A Lot of Junk Drawer Miscellanea

While escaping the craziness of opening weekend of elk season for the SD Festival of Books in Deadwood, it turns out I didn’t miss anything exciting. A few tags were filled but the report I got was that those who went farther south of Pringle to hunt down in the Minnekahta area between Hot Springs and Edgemont had better luck.
Once hunters from out of town went back home, a few more locals were able fill their tags throughout the week. It appears that my husband’s about the only one left of the Pringle residents and landowners (landowners in the area get a tag due to elk depredation on their hay ground) with tags who haven’t filled yet.
It’ll be interesting to see who the fare weather hunters are and who the hard core ones are. By Monday morning Pringle received two inches of heavy wet snow and we woke up to roughly four inches of the same this morning. 
More is expected for the rest of the week and weekend, plus mid 20’s for a high temperature Saturday.
Our cows have been trying desperately to tell us they’re ready to go home now and have had enough vacation on our summer lease range. The daily routine every morning is for my husband or me has been to check two different spots where they’ve been causing trouble. One is at the Loring Siding Gravel pit; a quarry owned by Hills Material that’s been really busy this fall. The fence that separates our Forest Service lease and the gravel pit is not much more than a weak bluff and the cows know it. We have to check the quarry daily to make sure cows aren’t in there. The other spot is about three miles northeast. Part of our lease includes the back road and we also drive it toward Pringle daily to see if cows are bunched up along a cattle guard and weak fence that, if cows got too pushy, they could knock down what hardly constitutes as a fence, to begin their trek home north of Pringle by the big barn.

Dealing with fence that’s like working with spaghetti—fence that breaks easily and is a scrambled up mess—has inspired my next story. I’ve spent several mornings cobbling, splicing and propping up old fence to keep our cows on the Forest Service lease side.

Tomorrow the family and a couple of neighbors are going to move our heifers north of Pringle to the big barn where the rest of our herd will be. We’ve lined up horse trailers to haul them after we get them gathered into a neighbor’s corrals. I’m not really looking forward to it because the memory of trying to get them loaded into the trailer last time is still fresh in my mind. The only highlight is that I’ll get to try out my new custom-made chinks when my husband and I ride to gather the heifers. I hope it doesn’t end up a disaster.
The SD Festival of Books was a great experience. I attended sessions on South Dakota photographer, Greg Latza, a few children’s books authors, a session featuring short story fiction author, Ron Carlson
 and sat in on the live broadcast of SDPBS radio show’s Rock Garden Tour and listened to readings from the newest collection of stories written by and about South Dakotans from the SD Humanities Council. Since my grandmother had two stories in the book, I bought books for Christmas and one for myself.
I’m not a thriller movie fan, but went to the viewing of the Native American thriller movie Imprint, with a question and answer session afterwards. The courtroom scene in the movie was filmed in Custer’s 1880 Courthouse Museum. Other scenes included the 777 Ranch and Pine Ridge. I headed home Saturday evening before snow rolled in and felt inspired to write and photograph about my environment but ended up peeling off old paint in my daughter’s room in order to repaint instead. That didn’t inspire me.

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