Saturday, November 23, 2019

Just a Saturday

First of all, Paul had a question about yesterday's post. And I quote:

"In one video, there are cows on both sides of the fence; are all the cattle yours and are they separated because the acreage will only support so many head? Inquiring minds and all that."

It's a good question. Here's the video in question (no need to watch the whole thing if you've seen it before).

Here's my video response, which is largely crap because it doesn't answer or explain very well. I shoulda wrote a script or at least practiced.

So here's a written explanation which might make things more clear. The pasture the cows are in now is rather "L" shaped, and within that pasture once upon a time some trees were planted around the perimeter of a "pasture within a pasture." I don't know why but I'm glad it was done as the trees make for great shelter for cattle, especially in the winter and during calving. That pasture within a pasture was fenced off to keep cattle from damaging the trees while they were getting established, and also to provide for some level of rotational grazing. All of this was done way back when I was sailing the briny. Here's a picture taken from a satellite image. As a slight aside, the image was taken in 2012 during a drought.
Red is the outer perimeter, yellow is the fence added to make a pasture within a pasture and protect new tree plantings.
The fence in the video Paul was asking about is where the very top left-to-right yellow line is. The fence is in disrepair as it just isn't a priority. Having that pasture within a pasture is a want rather than a need. So what looked like a fence separating groups of cattle was a non-maintained fence which the cattle just happened to be on both sides of.

Here are a couple closer views of the fence (or its location) in question. The red circle is the stock tank which also appears in the three subsequent pictures.

Does that make sense?

Here's a video featuring the same stock tank and some cows giddy over a fresh salt delivery.


When I was finished checking cattle and doing other daily chores this morning I had to head on over to the Cheyenne VA for to get my blood drawn. There was some discussion regarding phlebotomy and lab waits over at Sarge's place the other day. Which I believe was yesterday as I write this on Saturday evening.

In light of said discussion, let me just say that the phlebotomists -- we called 'em lab techs in my day sonny! -- at the Cheyenne VA have always been superb in my experience, and I don't think I've ever waited more than 4-5 minutes to be punctured, even on a very busy day. And if it's routine labs you're having done, you can go in on Saturday and expect both competent phlebotomy and exactly zero waiting.

But it's the VA, so there's always a catch! Which I'll get to by and by.

The 60 mile drive over was quite interesting. It was warm and sunny and the roads were dry and clear. There was a stiff northwest breeze blowing and to my eye the trucks were occasionally having a hard time tracking true in their Interstate-80 lanes when the gusts got heavy. Therefore it paid a good driver, IMO, to pay attention and pass with caution. However, as is often the case, the bad drivers were heavily over-represented in the automobiles.

Be that as it may, I arrived safe and sound. I was surprised to find some serious parking lot construction going on though, and it was tricky to figure out how to get into the place, and even into the main building. But tricky is just a challenge. As was navigating the dimly lighted ghost-town Saturday corridors, some of which were blocked off by interior construction. I accepted those delightful challenges and found my way both in and out. I a big boy now.

Two guys working, two supervising. What the hell?

That's better. One guy running an idiot spoon while five guys supervise. I was about to get cross. No idea what the concrete crew thought they were doing.
Having finished my task, I was ready to head for home. But I decided to video a cornerstone of my partly-crippled fitness routine. I try to do 15 push-ups every time I get in or out of my pickup. I don't do it every time, but I generally get in 300+ on a daily basis, 15 at a time. It's not much of a challenge, but it does over-inflate the biceps, which the pretty girls enjoy. And they also seem to enjoy watching the actual push-ups, so I'm careful where I park. I like to provide the service for all those pretty girls desperately seeking proof that real men still exist, but I'd hate to cause a riot a' la "Hard Day's Night." So I try to be considerate.

When I got back to the ranch it was far too blowy for me to be able to convince myself to get stuck in to outdoor physical labor, so I took pictures and videos which will hopefully help me illustrate tomorrow's post.

No doubt about it, it was a great day. Even if it was blowy.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.


  1. A blowy day, heh, I like it.

    I haven't been to Cheyenne in over 30 years, the youngest was born there. Certainly bring back some memories.

    Thanks for that, and the post, of course, always edumacational.

    1. You bet, Sarge. It's fun to trip down memory lane. It would be fun to tour the ol' cow-town with you to get your take. There's a big construction boom all over and around town; you might be surprised at how it's growing.

