It seems as though we talk about seasons all the time, and I don’t mean spring, summer, fall and winter. In my world I have branding season, turn out and hay season, gathering and shipping season, and calving season, and all of these depend on how the ranch you work for runs their cattle.
Calving Season –
In ranching terms calving season is the time of year that resembles being a new parent because of the lack of sleep. (Funny comparison because it has to do with baby calves coming into the world!) Sometimes we have been lucky and The Buckaroo has been the day calver. Other times The Buckaroo has had to be the night calver after a full day of work, so I would send him to bed after supper and I would go out every 2 or 3 hours and check the heifers. Sometimes I would need to get one in and go wake The Buckaroo. I love calving season because I can see all the calves out playing in the field, while they are still little and cute.
Branding Season – Generally runs the end of March thru the end of May.
According to The Buckaroo after calving season comes the best season of all, BRANDING SEASON. This is a ranchers social season as well. Everyone is calling neighbors and setting up days and times to brand. Wives and girlfriends are thinking of menus and items to bring as guests. Rounding up gear both for The Buckaroo and the side kicks can be quite the task. Before the littles came along it was easy peasy, all I had to do was help gather the cowboy gear, pack some snacks and make a dish to take. Now I have to pack multiple changes of cloths, a diaper bag, sun tent, toys, sun screen, snacks, make a bed in the back of the pickup, gather cowboy gear and make a dish. But it’s always worth it to see old friends, have good food, and a fun time.
Turn Out and Hay Season – Are the summer months for us.
Turn out is always fun, I love moving up to cow camp and getting off grid! It will be different now with the littlest side kicks , because I won’t have as much freedom to go with The Buckaroo, but it will give the big side kicks more time and opportunity to help. Cow camp has a very special place in my heart, it’s where I get to recharge and get back to a simpler way of life. But more about camp later.
When we are at cow camp we don’t have to worry about hay season, the hay crew takes care of it. But sometimes we have found our selves in the thick of it. I’ve spent many hours in a loader stacking and loading hay out of the fields. The Buckaroo has spent countless days cutting in the swather.
Gathering and Shipping Season – Signals the end of summer for us.
This is a bitter sweet time for all of us, we love our summers at cow camp so much. School is starting, time for fair and selling our market animals, gathering up the fattened pairs and packing up camp to head back to the home ranch. and the cycle of seasons starts again.