Last spring we could hardly find suitable days to brand calves. Every day dawned cold and rainy. Each day that looked like maybe it wouldn’t rain, we had to chose between docking lambs, branding calves and fixing fence (among other things). This year is the opposite. Each day is unrelentingly warm and dry. While this gives us lots of suitable days, the weird weather has compressed seasonal work in its own way. We had to start irrigating when we were still branding. The fences are in much better shape than last year, when near record snow crushed them to the ground. The early dry up and green up, with no following rains, has meant that fences have to be in good shape for early turn out. And everyone is scrambling to take care of the early growth of feed, since it appears that not much regrowth is likely when we come back to fall pastures.
Except for the late calves, we have finally gotten all the calves branded and ready for their rotation to summer pasture on the Routt and Medicine Bow National Forests.