Thursday, May 21, 2009

May Day - Manure Day

Greetings Readers

There was nothing specific, well urgent, that needed to be done at the Ranch by me. Oh Readers there are a lot of things that needed to be done. Yet, I wanted to do something that I wanted to do. Meaning, I wanted to be able to complete in a day or in the time I am down at the Ranch on my supposedly “vacation.”

I saw that the winter-feeding area was full of cow shit.

From past blogs I have always told you Readers what I have done, but never had the camera to take the before and after shots of my work.

This time I was ready!

So, Readers I decided to take the before pictures of the area that I was going to clean up all the cow manure in the winter-feeding area. And boy oh boy there was a lot of manure to clean up. Thank goodness none of the manure was fresh. Oh the picture was taken about 3:25 PM.

I took some pictures on where I thought I was going to clean up. Little did I know that my Mother and I were able to clean more manure up than we thought. So, you Readers are only seeing about 2/3 of the area that we actually cleaned up together.

Yes, my Mother did come and help out after a while. No Readers I did not ask for help or even hinted for help. This was something I wanted to do and something I wanted to see accomplished – preferably at the end of this day. And further yet – of course to brag to you Readers of another work duty I did on the Ranch.

Two wheelbarrows, a rake and two shovels were all it took to clean up the winter-feeding area. Oh, there were a couple cans of Cherry Dr. Pepper and Sun tea to help with the work out in the afternoon sun.

The area looks small from the pictures, but once I got started I did not know how tough raking manure around was going to be. I planned to have several large piles of manure as opposed to a lot of small piles of manure. Yet, raking and raking manure around the vegetation and rocks proved to be more difficult than I thought. Not to mention that raking manure over the areas where I have already raked was kind of discouraging to do.

I changed tactics and starting raking in a circle. I stood in the middle of an imaginary circle and then starting raking 360 degrees. Once I cleared that circle I moved onto the next patch of ground and repeated. Soon, that got to be tedious so I raked in a rectangle.

The only part that we did not clean up was where the cow died the day before. Her calf for the past day was staying in the exact area where her mother died. We were worried that the calf would go wondering all over the Ranch land, but instead in stayed in the area where her mother died. That was a good thing, so my Mother and I raked around and left the area untouched were the cow died.

Now, the after pictures have the sun in the shot and I think the time was about 6:19 PM or so. The light and picture contrast was different, but I hope that you can see the area is clean. Pretty darn clean as far as the eye can see from this point of view.

Now, cleaning up manure is nothing new and will forever be there. Yet, there is a certain satisfaction in cleaning up an area that is full of manure.

Oh this was just another warm up for what was to come the following day. Just like the day before burying the cow – just a warm up.

Now, we have Branding and giving medicine / shots to the cows, heifers and calfs. Usually, it is myself, Mom and Dad – sometimes my brother. This time around it is going to be three people. I often say I don’t look forward to this part of my vacation, but once I get started I really get into it.

Oh Dad messed up the cleaned area the following day by feeding the cattle in the newly cleaned area of cow shit. No, I was not mad – not at all.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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