After The Storm

The day after the storm passed was spent digging out. My husband and his father dug their way to the highway.
The cows shook off their winter white blankets and soaked up the sun.
I hiked out to the corrals where the cows spent most of the day on the thirteenth. When we went out to feed them in the evening the cows came running to the tractor as they tried to dig out a gate enough to get through to the cattle. I went ahead on the four-wheeler to check for calves.
In the pens, in the shelter of the big cedar trees, the wind was blocked. Instead the trees filtered the snow as it howled through them. It sprinkled down on the cows like the fine mist from a sprinkler. Breathing was nearly impossible. Every breath sucked in as much moisture as air. The wind in the shelter still beat down on the cows. They were coated in white, huddled together in the corner.
We couldn’t leave them there. Half of them had run to the tractor. I chased the rest to join them. The gate couldn’t be opened any way. The cows got fed in the pen with the lake. The wind was blowing still but the snow came in snow form not mist. It was possible to breath.
In the corrals the next day I found drifts where the cattle had been. Huge drifts that well covered the fences. we did lose one calf in the blizzard. Born over night in the worst of the weather, there was no way he could have made it. Had they stayed in these corrals I think there would have been many cows gone instead of that single calf.

As we get dug out and warmed up by the very welcome sun all I can think is how lucky we are. Not only in having good shelter and not losing more than a single calf, but also that we only got this snow. That it only wiped out fences and buried us in its blanket. On the east side of the state they are being washed away in epic flooding. Ice is breaking loose ripping out bridges and homes. Barns that keep cattle safe through blizzards during calving are being swept away cattle and all as the ranchers watch helpless to save their herds. Life will never be the same. Counties will never be able to fix all the infrastructure that is lost. Families will never replace loved ones who give their lives trying to help.

The news will never mention us. We will be here though, continuing to fight, and help, and do all we can to save animals and friends. Here are links to some ways to help.

Cowboy 911

Farm bureau


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