Strut Your Stuff

Well, I have OOPE photos from yesterday.
 
I have fence fixin’ photos from today.
I have wildlife photos from today.
I have scenery photos from today.
Rarely do I have so much to talk about and so little time and space…
The morning began with Lucas and I helping Johnny kick heifer calves out into the pen side of the corral in order to feed the MGA that will synchronize their cycles for AI’ing.  On the walk back home, I heard Vernon yelling… and saw some of his heifer calves out in the cows by the calving shed where they didn’t belong.  Lucas and I headed over and sorted off what we could and ran them back where they do belong.  Vernon showed up later and chased the last wild two back into the lot as well.  The next assignment was fixing the electric fence that they had torn down.  I smashed my thumb hammering an insulator back on the post… not a good way to start your day!
Feeding puppies, cleaning house and showering up for a trip to town for a bridal shower for a neighbor girl finished my morning.  The afternoon was spent with puppy lookers and a leaf rake.
Finally this evening, Vernon suggested we drive out through the badlands, checking that gates are closed and the pipeline is working since we turn out critters this week.  It was unbelievably dry… I thought there’d be at least mud holes everywhere, but for the most part, the mud holes were dry.
We saw wildlife…
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Like this antelope doe…
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and lots of her compadres…
Birds, like this Western Meadowlark…
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but best of all… this…
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Sage chickens strutting!  One of my favorite sights and sounds of Wyoming…  Too bad I didn’t take my video camera to catch the sounds of their mating display… very unique and distinctive.  Listen to it on this page… halfway down on the left side is a link…
The area they use is called a lek… and they return to these leks, year after year.  The most intense strutting takes place at sunrise, though a lesser “dance” occurs at sunset.  The males strut their stuff, wooing females into their harem.  This was one of the things my dad first showed me when we moved to Wyoming when I was a kid.  NOT THRILLED with getting up at the crack of dawn, my attitude changed when we watched and listened.  The males would puff up their air sacks and the plunger-like sound surrounded us.  I am so grateful my dad drug me out of bed when I was 12.  I think of him everytime I see this… and whisper a thank-you he cannot hear – but he knows…

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