For those of you that read my blog, you may have remembered this. Well, I went back to visit some of those folks. Although we had a get together, it was nothing like that night. But there was a different reason I went back. And I will warn you right now....
CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION
Ever since I saw the Horse Whisper with Robert Redford, I have wanted to brand a calf.
In 2006 I had arranged to brand a calf with Tim. However, I had to go off to Belize to relax instead. I contacted Lisa and asked if she could set it back up with Tim for 2007. And so the plane ticket was purchased, rental vehicle reserved, and the beer bought. I arrived on Thursday, partied with the Tequila gang on Friday, and prepared for the branding on Saturday.
I would say the saddest part for me was in the morning when I watched the mommy cows run to the fence as their babies were loaded onto the trailer. The rest was just fine. A lot of people thought I was going to puke because of the smell, but really it didn't smell that bad. I actually didn't gag until Lisa pulled the oysters out of the can that had been sitting out all day and dumped them in her sink. Then I gagged. NOTE: oysters=cow balls
And so the day began...cows were roped, given antibiotics, brands, and balls clipped if they had them. According to a video I have, once the calf was roped it took approximately 1 minute to complete giving the calf two shots, a brand, and the ball clip.
And then it was my turn...it is important to get that brand just right. I only got to do one, but that was fine with me. I lived out my fantasy.
I also gave one shot. And then I got to hold the bucket that the oysters were placed in and spray antibacterial spray on the area afterwards. Now that is where you should have all expected me to gag and puke, but I did not.
The crew branded 87 head. On a trip back to drop off the calves to their moms, this vehicle was parked on the side of the road. They had seen the herd of moms come running over to the fence before we arrived. After Tim dropped off their babies, the vehicle pulled over and asked me how those moms knew their calves were coming. I said well, we took them this morning, and I am sure they could hear their ballings. As they drove off and Tim pulled up, I said City Folk. My sister reminded me I was no 'country bunkin' when I told her the story, but I admitted I was a city girl living out a fantasy.
When we finished all the duties, we headed back to the ranch house for beers, dinner, and dessert. And I listened to all the stories from the old times before I was even a glimmer in my dad's eyes.
Check out further photos here