Monday, November 05, 2012

Good Folk

Now that it's cool once again, I have begun again to do my daily walks and runs.  I am doing five miles this week, and yesterday was my first walk/run.  This is to say, more walk than run, but nevertheless, the "run" is there.

My gosh.  This morning I could barely shuffle in to the kitchen for my coffee cup.  And today I stuck with my basic five miles of walking. 

Yesterday while I was out walking the Flint Hills, I stopped to chat with a rancher neighbor who was filling giant round water tanks with water.  I would like to say that they have ~500 cattle, but I think what I mean to say is that they have ~500 cows (and that would mean much more bovine if you add up the calves and bulls and steers.)  But asking numerical questions such as how many cows, how many acres, is considered bad form, and so we'll just have to leave that to one's imagination.  Suffice to say, these neighbors have lots and lots of ranching biz in their day-to-day activities.

This year's drought has caused all of this ranch's ponds (on thousands of acres, I do know that) to dry up.  Nary a drop of water for their cattle. 

That's bad.   

So the ranchers and their hands drive around twice a day and refill all the water tanks in all the fields and pastures they have put out for their cattle.  Having had horses, and knowing that a horse can take in five gallons of water in a day, I was surprised when my neighbor told me that these cows (lactating) would be drinking about 20 gallons of water each day. 

I read something a while back, something that was a reply (or retort!) to PETA regarding ranching's handling of their herds.  The article was a statement regarding the care that ranchers took last winter during excessive blizzard conditions: seeing that their herds were well-fed and well-watered, and well-sheltered.

The same goes for these folks in the drought-ridden areas of the country.  A tremendous amount of care is taken in the ranching business around here, and not only for the business side of it, but because these people care for their livestock - not something that PETA people would like you to be privy to.

November 5th, and I am so, so thankful that I see the reality of ranching and the care these ranching neighbors put into their livelihood.           

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