Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flashback Friday

After seeing my sisters blog posting about branding this last weekend, it got me thinking about when I was a kid. Branding was an annual event that we all looked forward to. So, sit back and enjoy seeing some old pictures of the Waite family branding!In the above picture starting from the right: My grandpa's brother Gerald, my grandpa (Elden), my dad (Ronald), his brother (Dennis), ?? and one of Gerald's sons.

First, the men would stand around discussing who would have which job and how it all work. Basically making a plan to make the day go as smoothly as possible when working with COWS! The cows always needed to be seperated from the calves after we paired them up to make sure each cow had a calf. Above is my dad waving his arm and carrying a big stick to make the cows behave and my grandpa is manning the gate that will separate them. Now, all of us extra people would always help out during this time making human fences and what not to assist in the seperation process.

My grandpa was dedicated to his cows, farm and for as long as he was able. Here is a later picture of him still manning the gates.
Then the branding would begin. It took a lot of man power to man those branding shutes. Often it was my job to push the calves down the fence into the waiting spot for them to enter the shutes. I liked observing much better than working!! I'm not to fond of cows as they can be unpredictable and cranky!

This is a picture of me holding my cousin Springe by my grandma. We are just watching, my favorite part!

Here is my Grandpa's brother Gerald, me, my brother Robert and my Aunt Peni's friend Donna. We are safely watching from a distance until we're needed to make a human fence.

I vividly remember the day this picture was taken. I'm holding my cousin Springe, my brother Randy, then my brother Robert, then my cousin Dieter. My brother Rob would always collect the calf ears in his pocket, when my mom got home and washed our clothes, the calf ears would always have fallen out into the washer and it would scare her to death!

My kids have only experienced branding one time a few years ago. Cows are now on Tanner's top 10 list of things that he is afraid of because of his branding experience. The year we were in Oregon for branding was intersting. There was quite a large calf that was so stupid and so ornery. It charged my dad and my uncle Reed and bashed both of them into the fence, it pushed down a fence and was just causing all sorts of grief. It was quite scary. That year we also had two big cows to brand that kept jumping over the fences and escaping. I think we left that day not ever having branded them because they had caused so much trouble, so I have included some more modern pictures of the year my kids got to experience branding. They may not like it, but I have such fond, wonderful memories of it being a time to spend with extended family members and enjoying the farm life!

I bet you didn't know branding outfits were so flattering?!Still happy, it has just begun.We had two shutes going and little man power, so everyone had a job.They are working so hard huh!Tanner is telling Taz something, Taz looks a little worried.Here are Taz and I trying to get one calf at a time to go to the shute (this is before Taz got butted by a calf and permantly decided to stay ON the fence, not IN the pen.)The fencing set up (Notice the boys are on the OUTSIDE!)Break timeI wasn't too good at getting the calves in the shute, so I got demoted (or promoted as I like to think of it to shute opener and closer!)Windy and cold, Tanner, Cynjyn and Taz by the troughLastly, my sister Ky with her own personal calf getting branded!!


kc and k said...

Oh the memories! I love how Tanner and Taz look like they think they're safe on those fences. If they only knew how sturdy they really are. That was definitely a crazy year for branding. You can tell by the look on their faces that your kids thought we were all crazy, especially you for making a special trip to Oregon for it.
I havn't seen some of those earlier photos. They look so cool.
I'm pretty sure it's me you're holding in the one and not Springe? And, am I crazy or is your friend Toni Springe's twin?

Carol said...

This was really interesting! I've always been a city girl, so this kind of stuff is way out of my league. Cool pictures!

gwen said...

Oh Yes, the memories. When we used to brand at KL, it was an all day thing. Grandma always brought a hugh lunch, and we all went into the house to eat and visit, and resumed again in the afternoon. What fun!

Tony and Heather said...

When I saw the last picture, I could smell the burning hair. :). It took me a couple years of marriage before I realized that branding was not the most appealing activity for most people (burning hide, spurting blood, manure, angry cows). But I have happy memories of it too -- it was time with family.

Andrea said...

Very interesting for city girls like myself. That can be added to my list of things I don't want to do or even witness. Why do they brand them anyway?

Krissy T. said...

Nice pictures--both the "vintage" ones and the ones from a few years ago. I missed out on the branding as a kid, so it is fun to hear other people's memories. Yeah, ask Trampis how sturdy those fences are that Tanner and Taz are sitting on! He got "bucked off" the fence one year when a calf pushed it up and knocked it over.