We went to our first branding of the year on Memorial Day. (well, my first – Cliff’s second) We have friends in CO who own cattle, and they let us come help them every spring. It is always a huge party – lots of families there to help and watch. They let the kids help – which is cool.
I rode out to help gather the small pasture, then I got off my horse and got out my camera. It was fun to be in a branding pen again! I about got run over, but didn’t even care.
Cliff is in charge of inviting cowboys who can rope, so he invites his friends and they bring their friends. He likes to head and heel the calves, which is more of a buckaroo thing, but most of the guys he invited enjoy that style, too. 🙂
One of the men branding was an Amish man from Pennsylvania. He happened to be in the area once, during a branding, and he fell in love with it. He comes out every year just to slap those brands on! He takes his job very seriously, and uses a wire brush on the electric branding iron between each calf. 🙂 Meticulously clean, as are all PA Amish!
The sky was deliciously overcast – cool and a bit of a breeze, but not a drop of rain. Perfect conditions for branding (and photography)! Everything went pretty smooth, and we were finished by noon, and back to the house for brisket, beans, and corn-on-the-cob.
I never get tired of brandings, the excitement of the branding pen, the skill of the ropers, the catching up with friends. It is one of the last pioneer-style events where community happens naturally.
Have you been branding yet? Or is it long over? We calve later here, so we still have to brand our calves.