At some point in my life I will learn to quit taking stock in weather forecasts and above all, not dress according to wishful thinking. The sun was out yesterday and I had high hopes it would be out today. I wore a thin sweater, winter coat and one set of heavy gloves. I ignored that mild nagging I heard at the back of my head, “Maybe you ought to wear some more clothes.”
At least once in the fall, once in the winter and once in the spring I decide not to go through the effort of putting on my new-fangled long-underwear dubbed “under armour”. This was the morning for that. I was dressed in nothing flat. There was no tugging, pulling and snapping in place of the overweight panyhose-tight-fitting-sleek outfit. For one day I went without the experience of feeling like Mr. Incredible in his skin-tight suit. For one day I left the extra pair of gloves at home. It was as though I had made a covenant to forego the comforts of warmth.
Joe and Laramie and I loaded up and went North to check some cattle, doctor a calf for an ear infection and another for pneumonia. Even though I ordered Laramie out to open the gate to the rye field, it was not two minutes later and we were all out unloading the horses and riding. Joe was all bundled up with Molly faithfully following along beside. She is always hoping for some great excitement.
There is Laramie, way, way, way back there. He is tightening his cinch or adjusting some doo-dad on his saddle. I am thinking, “Hurry up, get this done, it is cold out here.”
Not to worry, it wouldn’t matter how far behind Laramie is. By the time Joe and I found this little pee wee calf and headed him back to the bunch, Laramie had plenty of time to catch up. We drove him back to the rest of the calves, roped and doctored him and moved all the calves to the next pasture.
We had two more calves to rope and doctor. I self-designated myself as the photographer. I was going to make sure I got every shot which enabled me to put my back to the wind. Newt, my horse, was impressed at first. He can be a little on the lazy side in hot or cold weather.
I thought I would get a few shots as Joe roped one calf and Laramie tailed him to the ground, but they were too far away. I loped up to them and gave the calf a shot of penicillin, and we were off to the next calf. Joe got the calf roped and Laramie tried several times to heel him. Even from my comfortable photographer seat on my saddle, I was thinking, “a little accuracy could help speed things up a bit”. To Laramie’s credit, his horse wouldn’t stay in behind the calf. She is just a young horse and got hit my an upset mama cow a few months back. She hasn’t forgotten that incident and didn’t want to get involved with anything that resembled a bovine creature making a pass at her. I was still in photographer mode when Laramie yelled, “mom”, quite disgustedly. For the sake of being one step closer to the heater in the pickup I shoved the camera in my chaps pocket and took down my rope. It is amazing what an incentive will do for you. It only took me two shots to get her roped. I even had thick insulated gloves on my hands. Usually I can’t rope anything with even thin leather gloves on.
The lack of a photo for you to view is just proof how well my scheme of being the photographer worked out.
The work was done and we were trotting back to the trailer with the wind blowing into our faces. Both the horses and the cowboys loaded quickly in the trailer and pickup respectively. Tomorrow……….you guessed it, there will be an official under armour routine, thick sweater, thick socks, and scarf, with or without a camera.