Loitering Livestock

I also saw the greater yellowlegs pair in the pond as I walked to the cattle.

Yesterday I ended up spending a lot of time around the resident cattle, even when intending to hang out with the horses and Fiona. It was all fun, though, and a great reminder of some of the things that are common on a ranch that aren’t common for city folks.

For instance, I was walking toward the end of our main pasture, when I realized that the cattle I was looking at were in FRONT of our gate. Hmm, that would make the dogs happy. I then realized Gary V. was moving some round bales (a type of hay bale) into our hay storage area, and they had followed him. He and I shooed the curious ladies and their offspring back to the correct side of the gate. No doubt they were sad, since we have oats growing in our pasture for them to eat later.

We would like to eat your oats, please.

The cows kept coming toward the gate, so I stayed until Gary was finished, and closed the gate behind him. That wasn’t the last surprise these particular cattle would give us!

Horses and Cattle

I made it to the horse area, where Sara and I warmed the horses up, then saddled up for a ride. I practiced not using my reins, in preparation for using a bit with Apache. I used a stick to direct him. It went well until he got tired of it and marched off to where he wanted to go. Once that was dealt with, we toodled down the race (long fenced path to the far pasture) so we could ride around in the bottom (the beautiful area that floods in bad weather).

Hello! We are the welcoming committee!

When we got to the gate, there were four perfectly charming calves looking at us. They thought we were fascinating, and had no intentions of moving away from us. Sara got off Spice and did her best to encourage them to go back to their mamas, but they just walked off a little way. I guess it was Curious Cow Day. When we got through the gate, they kept coming up to investigate the strange creatures (us). We would move them a little, then they’d come back. Finally we left them (one was still there when we got back).

I had a lot of fun exploring the creek.

We rode all over, and checked how the place where the stream meets the creek looks. There is a much larger piece of creek with water in it, but the recent rains were not enough to get Walker’s Creek flowing, so the stream is just making a nice pond.

This is Happy Spice.

By the time we got back, the horses were happy to be set free in the small corral. Spice ran and ran and then dropped to roll. Apache waited a bit, then also did a bit of a roll. That had to feel good.

I’m done rolling and want to chase Fiona now.

And Later…

Nicole and Easton visited (they are moving nearby in Temple soon) in the evening, and they wanted to see the horses, so we all walked back to the corral. On the way, we noticed a cow laying like she was dead. We decided she was in labor.

And there was a phoebe calling like crazy and eating little butterflies. It’s their job.

On the way back, after a chat with Ralph and saving poor Vlassic from a bunch of dogs, we saw the cow was standing. Did she have a baby or was that a salt block? We had to stand there and watch until the “salt block” wiggled. We have a new calf to look cute in the front pasture!

Wait, what’s the mama eating? Eww. Afterbirth. Ranch life. It’s sure real.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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