Summer has welcomed itself to the ranch with its usual business. I am still struggling to teach myself to carry a camera with me to capture all the things that go on at the ranch. To be a serious blogger, I must, must take some photos. I plan each night to take my camera with me the next day. I make promises to change my lifestyle and tote the camera bag with me. I consider taking the small camera instead of the larger one. Each day I am sure that tomorrow I will be more diligent. Each evening I am sure the next day I will have enough will power to tackle the camera toting problem. It is much like deciding to go on a diet and promising myself that tomorrow I will have willpower and stay on a diet. After all, I just finished stuffing my mouth with chocolate cake. Tomorrow will be the day. Tomorrow I will diet. Tomorrow I will responsibly be a photographer!
There have been many tomorrows. I considered taking the camera with me on one of those tomorrows. As usual, I decided against it. After all, I was riding a young horse, a guest was with me, Joe was on a young horse and who knows the problems that could occur. Actually that was a good call. Someone dropped the reins on their horse, I got off of mine to fetch their rein. Instantaneously a protective mama cow decided Joe was much too close to her calf. She hit is horse in the chest. I was on the ground. Hmmmm what to do, gather up the loose rein for the gal and then run for my horse in case the cow headed my way? Just think of the shot I could have gotten with a camera nearby. I could have whipped out the camera, snapped a great shot, got the rein and mounted my horse just as the cow came barreling by.
What about last week? On that tomorrow when I should have taken my camera along, we were gathering 4 bulls out of a small 80 acre pasture. Simple stuff. Why not take the time to pack a camera along? The bulls walked willingly through the prairie dog town and down a cow path to the dry creek bed. The older black bull decided to run right and go into the brush. I kicked my horse up to cut him back. My horse was thrilled to see some action and bucked. I checked her up and spoke some disciplinary words to her. I knew I should have warmed her up a bit. After all, sometimes she can be a little fresh. I took my rope off the saddle and gave it to Joe. In case she bucked again, I didn’t need anything to get tangled up in. No matter how whimpy it sounds, I am a real cowgirl, but I stand a better chance of riding a bucking horse without a rope. I have no pride. Rope was removed. As we hopped across the creek bed and up the other side she began bucking again and again………..and again. I didn’t make it. Too bad I didn’t have the camera. I could have whipped it out just in time to take a photo of me in mid air or a photo of the matching bruises I got on the inside of each my legs from hitting the D ring of the saddle on every buck.
Or what about the tomorrow when we drove 298 head of pairs just 3 1/2 miles. That was the day that began gloriously easy. Then the cows quit driving and the calves began to try to run back to the pasture we had started from. That is dangerous stuff. When the calves start to run pell mell in every direction, there is usually no end to the trauma it creates in my life, but that would have been a great time to take a photo. I could have labeled it “Disaster in the Making”. I could have yelled at Joe, “I’ll be there in just a few seconds. I just want to get a photo of all these calves trying to run off.” No, my decision not to take a camera was worth it. We contained all the calves and finally made it to the corral. It was a long, long morning and the memory of it will live for sometime in my photogenic mind. You will just have to trust me and settle for a word picture.
Tomorrow we are riding out to check a calf I doctored for scours. (That is the cowboy word for diarrhea). Then we will go to the big pasture and ride through about 180 cows there. Maybe I should take my camera along. I will send you a photo if I do.