Thursday, March 15, 2012

Night Checks

I just have to write about my night checks.  This year we have been blessed with AWESOME weather here in north central NoDak.  After the past three tough winters, we think we deserve this!!  The average high temperature in March here is about 35* F.  This week that is about the overnight low. 

When we are calving we like to check on the cows about every 4 hours.  Sometimes it is more if we see something calving or looking like she might be.  During the evening, night and early morning hours we have assigned times by assigned people.  My check is around 3:30 AM.  I  just got in from checking.  Nothing was calving but it takes a few minutes to unwind so I thought I'd share about this experience.  

Tonight, when I was walking around the heifer pen (those about to have their first calf), I thought, "I sure am lucky.  Few others have this opportunity - nor would they want it!"  There is no wind, the temp is right around freezing, and there are a zillion stars in the sky.   Ahhh, peace & quiet.  Oh, and there is the sound of a few cows crunching on some hay, geese flying over and a yearling bull wondering why someone is walking around with a bright light in the middle of the night.  (Plus the sound of an overweight gal mucking her way up the hill!!)  My favorite thing on this shift is to lean against a big ol' post, listening to the babbling brook that goes through our cattle yard and look at the stars - or, if I'm really lucky, the northern lights.  This spring the brook only babbled for a couple days.  Now the snow is gone, so the water quit running.   Yes, many people think I am crazy because I don't mind this shift but tonight, and others like this, make it all worthwhile.

Now if I would have posted a report about night checks last winter it would have been a whole different story.  Moving around in 3 foot of snow is not easy for anyone, although the calf sled pulls better on snow than mud.  But even with all that snow, a nice quiet night like this, with no wind and fairly comfortable temperatures, it is wonderful to be a rancher.


  1. Yippee Yahoo... now I can go along on night check's with ya!!!! Thanks Annette - I feel like I'm right there... you know without the 30 degree weather and mudboots! Hugs, Elise