Each day begins in glory.
Multiple bird songs… the meadowlark, the lark bunting, the robins, the magpies, even the screech of pheasants…
The metallic slam of a horse trailer door and shuffling hooves…
Quiet laughter of cowboys…
The drive to today’s pasture area accompanied by Sirius radio and good ol’ country songs…
Some cowboys start here… and the trailer door slams their exit…
Some cowboys start there… and stories begin.
Tales of horses and cows,
opinions on politics and people and passions of life mingle in the prairie air.
Country kept shaded by convenient cloud cover spreads itself wide open. Sagebrush, Indian paintbrush, bitterroot, yellow daisies, candlesticks, evening primrose, and my favorite, blue flax.
Blue flax is a delicate flower on tall stems standing a foot or foot and a half tall. One tiny violet blue flower. Resistant to plucking, the petals will fall almost as soon as you pick it. I admire its independent streak to being just another flower in the bouquet.
We ride through the grazing cattle looking for our brand.
They gaze at us as we ride and talk… ripping bunch grass from soil, chewing, watching.
Suddenly a sharp bark behind us turns us quickly in our saddles. Brother Coyote, the Trickster, is unhappy at our presence. We stop. He circles. Yapping. Barking. Trilling an insulted tone loudly at us. It isn’t a nursing female protecting the location of a den, we can easily see him… he’s only 30 feet away. But he’s definitely unhappy. Elsa gets as close to me as possible, which means under my left stirrup. Dally makes an angry feint. Once. With Elsa not backing her up, she quickly loses confidence. After watching and trying to console him, we continue our ride, horses’ ears cocked backward at the noisy beast. Cows run for their babies to check on their welfare. Our horses become goosey as the determined coyote follows us for half a mile, his irritated yapping chasing us away. He finally drops us and melts away, we’ve ridden beyond his territory.
That was memorable.
The day continues.
Ten hours after we left this morning. With jerky and one liter of water for the five of us, tales of milkshakes and cold Pepsi and lemonade fill the afternoon air.
More stories to tell, but like Scheherazade, that is for another night.Find me here!