Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Trail I Walk...


The trail I walk is really only an old cow trail...sometimes just a dusty path made by cattle, and sometimes it is just muddy ruts cut deep by cattle's sharp hooves.  The trail is even, on occasions in the cold months of the year,  covered with snow or ice.

When I write about cattle trails I am reminded of the trails of the old west such as the Chisholm Trail and the Goodnight-Loving Trail.  Oh my, wouldn't that have been something to have seen?  As Ed Bruce wrote in The Last Cowboy Song, "We'll dream tonight of when fences weren't here."    

But, it is a sure fact that I do, indeed, walk where the cattle walk.  They know the best trails, so I just follow those trails, add a few loop-de-loops and there it is ~ Miss Chip's Trail, which is what I first called it.  And, we will just keep hoping that this simple old trail is never covered in concrete as much of the old Chisholm Trail now is. 

I never know what to expect when I head out each morning.  No two days are the same for life goes on and things change, even while we sleep.  Yes, even the trail!  Why, just this morning, Millie and I had to detour around an old fallen log.  It was a dead pine that lightening had struck a few years back.  I knew it would fall one day, so yesterday was the day.

 Hill Top Cowboy's  first paying job, when he was about nine years old, was riding his mare, Dolly, to look after a neighbor's cattle.  He counted them each day and reported back to the owner if  anything was awry.  He earned a dollar a day for the work, if you call riding a spotted pony "work."  He gave the money he earned to his mother to be used to buy things for the family.  He had lost his dad when he was only four years old, so those times were hard ones for his mother who, by herself, raised a family of four children (three sisters besides the young cow poke.)  He says, looking back, that the neighbor probably paid him the dollar a day just to help out the family.  

His story always reminds me of that of Ralph Moody, which he wrote about in Little Britches and Man of the Family.   When we married,  the young cowboy didn't have much to bring along  ~ just  his clothes and two old books.  It's not a hard guess as to what those books were.  Dan had read those books when he was a boy, probably about the time he was riding old Dolly on the neighbor's ranch.  

And, here is the Cow Poke, himself,  now living out his dream, but he has traded in his horse for one of those new-fangled side-by-sides.  It rides a little easier he says, and he's a little closer to the ground.

 "This is the last cowboy song the end of a hundred year waltz
Voices sound sad as they're singing along another piece of America's lost
He'll dream tonight of when fences weren't here

This is the last cowboy song...
Remington showed us how he looked on canvas
And Louie Lamour has told us his tale
And Willie and Waylon and me sing about him
And wish to God we could have ridden his trail

The old Chisholm Trail is covered in concrete now
And they truck 'em to market in fifty foot rigs."

"This is the last cowboy song...
This is the last cowboy song..."

~Ed Bruce

The girls over at Linnie Butts and Company are meeting the Bully Good Skookum dolls for the first time.  Just click on the old sewing machine at the top of the page to join the fun.

Thanks to all for stopping by...

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Garden Gone Wild...


The Zinnia Garden, also known as the Garden Gone Wild, wasn't exactly my doing this year, as most of you know.  I didn't sow the seeds.  They just happened while I stayed away.  And, stay away I did.  This little garden has a history of having ticks in it (ever since we brought manure in from the horse barn), and I was so afraid of getting one under my cast..  

But, once the cast was off, I was out here almost every day trying to salvage what I might.  About a week ago, I finally chopped and pulled the last of the weeds and grass out, tossing  them, as I did each day, over the back fence.  The cattle seemed to think that I was harvesting hay for them, so they would come every day to eat what was there.. They seemed to like it.

I think Mother Nature did a pretty good job.  I have taken notes not to sow next year's seeds as thickly as I usually do.  I did add a few old accent pieces before we did a little photo shoot.  Mother Nature had nothing to do with those.  I am not sure she likes rust as much as I do.  :~) 

I am adding one photo I found on my photo card of celebrations on the 4th.  The cattle and I enjoyed the neighbors fireworks while Millie hid out in the garage.