Monday, November 25, 2019

More fencing fun!

Sunrise was quite pretty this morning. For a few brief minutes the sun's light streamed through between horizon and rapidly forming overcast. The light was fiery orange-red and added glory to everything it fell upon. The roof of the courthouse and in particular the antenna and siren thingamajigs were a captivating sight, though my camera didn't capture the best of it. Operator error no doubt.

The grain elevator was breathtaking.

This one is a bit blurry but captures a flight of pigeons getting airborne, which I thought was kinda neat.

Then it was off to work. I did the chicken stuff, then headed off to check cows and turn on water. I wanted to get that out of the way quickly because I had a slate of other stuff to do, and with a big winter storm bearing down on us I wanted to complete those tasks before getting snowed in. I needed to bring the feed truck home from the shop, drop off a tire for repair, get new bottles of oxygen and acetylene headed this way, stop by the grocery store before the panic shoppers get all the bread and milk, and several other things I'm forgetting at the moment.

Despite the threat of a winter storm, and despite a chill north wind and overcast skies, it was still quite pretty, though not as brightly spectacular as sunrise.

So, water turned on, let's quickly check cows. But of course...

Oh bother.

How to get a cow in. With sailor talk.

A quick repair...

And a final admonition...

Inspection and bitch session...

With that chore nicely completed I headed into town and got busy with some real work. I'd soon whittled my chore list down to nothing, although it was touch and go at the grocery store. It was pandemonious! I'd have shot some video but I might have myself been shot. Reminded me of the one time I accidentally went into the commissary on payday. Never. Did. That. Again.

But I survived and even got my bread and milk. Bonus!

When I headed out to the ranch driving the newly refurbished feed truck I stopped by the co-op to fill her with diesel. I was in line (storm coming!) behind a young local rancher and his top hand -- his 13 year old daughter. Put a smile on my face. Sorry about the blurriness. She was up on the back of that feed truck managing both gas and diesel loading and it clearly wasn't her first rodeo. The future definitely has a better chance than my generation has any right to expect, given the way we've hosed things up.

Yep, a top hand.

Once I got the feed truck tucked away in the shop...

It was time for one last pass through the cows. Snow was beginning to fall and there was a taste of winter storm in the air.

Cows being fine, and all of them inside the fence, it was time to go fetch my dog and head home. I wanted to be inside rather than outside when the real snow started. But as I approached the north stock tank something didn't look right. In fact it looked wrong as hell. The float was in the wrong place and the tank was running over. Shit! Why can't this stuff happen on a nice day?

It wasn't that bad of a job. The water in the tank felt warm actually, being about 30 degrees warmer than the air temperature. I was in quite a hurry to finish and get dried off and warmed up, but the cattle owners happened to roll up just as I was reaching into the water. They had arrived to feed the cows their daily ration of supplemental protein/energy cubes. Well, I had to go into "no big deal, I do this all the time" mode, so I slowed down and began shooting the shit with them. I in my shirtsleeves with arms buried in frigid water in the middle of a howling blizzard, them bundled up like Nanook and Nooknan of the North. A priceless moment. We shot the shit for a couple of minutes after I fixed the float while my glasses accumulated a layer of rime ice and I gradually lost sensation in my stinging fingers. But I put on the hard and tough show, just like it says in my contract!

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.


  1. Ah, neighbors. My 5' nothing mother came home one day to find a neighbor parked across our lane shooting the bull with another neighbor. She got out of her car and walked up to politely ask him to move. Response was, "Just wait, I'll be moving in a minute". She went through the pickup window and came back with a hunk of his shirt. He got angry, spoke some heated words, and started to get out of his pickup. The neighbor spoke up saying, "Better think.That is Bob White's wife". Missing some of his shirt, he drove off.

    Point is maybe your neighbor was taking advantage of your father's age and health. Probably couldn't do ten push ups.

    1. Oh yeah, he was. No doubt about it. He's a typical hotheaded bully. Has routinely whacked his wife around for years. Can't imagine why he thought it was a good idea to lay hands on me. He's been a much better neighbor (as in invisible) since then though.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. The splice looks like a variant of the Western Union splice. Is a wire stretcher the same animal as a fencing jack? I would have written you for your windshield.

    1. It's a sub-variant called the lazy rancher splice! I'm not sure I've ever heard of a fencing jack, but it might be the same thing. I always call the Goldenrod stretchers I use "fence stretchers," though of course they stretch wire rather than fence. I'm not sure we have a busted windshield law in Nebraska. The one good thing our legislature has done in the last 50 years is outlaw vehicle inspections. Sent that whole bunch of carpetbaggin' shysters down the road. Hell, you can tell when a vehicle isn't roadworthy -- it's on the side of the road! I've been driving with that windshield for more than two years, it came from a low velocity pheasant impact and you can't feel the cracks on either side. Kinda strange. I'll get it fixed eventually, but it might as well soak up some more rocks and hailstones while it's busted. In the meantime, I'll keep it the heck out of Wisconsin!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Scott!

  3. At least there was still some daylight when you went to warm up.

    1. Daylight left, snow wasn't bad yet, got a lot accomplished, had a great day. Don't get no more better 'n that.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Man, I love the Naval Air Cowman ride-a-longs. Gives me a real "you are there feeling."

    Great post, hunker down and enjoy the storm!

    1. Thanks Sarge. I like doing them. I need to think about a dash cam or several. One on the Bobcat this morning would have been great.

      Storm wasn't bad at all, but quite a bit of snow fell so it's dig out time.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!