Branding ~ Part 3

Here is the rest of the branding day.
First, this is the grill-thingy I was talking about, that we use to heat the irons in. It’s alot faster than a fire. Not to mention portable.  I didn’t have a picture of the cooler of pop, which is the only thing I am interested in today. I am so thirsty for a cold Coke. And the nearest one is 20 miles away. That’s what I get for living on a ranch. It has its downside – just sayin’.

 Oops! the hair caught fire! It happens, once in a while. they calmly step on the flames, to put them out. While the calf bawls. See? poor baby. Then again – in a  few months this same calf will be a big, ugly yearling, and most likely will be trying to kick me or slobber on my car. Never mind the pity.

 My good friend, Nikea, giving shots. I miss her. She went with her man to Texas. They are soaking in sun while I am still in WY. How fair is that, I ask you??

 Here comes the brandin’ iron again. look at that smoke roll.  The smell of scorched hair, mingling with the scent of sweating horses, fresh cow pies and saddle-leather, all mixes together into the typical branding day smell. Not bad, really. In Wyoming, we always have a breeze to carry it away.

 Our boss’s brand. I have no idea what its called. Upside-down-house?

 My cute nephew again. He was marking each calf with a huge, pink marker, so that if it got back in with the other calves, the cowboys could tell which ones were already finished.

This colt was kind of being a jerk that day. I think it was the first time it was at a branding.

 My mom and my sister were doing a wonderful job babysitting, so I could take pictures.
 The trusty Leatherman knife. Cutting off the eartag, and replacing it.

 My all-time favorite picture I have ever taken here on the ranch. I have threatened to frame it, but he won’t hear of it. I know its not really an outstanding picture, but its My Cowboy. Nuff said.

And that, my friends, is a branding.
Branding trivia:
1. The rancher hosting the branding usually doesn’t ride. He stays afoot to keep the process going.
2. It’s customary for the rancher hosting to feed the crew lunch. Traditionally its a feast, with beef as the main dish, but some ranchers that either don’t have womenfolk, or the women are also riding, have really slacked off in this regard. Our boss’s wife always makes a feast. Truly. Its the highlight.
3. You DO NOT go to a branding uninvited. It’s bad manners.
4. If you do get invited to a branding, don’t make problems. Stay clear of those working, and don’t spook the broncey horses. Trust me.
5. And of course, the #1 ranch rule…. If You Open A Gate – Close It.

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