Our little valley, like most of the area, is really suffering for rain. We are just bone dry due to such little snow for winter 2011/2012 and only a few inches of rain last summer. This last winter we were blessed with the snow we needed but if we don’t continue to get water we will be in trouble again. The Rancher watches the weather man every night to see if the rain will come. Every night he prays so earnestly that we will have some moisture.
|A look at the clouds coming in from my front porch|
And I think that he has bombarded heaven enough that little by little we are getting some moisture. In fact you can see that the fields are turning green and the rain clouds are rolling in. Its amazing, I never thought I would love rain as much as I do being a rancher’s wife. I do admit that I do have some selfish reasons for wanting rain- maybe if it rains enough, The Rancher will slow down for a day that I can see him!
Something you really should grasp about Locomotive is that it is a wide open desert range. In fact, lets consult the thesaurus to really get a feel for it… DESERT: desolate – deserted – empty – wild – barren – dull. Yes I think that sums it all up! Actually I am afraid to admit it into the blogosphere (because once anything is on the internet it is there forever!) but it does have a unique beauty that has really, REALLY, really grown on me. That doesn’t mean I love it, but the emptiness is somewhat peaceful.
Ok, I got way off track… It is desert which means that there is NO water unless you make it happen, by either hauling water or digging a well. With the number of cows and the thousands of acres they went with the latter. This also means that it needs to be checked often to be sure that there are no malfunction because no water= bad news. If The Rancher doesn’t have plans to stay to Locomotive all day we will ride out there with him. The actual checking of the water isn’t that interesting, but it is always fun to go for a ride and look for a good picture.
While the cows calve out in Locomotive (north of the Salt Lake), the heifers stay at the ranch to calve. Because they are first time mommas we like to be close for
if when they need help. Once their calves are old enough we load up a semi-full and head for Locomotive. Here’s some fun trivia for you… the reason it is called Locomotive is because this is where the Transcontinental Railroad ran. The tracks are gone but the path is still around. The Rancher tells me that there are still some telephone poles (or something that ran with it) but I can’t point them out… Someday I will get some pictures out there! (Road trip, anyone?)Anyway, here are some pictures from hauling the heifers out.
|Wide open spaces in Locomotive|
|Check out The Rancher! Sporting the HOT scruffy look|
|The Rancher’s boy- an ever faithful sidekick, ALWAYS willing to help|
|Where we unload there isn’t a loading chute or corrals which means we get to bring along our own|
|Some one set down the hot shot… Better watch out!|
We tried to brand on a windy day.. and I don’t recommend it. Ok, lets start over, I really shouldn’t see “we” tried to brand because when I looked out the window…
and what did I see? popcorn popping I saw crazy wind and opted out of being on the branding crew. We showed up in time for lunch and stayed just long enough to know I made the right choice to be the rancher’s wife (take care of The Rancher’s kids… and laundry) and not the rancher wife (eating dust with the rest of ’em).
In fact, when I did venture out of the truck I spent most of the time watching from the horse trailer.
It ended up being so dusty that they had to quit early. The cowboys couldn’t catch anything, and when they did it was a hard knowing which brand to put on. Even once they figured that out they had to be careful to make sure it was just the calf that got branded and not the crew! On top of that the cows trashed the fence- its pretty hard to brand when the cattle don’t show up…
There were some blue skies, so long as you weren’t trying to find them through the dust…
Check out The Rancher! He was so covered in dirt! All of the sudden he was tanner and had a thicker goatee… And are those flowers growing from the dirt in his ears?! Maybe not, but we sure went through the Q-tips that night when The Rancher was cleaning up… Actually, you wanna hear something terrible and funny at the same time? Just when The Rancher got home, the power went out because of the CRAZY wind! When he needed a shower most, he couldn’t. But then our fabulous neighbors offered their shower to us. You may be asking why they had power and we didn’t… Well, not only are they fabulous, but also brilliant because they have a generator hooked up to their house. Lesson learned- we need a generator!