28 September 2018 – Snow (wait, what?) Snow and 31 degrees
Last week it was hot. This week it is not.
It seems we went directly from summer to winter. But next week is forecast to be much more typical fall temperatures, highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. That’s about perfect weather, but Mother Nature’s little swipe at us last night didn’t sit too well with most of the critters on the Holler. The cows came out of the woods this morning and were extremely loud and rude, crabbily mooing at the house until Rancher Dave went out and fed them some bales.
The bees are probably in shock. Fortunately, I did get all the honey supers off the hive and the mite treatments out, so they should be all set for winter. Goose is warm in the barn and Maverick is over at the High Lonesome, where he spends about every other night. That little punk digs his way out of the barn at night and sometimes hunts over there or steals the cat food Linda puts out for her barn kitties.
The Sheriff, for one, is very excited about the snow. He hasn’t seen snow yet in his life and he went out first thing this morning and growled and barked at his surroundings. Shortly after discovering that the white stuff wouldn’t kill him, he tried to eat as much of it as he could. Then he went bananas. He started sprinting around in circles, rolling and jumping in the snow. He acted like a little kid that heard he got a snow day off from school.
In other news, the Hoten Holler ranch made its first cattle sales last week. Cowboy Dave and Rancher Dave loaded up the spring calves and took them to the cattle auction in St. Onge, South Dakota.
We had two steers for sale, T-BONE and Dude. Cowboy and Linda had 2 heifers, Lilly and Heidi, and one steer, Chips. They kept Hugo, Patsy’s calf, as a bull and plan to replace Koozy with him in a couple of years.
Both Dave and I thought it would be hard to sell these calves since we have known them since their births. We told ourselves that these steers have had it made out here all spring and summer on the Holler. They have been so spoiled to live in these beautiful hills with no shortage of food or water and plenty of supplemental treats from the garden and cake and creep. They have been handled gently and well cared for, but it was time for them to go. We also reminded ourselves that if we were made of hay or grass, they would have no problem eating us!
The sale of the calves was bitter-sweet, but now we can move forward to the next cycle of life in the cattle business. We are hoping that we have 14 bred cows this fall that should calve in late April or early May. In between now and then, we will take the best care we can of the cows (and the two bulls) and make sure they are spoiled, fat, and happy.
Speaking of spoiled, fat, and happy, I have a pot of chili cooking on the wood stove for supper. It’s warm and cozy in the house and it feels like a perfect winter day…..except it’s September!!!