the boys come home

HR 2B Forged 813 and HR 2B Edison 712… Edison has a dirty face and looks like he’s frowning. Maybe he was? 😉

We received a call the evening before that we needed to bring the boys home… our friends needed the pen for their own cows and calves who were on blackened paddocks and fields that had fences burned also. They were up on leased land close to the highway and in the smoke and ash. It was dark when they went to gather up their cows and calves and bring them back home this morning.

So early we rise, too, to bring our bulls home. Mostly 2-yr olds and a couple of 3 yr old bulls. The one thing about the livestock that are trained to respect hotwire is that they can be moved with just the wire. They have learned that the wire gives them enough of a jolt that they don’t want to mess with it. Even if it isn’t connected, they still think it is a live wire. We didn’t have time to set up a video to show how we moved them with the wire. Probably just as well… at first we tried to move them with the usual show sticks and bribery, but they felt that we were there to entertain them. Anyone who has livestock know that sometimes they think frolicking about, frustrating their owners is great fun. Not this morning, we were grouchy and tired, and enough is enough…. we didn’t have time to play with them. Bad boys. So out came the hotwire reels along with the show sticks and few sharp words. 😉 Move, load up and a few trips back & forth and all the boys were back home in the small paddock by the corral. They didn’t like the feed they were fed at cow-motel so they got some hay in their paddock.

Another Hotshot showed up surveying and documenting how the fire burned through. He’s got a lot of walking to do.
burned along the fenceline of the big hayfield – the firebreak stopped the main path. This is directly north of the house compound
if the fire would have jumped the lane, it would have been in the field with the cows. Passing through that field would have been a path for the fire to burn into town and onto the neighbors properties south of us.
big hay field and the Idaho Power field… the presence of the ditch along the fenceline, though dry, still acted as a firebreak
Why do fires burn your sections of GOOD fence? Why?!
too bad the dead sagebrush didn’t burn,,,
some posts burned and some appeared to have been spared by the ‘fire suppression rocks’ that hold them in place
note how tiger-striped it burned
Posts are a little shorter now

We worked over the section above by pulling the staples out and resetting the posts since they were a little shorter now. Then we had to find some rocks… like they are hard to find now. The soil has changed – it was powdery and not just from ash on the surface. So now when you’d drop a fence staple, it was a little harder to find. It was like the consistency of flour.

another lost rockjack and gate
west of Castle Rock… and downed fence…. shocking, isn’t it 😉
Don’t worry about closing that gate….
more burnt posts – some burned from the bottom – up
the ditch is to the left of the burn area – again it had been dry all year but acted as a firebreak
looking north – note the sporadic burn patterns – some burned west to east and vise-versa
cow path did not burn – it still has dry grasses in it
Cattle will be unhappy next year – their ‘shade trees’ most likely won’t make it… not that it is a bad thing since they are hawthorns. Think we’ll plant some non-thorn trees there instead. Like the black locust or elm that I pulled out of the garden and have in pots
You can see our paths of travel, where the grasses were knocked down, did not burn
fire still burning
the dozer….and look closely to the ‘operator’…. part of the Snood Crew

Well, that is what the morning hours looked like on this day. We have more fence and pasture inventory to check after some grub…. and another post.

Until next time…


2 thoughts on “the boys come home

    1. On our place at least 70% burned and most of it was grazeable… is that a word?? ….. okay then, how about ‘edible’…. 😉

      Over the western states, it’s hard to say but a lot of acreage has gone up in smoke and ash. Fire is not always bad, but it is the intensity that hurts the land and soil.


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