Tiring Days

Our big day of gathering turned into even a bigger one than expected.

We had 13 hours of riding, gathering, sorting, trailing, and some waiting in there too!  I am *this* close to taking my Advil and hitting the hay, but figured I’d disappoint *somebody* out there if I didn’t post!
On a day like today… when things go wrong, and you’re sore and hungry and thirsty… there’s a few things out there that can still bring a smile.
Like this antelope doe.  She’s ready to give birth… end of May/first of June is their collective due date… and she lays there and lets me ride by.  Dally is with me at this point, and I can’t get any closer for fear she’ll see her and give chase.
ante
Then, after we brought in our first bunch of cattle, I happened to notice a killdeer closeby.  They’re a pretty little bird, supposedly calling “killdeerkilldeer” in their vocals.  I stopped Panama and looked at the ground.  It was gravel, perfect for a nest for a killdeer.  Sure enough.
killdeer1
There’s mom… slightly left of center.  Look to the right of her, past the bigger plant, and you can spot 4 speckled eggs in a gravel nest.
We turn that bunch of cows into the Double Crossing, and return to the badlands.
Seven hours later we return with another bunch.  I goose Panama up into position and guard the nest so no cow steps on it.  I glance at it.  I notice some fluff I hadn’t noticed before… but I’m concentrating on keeping cows back and think I must have not seen that she had lined her nest with down.
After all the cows have passed, I look again.
killdeer2
Lucas has no idea what is a foot away from him!  Look above his nose.  Look closely.
killdeer3
In the seven hours we’ve been gone… 4 chicks have hatched and dried into tiny balls of fluff.  I couldn’t believe it!  What are the chances?
Those are the things that can still make me smile on long and tiring days.

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