Monday, April 7, 2014

Sounds of the Night Shift

Back in the 'old days' - before Facebook & blogging - I used to send out emails to family and friends during my 3 AM cattle checks.  I would report on the previous few days or the weather or whatever was on my mind (& sometimes it didn't make any sense because I was too tired but HAD to stay up!).  Since Facebook, I have not done that very much.  So, I thought it was time to report again!  

The sounds on my shift tonight were so pleasant that I just have to share about them.

First, I wake up to the radio playing "I'll by Missing You".   So, that song is stuck in my head as I walk around checking the cattle.   (Lucky for all, I don't sing it out loud!)

First step out of the door of the house and I hear the jingling dog tags on Odie.  There is no wind which is perhaps one of my favorite sounds.   The sound of NO wind that is.  The temp is about 30 above so there is only a slight bit of ice on any water that had been running during the day.  The mud has just a little crunch to it from freezing on the top layer.  A train is heard off in the distance.  I walk down a little hill to check the heifers (those who have never had a calf before).  Clang, clink, clunk.  The sound of taking the chain off and on to get through the gate.  I hear, and see, a few 'girls' chewing on some hay.  Others chewing their cud.  Ahh, the sweet sound of a new momma resting with her baby as if to say, "Look at my baby, isn't it the best?".  She has the nicest, softest little "Moo" - almost like a whisper so not to wake the baby, but enough to get my attention.

The rustling of straw as I walk around the pen of heifers.  They sure have settled down since I started this shift the end of February!  Then they would get up and run, now I could snuggle right in with them!

A flock of geese must be flying over as I can hear the 'honking'.    I just hope they are headed north.

I crawl over the fence (there may or may not be a couple of human noises here) and climb up the hill to check on one lone cow.  Heavy panting sounds from the overweight human are heard.   Again, the quiet moo of a new momma cow.  Back down the hill, crunching ice as I cross the little stream of water.  Do you hear the babbling?   There is a little waterfall here too.

Up a little hill, over another fence and further up a hill.  Yes, the human is panting again!  Oops, a little calf is running around without the cow nearby.  It says hello, "Moo" in it's little voice then comes over to me.  "I am not your mom.  Go find your mom.", I tell the calf.  It is a cute little Hereford baby.

I climb through the feed manger and walk to the Jeep.  A bit of crunching of the thin ice and slightly frozen mud can be heard.  I can also hear two owls visiting with each other.  "Who-who-Who" followed by "Who".  (I never hear the 't' sound so I think they say 'who' not 'hoot'!)

Crunk, Bang.  The sound of the Jeep door opening (it has a few dings in it so the door hits the fender when you open it.).  Click.  rattle.  Click.  It won't start.  clunk.  (put it Neutral)  Vroom!  (okay, not really, but you know what I mean - the thing started!)  The crunching sounds of the ice bits again.  Roll down the window.   Now the crunching sounds of driving on a gravel road.   Banging around trying to get the spot light out the window - and plugged in to the lighter spot.  I drive along slowly using the spot light to check the cattle as I drive the half mile to the north.  I really don't hear much except the gravel and an occasional cow talking.  (Lucky for me, tonight I didn't even hear the coyotes.   Guess they were happy about no wind too.)

I turn around and come back home.  Tonight I leave the window down on the drive back too as it is so nice out.  I take time to enjoy the lights of Minot Air Force Base, the glow of the lights from the city of Minot and the dark sky so full of stars.  

Back in the yard, two dogs are excited to see me.  They growl and play with each other.  Their dog tags are jingling.  The third dog is waiting at the door.   They all want in the house.   "It is too nice outside.  You guys stay out."  *sounds of scooping dog food*  (I don't know how to describe that!)   clink, clink, clink as the dog food is put into three dishes outside.    Water is running to fill their water dish.  I need to tell them, "no", as I come into the house because Rufus still wants to come in.

There you have it.  The sounds from my cattle check.  It is so nice to have beautiful weather - with NO wind.


  1. I could picture it all, and I could hear all those sounds in my mind. You're a good writer and thank you for sharing your morning!!

    1. Thank you. Sometimes the right words just come to me.

  2. This is great! Makes me miss home, wide open spaces and all the sounds and smells of spring.

    1. Thank you. You are welcome at home anytime you know!