belle the Border Collie.
At the cookhouse breakfast, Meghan said, “You can’t make up my life.”
I had enjoyed a solid night’s sleep, so I asked her what was up. She said that she had been out int he middle of the night trying to locate a Harvest Host RV guest (another story), when she noticed lights in the middle of the hay meadow. She went to investigate, and discovered a young man who had somehow followed his GPS into the very irrigated field and gotten very very stuck. She retrieved him, pointed his really muddy self to a shower and a bed. Mind you, it was 3 a.m. It turns out that he was looking to spend the Fourth of July with his uncle, who lives in the mountains to the south and west. We mustered our crew, pulled him out, and delivered him to his grateful uncle and cousin. Just another morning on the Ladder Ranch!
Lambing is closely followed by docking the new lambs. This means literally docking the tails, to protect against flystrike, earmarking and paint branding to indicate ownership, castrating to make management easier and to create better meat quality, vaccinating to protect health, and a look at each and every lamb for problems to address. It makes for long days, but also adds camaraderie and teamwork to our hard-working crew! A good lunch is sure to appear. No one has trouble sleeping at the end of the day
We decided to try a new breed of cattle to crossbreed with our Angus and black baldie heifers. These Japanese-origin Akaushi bulls were located in Muleshoe, Texas (northwest). Pat, Sharon, Tiarnan and Rhen made a run to Texas to pick up them up. We stopped in Denver and Mosquero, New Mexico on the trip down. Our friends Jack and Tuda Crews have a wonderful bed and breakfast, The Rectory, in Mosquero. We were able to visit with them before heading on to Muleshoe. After loading the bulls, we made a 14-hour run home. The boys were troopers all the way! We unloaded in the dark.
My Dad, George Salisbury, and his cousin Bob Terrill, used to run cattle together in the Powder Wash country. The corrals, north of Powder Wash Camp, are still known as the Terrill Corrals. While the corrals don’t see as much activity as they used to, our family and the Terrills still brand calves in the corrals, with Bob’s son Tim and granddaughter Tate.