Yesterday was 107 degrees. It strikes fear in our hearts as we think back and remember last year – the heat – the high winds – the evaporating ponds and creeks – hauling water – hauling hay. This year we were blessed with a real Spring with cooler temperatures – early rains that brought our creeks back and green grass for the cows. Thank you God. Last year taught us valuable lessons about protecting our pastures and the grass – and to conserve our water.
We work our cattle on horses. But for day to day moves, we still “call” our cattle. Cattle calls are unique to every rancher. It is using your outside voice to make a sound that your cows distinctly recognize. And after all we went through last year – they learned to listen for our “call” – they learned to trust us. They learned that when we called them up – it was for feed or to move to a greener pasture with more grass and fresh water. Our “call” was a good thing and they always came running. Now – if you are still scratching your head about “cattle call” – check out You Tube – A Tribute to Eddy Arnold – Cattle Call.
So this morning I knew that we were going to move some cattle around. So as I opened one gate, I decided I would “call” but make it barely audible. As I swung the gate open and faintly “called”, this loud mouth cow bawled back a reply from deep in the pasture on the other side of the creek. From her sounding the alarm – I started to see speedy movement in my direction. It took them no time for the cows to recognize the “call”- respond – and roll through the gate to untouched green grass. They were happy cows.
Now, for real fun – we teach that cattle call to all the little kids that come to the ranch. Then when they are riding home with mom and dad and spot a cow on the side of the road, without any prompting, they can belt out this ear piercing scream (their version of the cattle call). The kids love it – mom and dad – well, not so much!! So then it’s my turn to get the……..”call”.