My husband, Mike Russell Mike and grandson Dylan
Unbeknown to me, yesterday was the National Day of the Cowboy. I did not know we had a National Day for Cowboys, but how very nice.
To me, everyday is the day of the cowboy. The cowboy life is how I was raised, it’s how my father, and his father were raised. It is my husbands’ life, and how we raised our children. It is the life I love and feel comfortable in.
The cowboy life is one of hard work, long hours, and usually little pay. It is working outdoors in all of nature’s glory; and all of it’s bitter worst. It is moving cows to summer pastures when the wildflowers are out, the sky blue and warm, and the smell of fresh pine or sagebrush filling your senses to an unbelievable high. It is feeding and doctoring cows in winter blizzards, wind blowing, temps below zero, and icicles hanging from frozen mustaches and beards, while all you are wanting is to get back to the warmth of the fire at home.
The cowboy life is not just one of riding and roping. It is also the life of an “environmentalist.” It is weed control, often with a shovel in the hot summer sun. It is irrigating. It is pasture rotation with livestock, so as not to overgraze.
Many people believe you should keep livestock off of public land. They want to do away with ranchers using the BLM. They don’t understand that grazing is beneficial and under-grazing can be harmful. Weeds can overtake the natural grasses and choke them out, leaving little for wildlife to survive on. It can also be a grave fire danger to our forest lands.
To me the cowboy life is one of love. It is love of nature, cattle, horses, dogs, land, and air. It is helping a mare or cow bring new life into the world. It is helping a neighbor when help is needed. It is loving your family. It is appreciating each day, knowing you are blessed to know a lifestyle few will ever be privileged to know, and one that is not- so -slowly slipping away.
The day of the American Cowboy; I wish everyone could live it just once!