Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Ranch Ramblings
March 5, 2005

The last few weeks we have been experiencing beautiful springtime weather, but it is getting quite dry and dusty. Calving is in full swing, and the nights have been warm enough that we have not had to put hardly any into the barns. We are over a third done. It has been our experience that the biggest runs come between a third and half done. After the half-way point is reached, things always seem to slow down a bit. Along the same line, have any of you noticed that when you count a bunch of cattle through a gate, they always seem to flow through the fastest when they are between a third and halfway counted out?

This morning we fed hay and cake, and then had an early dinner. The rest of the day until dark-thirty was spent in the saddle. On the end of the ranch that Saddletramp lives on, we had not sorted heavies since a week ago last Wednesday. That is not often enough, but as the weather has been wonderful, we haven't worried about it. There were 204 head in one bunch, and 150 in another. Between the two bunches, there have been 37 calves born since we last sorted. Observing the cows while rounding up, I decided to sort the opposite from how I usually do, and cut out the cows that didn't need to go to the heavy lot. We cut out 61 in the biggest bunch, and 39 out of the others, leaving an even hundred. We left these and the 37 pairs on that end of the ranch, and that left 217 heavies to trail the three miles home.

Mrs. Soapweed had been home all day calving out cows, so I asked Saddletramp if he wanted to load his horse and go help Mrs. Soapweed tag calves, or trail the heavies home. He decided to help tag, so that left my sophomore son, "Saddlesore", and me to drive the cows home. Had to "rub it in" to poor old Saddlesore a bit, and tease him that the reason he feels that way if because he has been spending too much time in his caddy, and not enough time in the "saddy". He takes the jokes well, and agreed.

Yesterday, my little Saddlesore buddy went with me early to Valentine to get the pickup that was in for the spray-in bedliner (it turned out real nice). He then drove back to Cody to school, and I accomplished some errands in the big city before heading back home. Our TV remote has quit working, so I tried to find another. I went to Radio Shack, and as I went in the door noticed a sign that said, "New 50 Cent CDs". Being always a bargain hunter, that piqued my interest. Unfortunately they didn't have the right kind of remote, with back-up capabilities, so I said, "That's okay. Where are your 50 cent CDs?" Dave laughed, and said, "I don't think you want any. 50 Cent is the name of a hip-hop band." It was kinda funny that I am so naive, but I kidded him that maybe he was capitalizing on a bit of "false advertising." One thing about it, it's a way of drawing folks into the store.

We are all kind of tuckered out tonight. It is sure nice to just turn things over to the night man. This is the seventh year that Saddletramp has helped us calve, and Mrs. Soapweed and I have been doing it together for the past 26 calving seasons. Last year, a man that worked for us back in the late 'eighties and early 'nineties called to see if we wanted him to night calve for us. I said, "Come on up and we'll put you to work." We are lucky that he wanted to do it again this year. All the rest of the years, we have each taken our turn at night duty. We are getting spoiled, but it feels so good.






Copyright © 2005 Steve Moreland
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