Chase has been home from school all week due to sickness and seizures, so we haven't gotten much done. When Spence asked us to come with him to "check a pipeline" I figured why not, he said it would only be an hour at the most and my dishes can wait. So we piled in with a few snacks in hand and headed up to check the new pipeline and drinkers. Well, it turned out to be an all day adventure, but we had a wonderful and dirty (I'll explain later) time. And yes, my dishes were still waiting for me when we got home.
(I'm going to start writing my captions on the top so my blog is more readable with my background)
I have to admit, I have no idea what Spence is doing to the generator, but I know that it needs to power the pump in the well to put water in the pipe to go to the drinkers and to the storage tank. He gathered up a bunch of electrical equipment this morning, so maybe that has something to do with it. You have to become quite the Renaissance man to work on the ranch.
It started to look serious when the hat came off.
This really looks serious. But he's not cussing, so it must be going well.
While we waited, we amused ourselves with the dust.
Little did we know, how dusty this day would really turn out to be.
After Spence did his thing with the generator, it fired right up. Chase is helping him turn on the water to the drinker.
Ahh.....bubbling up oil. Actually water, but just as precious.
Now it's off through this gate to take a look at the new storage tank. The guys have been telling me it's big enough for swimming, we'll see.
This picture really doesn't do the dust cloud justice. At once point it was billowing up to where we couldn't see anything behind us. Now I now why Spence is so discouraged when he comes home from work after trying to keep cattle fed and watered in these dry conditions.
The mean, green storage tank. I think it just might be big enough for swimming, but the water would turn to mud if we all got in after traipsing around in this dust. The dirt up here where they've dug and leveled is like talcum powder. Spence looks like he's posing, but he's trying to see the tank down off the hill...he can't.
Hayes is happy to demonstrate the consistency of the dust for me.
I shouldn't have worn flip-flops. I HATE having dirty feet.
Here's the view to the east. You can see the White Corrals on the yellow plain (look for 3 trees and a windmill). In the distance is TEP.
Hayes has on flip-flops too...since it was just going to be a little ride. It doesn't stop him for a second. He thought this sand might be quick-sand.
Just a random shot of a cedar tree and a rock with lichens.
I must be obsessed with the dust, I keep taking pictures of it.
It took what seemed like an hour for the water to travel from the well up to the green storage tank. I must have gotten bored because my "high school" came out and I started writing messages to Spence on his truck.
The water finally came...woo-hoo...I didn't take a picture, but I did make Hayes bang off his shoes before getting back in the truck. You can see poor, little Chase's fingers over the edge of the truck. He was banished there after a he soaked his shoes and socks.
Off to the white corrals. I actually climbed the windmill for the first time to get some aerial shots. I dropped my shoe half-way up and those skinny, metal steps hurt when you're barefoot.
It's weaning season, so all of those calves pressed up against the fence are bawling for their mamas.
All those mamas and babies drink a lot of water....more than the windmill and solar well that feed these two tanks can produce. Hence the new pipeline. I think now we're in business. That's Papa Jay down there seeing how many gallons a minute are coming out of the pipeline. It ends up being about 11 gallons of water a minute, which is good because one cow can drink about 10 gallons of water a day.
I had to take a picture of my shadow to prove that I had climbed the windmill. Leaning out like that was actually a little nerve-racking.
Safely back on the ground, here are all of those calves crying for their mamas. Now lest you think it's mean, these are not little babies. They are big calves who are sucking their poor mamas dry. The mamas need them off so they can start to gain weight again.
I watched this one ball-faced mama in particular. She seemed to be one of the more concerned parents.
I think she found her baby.
Oh, the mama-child bond...I feel you're pain.
Cows are afraid of people (unless they're wild and crazy...the cows not the people)
Hayes is an old pro at the windmill. He climbs it nearly every time we're here.
I think Old Socks is such a handsome horse.
Our next steaks being fattened with grain. (Now you can call me mean...but I'm out of steaks!)
Spence has this funny face in half the pictures I take of him. It must be the sun. I still think he's handsome...just like his horse. HA :)
The calves, though thirsty, cautiously approached the soggy-bottomed boy. (He lost his pants along with his shoes)
The Humphery cousins showed up with Papa and Grandma, so there was just a little time left for a romp on the hay. They had to wade through the calves to get over there.
They made it. I took Chase over too and let him "drive the tractor" and his favorite that drives us all crazy, to honk the horn. I have no pictures. Hayes lost his shoe down a crack in the hay stack. Looks like we'll have to wait till it's all fed to find it.
AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
I need to go with Spence more often. I always think I'm too busy, but this makes me realize that this is what life is all about.