Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Prairie Family Hard At Work

It all started with a phone call. The Prairie Daddy asked, "Do you want to come help me today?" Of course! The brother and sister-in-law are out of town and even though Dad sent a hand down to help there was much to be done.

So, The Prairie Kid and I suited up in our best ranch work clothes and headed out. We took both the video and SLR cameras with us so that we could chronicle the day. Here is The Prairie Kid ready to work.We started out mixing some feed. Then I was put to work filling buckets with pellets to later be added to more feed. I got nice and dirty trying to fill these buckets out of the huge white bags you see in this picture.

The next adventure was moving cattle. We had to move a little group of heifers two fields up from where they were. It was a quick little job on the ATVs. I did get my ATV stuck in the mud in the creek for a minute but I managed to get myself out when I remembered I could reverse!

Here is a video clip of moving the heifers. It is jumbled with me trying to video and drive all at the same time!

When we got back it was time to catch and vaccinate the horses. I was the catcher.

And we had to open up the doors for the chickens so they could run around for the day.

Then I jumped into a big ol' dump truck and drove it to the stack yard to be loaded up with bales of hay.

AND I MEAN LOADED! I was so proud of myself for driving such a rig...but this wasn't anything compared to the driving I had to do later!

The Prairie Kid and I were assigned to go out into the feeder pens and fill the mineral and salt boxes. We loaded up the ATV with the necessary goods and thankfully The Prairie Kid found a small shovel that he wanted me take along with us. Thank goodness for that shovel! I needed it!

Finally, it was lunch time. And I was starving! On our drive home we had to go through the Cowboy Car Wash...the center pivot was across the road.

At lunch we talked about how we were going to pull off a Prairie Kid Nap and me helping. We decided to see if The Prairie Kid could nap in his car seat, in the car, in the shop where it was cool. And it worked like a charm!
We had to run out on the ATV to a well to make sure there was water for cows. I love this part of the ranch because we don't go up there very often. It is so secluded and rugged. There was a spot where we looked across and could see the barn, shop, feedlot, etc. and then our house (the tiny dark line in the middle section of the picture) and to the left of our house is our reservoir. Can you see it? Now, imagine this...from our house to the barn is well over a mile...maybe even two when you drive!

We got back and I was put in a tractor. I was SCARED! I haven't driven a tractor much for years. Back in college I worked at a dude ranch for a summer and drove a tractor quite a bit. THAT WAS 10 YEARS AGO!

And The Prairie Daddy trusted me with some big, scary tasks. I freaked out and froze up a couple of times. Finally, I got the hang of it and was daring enough to hit 4th gear High and also park these crazy-long feed trailers within 4 inches of a retaining wall by myself! I did break a bit of pipe off of one when I jack-knifed. The Prairie Daddy told me these had a great turning ability but forgot to mentioned I could still jack-knife. He wasn't upset and it wasn't a necessary pipe piece. I still felt bad.

Between each trailer we had to mix the feed that went into the trailer. I was in charge of cutting the wrap or twine off of the bales, turning on and off the water flowing into the mixer, and making sure the wrap/twine was put into a pile for the garbage. I also had to make sure the square bales didn't fall apart before they were picked up with the tractor.

At the end of the day The Prairie Kid and I collected and washed eggs and then came home to a nice, hot shower. I was FILTHY! And last night my body felt like it had just worked a hard day's worth of physical ranch labor in the first time in a long time...oh wait, it did!

I have so much respect for The Prairie Daddy working like this every day. Although, he did admit yesterday was more than usual. Whew. I am sore today as well but it is worth it! And, I am definitely much tanner! I just wish I was much buffer and trimmer. I think it would take many more days out there to accomplish that. It is a bit tempting.......okay, I am over that temptation.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Looks like you had a busy day. Sounds like my friday of hauling hay from one place to another. I'm so tan and buff! NOT! Okay, you worked harder than I did, so you get the hardest worker award. I loved the fact you wore pink to feed cows.