      As for blowy, I didn't even think of the obvious secondary (or primary!) meaning of the word. Now I have a new mental (!) tool to emply against the forces of blowy misery. So thanks for that!

      An for stopping by and commenting of course!

    2. Employ as opposed to emply of course. I really need to start using my god-given spell-fingers. ;-)

  2. Where the trees for a shelter break? Did they plant them and forget them, or were they watered in some way?
    Saw lots of wood shelter breaks on the prairie when Dad and I went back to the ranch in S Dakota. Interesting to see how different areas handle things.
    I missed seeing all those young ladies when you panned around the parking lot, Rocky!
    It was a beautiful day there.

    1. Yes indeed. My Dad planted circa 10,000 trees and shrubs on the place. He installed a drip watering system as well. They were fenced off for about 10-15 years, then the cattle were allowed in. As it turns out, cows and trees coexist just fine so long as you don't overpopulate the ecosystem. So we have superb winter shelter and with a bit of common sense on our part regarding preparations cattle on our place can survive blizzards just fine and even with a modicum of comfort.

      Well of course there were no young ladies at the VA! You should see 'em swarm when I do push-ups down at the Malt Shoppe though! It's pretty much like...the VA parking lot really. You're on to me! :-)

      It was a beautiful day. Today should be much the same.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Brig!

  3. Salt Licks! I have explained to people that if you call for the local casino shuttle, and they say that it will be ten minutes, to take that with a lick of salt, not a grain. Then I have to explain what a salt lick is!

    1. The world is full of simple things which most people never get to experience, and salt blocks are a good example.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Scott!

  4. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. That pushup thing is something I should get into. More curiosity, how many acres are needed to support one cow? To my uninformed eyes, it appears very dry in your videos.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. The push-up thing is great, except when I get swarmed by the ladies. But you just gotta put up with it.

      It looks dry because the grasses (except for some of the winter annual grasses, see my Sunday post) are dormant and dried out. It's not rally dry in a drought sense as there's plenty of moisture in the soil. The dormant grasses just aren't using the moisture. So it looks dry but it's actually wetter than usual for this time of the year.

      As for acres per cow, it's a bit complicated. The USDA says 20 acres per 1,000 pounds of cow, but that's just a simplistic and wildly misleading government recommendation. The actual answer is that in this part of the country, and given the native grass characteristics, you want each grass plant to be bitten no more than about 3-4 times during a non-drought growing season. And that itself is a ballpark and needs to change if conditions call for change. So this year we ran about 200,000 pounds of cattle on roughly 2,000 acres and both cattle and ecosystem did fantastic. In the drought year of 2012 we had to sell cattle because we couldn't allow overgrazing during drought. That year we ran about 60,000 pounds of cattle on 6,000 acres and we did a little bit of damage here and there. So the short answer is, it depends.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Paul!

  5. Ah yes, fencing... They bane of a cattleman/cattlewoman's existence... It's never in the right place, nor do the cows ever cooperate by being on the 'right' side of the fence. And riding fence line is a pain in ANY weather. Hope you've got some GOOD fencing pliers! I don't have any problems at the OKC VA either. Good folks up there.

    1. My fencing pliers were handed down from my Grandpa Wilbur. They are superb, and irreplaceable. No one makes fencing pliers that good anymore, anywhere. For me they are literally more valuable than a similar measure of gold or diamonds. And yes, fencing is a pain. But also a joy.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  6. Dare i criticize your pushups? Aye-aye, captain! I will start off with the fact that i do not do even a fraction compared to you with anything that might be called “a regular basis” (and all that female attention would just get me into “mohr” trouble ANYWAY ...iykwim&ityd...)

    With that being said...based on the video, i‘s say you are cheating yourself somewhat by not going for “full range of motion” (also ASSuming you don’t have any existing physical limitations?). Alternately, you might try like the “new” army testing methods that REQUIRES the soldier to momentarily lift both hands off the ground between each rep (which might result in undesirable consequences to whatever clothing you are wearing at the time)

    1. As with everything else, I am and have always been a PT noncomformist. I remember messing with the people running annual pft back in the day, doing sloppy pushups then turning around and doing letter perfect pushups and daring them to conclude I wasn't physically fit. The funny part was when the nurse who had "taken over" pft testing to get a bullet for her OER realized it didn't matter if she failed me because the test that counted was the one I took with my parent command.

      That said, and noncomformist or not, I ain't doin' no Army Pushups!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting cT!