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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Summer Life

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Lynn Harlan

Check for miller moths in the coffee pot before you pour in the water.  Shut all the open windows from the night to keep the house cool. 

We got all the ewes and lambs to the mountain shortly after the Fourth of July.  We’re taking a breath.  

Summertime isn’t too easy on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains.  It’s a crazy marathon to utilize all the good things about four or five months of the year. 

The stock drive on the mountain was beyond gorgeous.  The wildflowers were in their prime.  

Yellow arrowleaf balsamroot, purple-bluish lupine, white phlox and green grass waist high. Waist high on my border collie anyway. 

Our long trail from the flats to the mountain summer pastures is always amazing and exhausting.  This year we had plenty of water along the way and grass keeping even the little crippled lambs at the back full and fat.

We took along our four-year-old grandson for the last few days on the trail. We are making good memories I hope. Falling asleep on the four-wheeler with GrandBob, a couple of campfires, eating all of a brook trout, a trip to the lodge for ice cream, catching millers in a bowl of soapy water under the light at night. 

He kept us entertained playing “spaceship” with the small Dyson vacuum knockoff Bob bought for the camper. The canister detaches or has “liftoff” before going into a flat spin and crashing.  

Bob should have bought the two dollar warranty.  Oh well, grandkids make life grand. 

Coming home to view hay in windrows down by the road. A couple of thunderstorms come by of course, one with soft hail which we watched with trepidation. 

Will it hail hard enough to buy us a new car? Nope.  Just as well. 

The moisture is keeping the weeds green anyway.  I’m going to have to find someone to come in and swath the backyard. 

The year is half over. Winter feeding, calving, shearing, lambing, branding, docking, trailing and summer trucking is over for 2022. 

A night at the College National Finals Rodeo, Chris LeDoux Days, the upcoming Sheridan rodeo and some meetings for Bob fill out our social schedule. A special night at the Wyoming State Fair to honor Bob’s childhood friend Scott Keith is also on the agenda.

I have a teacher friend who is trying to mark each summer day, and to make it go as slowly as possible. She is well suited to teaching, but dreads the long commute every day. Seems like summer goes fast, as the days and seasons pass so quickly. 

Try to simmer down and enjoy the days and nights of summer. Have a cold beer, or glass of lemonade, so cold it drips with condensation. 

Enjoy a barbeque with friends or an exhilarating jump into the Buffalo pool, one of the largest outdoor pools in the country, fed by the cold mountain waters of Clear Creek.

There is still plenty of work to do. I need to go back and spray those thistles I missed earlier.  Try to keep the cows with water and take out the bulls here shortly. Keep salt and mineral tubs full on the mountain and check for lion and bear kills. 

I wish the folks out haying all the luck with their equipment and fingers crossed the air conditioning runs in the tractors.  Countdown to county fairs is approaching and best wishes to all participants and parents. Good luck to all of the National High School Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo participants in Gillette.

A friend and I took the opportunity to visit Shell this last weekend.  We went to a celebration at the Shell Hall.

It was built in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration. The hall had a renovation of a new floor and some foundation work. It was done with community donations. 

Near and dear to me is the Barnum Hall, built in 1907 with community labor and donated materials. It’s had some work done in this century – a new roof, windows, refinishing of the wood floor and a new furnace. It lives on with occasional weddings and wakes and the traditional Barnum Christmas party.

There are community halls all throughout Wyoming and other rural states – they are the glue holding us together.  The party at the Shell Hall had all the requisites of a fun time – tables groaning with everyone’s best side dish, kids racing through the crowd, music you could dance to, or tap your feet anyway, wonderful conversations with old friends and air conditioning!

Hold on to and savor Wyoming’s short-lived summer.

Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’, and the cotton is high

Oh, your daddy’s rich, and your ma is good lookin’

So hush, little baby…. Don’t you cry.  

Composed by George Gershwin in 1934.

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