Thursday, February 17, 2011

"I Wanna be a Cowboy"

california cowboy
Well, okay, not really;-) Last Saturday, though, we took a drive, and stumbled upon a big round-up/branding gathering on our favorite road. We stopped, I asked if I could take photos, and was told yes. So, parked, hopped out, and got to see our first-ever real-life round-up. It was so cool! The action took place in a fairly small pen with a tall fence around it, not the greatest for photos, but at least we got to see it and I got some fun shots.

black angus, calf
Yes, it can be a bit harsh (which is why no branding photos here), but to me, it was so great to see this lifestyle still in existence - especially here in California. Plus, though they may eventually head to market, the calves up in the foothills still have much happier lives than the ones down here in the factory dairy farms (veal crates, anyone?). The foothill calves get to stay with their mothers until weaning age, and enjoy freedom and green grass for a while. They get to be cows.

cowboys, ranchers, roping
calf roping
cowboys, roping, calf
california, ranchers, cowboys
It was really awesome to see all of the cowboys at work! I've seen reining and roping in the show ring, and have to say that the real thing makes you appreciate just how hard it is to rope and wrangle a calf. It was a great trip back into the past, and I hope you enjoy this short photo journey into being a cowboy for a day:-)

horse, cow pony