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Moving Day

A place for everything. And everything in its place. That's what autumn is all about for us. It's about making sure that the quickly approaching onslaught of winter leaves us prepared with equipment and animals where they belong. There is usually a chosen weekend in late September or early October when we spend our waking hours moving cattle from one location to another. Yesterday, a 15 mile journey to bring yearlings and some cow-calf pairs closer to home. And today a 7 mile trip to join up two other groups of cattle. Four became two.

They are all now located in areas with convenient access to corrals so that we might run the calves through for vaccinations, then gather the cows on the evening prior to shipping day and ultimately sort through the mother cows in preparation for next spring's calving season. They will join up in one other location prior to being moved to the homeplace, probably sometime in December. Two will become one.

Most of the world is attuned to the changing of the earth's location in relation to the sun. We schedule our vacations, sports events, and festivities based on the theory, that yes, it will be warmer on this particular day than another, and yes, it is likely that the world will be frozen in February. It's usually so dependable. And our lives depend on it. But you never know when Mother Nature's going to change it up. We're always trying to work in tune to her whims because she's the really the one running the show around here.

So we try to get our fall work done before the snow flies, to schedule a calving season that is early enough to allow us to get a good weight gain on the calves but not so early that it is one constant frozen mess, to plan a break in January, and to choose our next crop rotation wisely. It's a constant guessing game best played within the rules of nature. And it's fun. There are moments that are the opposite of fun, to be sure, but we don't dwell on those and they don't stick in our memory banks. We only invest in the thoughts of good times and of those there are many.

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