Tag Archives: pasture

Pasture Lookout: Why Salers is the Secret Ingredient

Pasture Lookout is a capture of a moment in the life of our next special bovine choice.   This wonderful fully horned cow was immediately raised her head when I approached her pasture enclosure. One sight of those protruding horns and I decided to make my approach to capturing this fair creature of the dell be cautious at best.

Latter I decided to try to discover what kind of cow this was. It’s my belief that what is standing here looking so dolefully at us is a Salers cow.

Salers is a breed of horned cattle that originated in Pasture LookoutFrance and eventually arrived in the United States. They are popular among ranchers due to their careful selective breeding to keep up certain favorable traits that ranchers find useful.

One of these special traits is that they are not only excellent beef cows, something very highly prized in Texas, but they are also well-known for their milk producing qualities.  It is possible that beef in that last hamburger you ate came from a Salers.  Who knew?

They are well-known for producing and growing larger amounts of meat for less feed. They are longer, heavier, and thicker than the popular Angus cattle and still support a higher rate of marbling than some other breeds. In fact, they are sometimes bred with Angus to get more desirable results.

These cattle are also known for superb breeding capabilities in hot and dry drought stricken climates to very cold blizzard affected areas. Part of this is their ability to find areas of pasture to graze from that other cattle are reluctant to find.

This also results in healthier cows. Because these cows are predispositioned to roam extensively in a pasture, they tend to eat a larger range of plants. This allows them to receive the nutritional benefits of more plants types than most other cattle.

Another result of their improved health is that the calving ease of Salers is known to be high. In other words, these cattle will give birth easier without the need for expensive veterinary issues like C-sections and breaches.

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We wish to give thanks to THE AMERICAN SALERS ASSOCIATION for information on this breed.

 

The Serenity of Munching on Bluebonnets

Munching on Bluebonnets is a further exploration into the colorful Texas spring. The daily temperatures begin to rise towards the inevitable searing heat of the summer.

As with spring in other parts of the world, it is a time of rain and the regrowth of the sweet aromatic flowers and grasses that pastured animals love so well. The bluebonnets continued to bloom and now and then you could glimpse a touch of yellow flowers, Indian Paintbrushes, or the characteristic white and reddish pinks of multicolored bluebonnets mixed in with the dominant dark and light blues.Munching on Bluebonnets

These two horses are munching quite contently on the sweet bluebonnets without, it seems, a care in the entire world. They don’t even mind a complete stranger with a camera marching up to within a short distance to take pictures.

I had hoped to get them to look at me, and that was my original intention. But, upon viewing that the horses were so downright determined to keep up feeding on the bluebonnets,  I gave up and decide that no, it needed to be this way.

I felt that the scene before me was too natural to change for a small vision in my head. Once again, nature managed to prove that it’s seemingly random creation of beauty far outweighs man’s eternal struggle to find it or even create it.  This event was a Zen moment, and during those peaceful times it is best to just let go of your personal desires and become lost in the tranquility that the heavens have bested on you at that moment.

The horses were content, the pond was in the background, and the flowers were drifting and swaying on the soft morning breeze. The very colors themselves were alive with visual acuity and style.

Even the trees with their newly green leaves rustling in the wind gave a sense of peace and calmness that overcame me. So, lifting the camera to my eye and gently squeezing the shutter, I created Munching on Bluebonnets.

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That’s Close Enough for You

In Close Enough we see another example of the shorthorn cow. Like her blond counterpart, this cow seems to have the privilege of being the herd’s guard cow.

She was the most interested in my advance than any in close enoughher group of friends. It was unclear whether this was more out of curiosity or careful investigation to see if I meant any harm.

This cow looks experienced in her role in the herd. She probably is the matriarch or an alpha female. The greyish white fur that highlights her muzzle, neck, and parts of her flank suggest that she has definitely seen several years in the pasture.

What is fascinating about her though is her posture. Her ears are fully extended to allow them to hear any intruding sounds that would alert her to any danger. Even though her eyes are on the side of her head to give her the greatest field of view, she is clearly focused on what is in front of her.

Her head is slightly tilted back, also paying attention to the intruder to her tranquil pasture. If you look closely you will readily see that even though she shows interest in what is occurring in front of her, almost inquisitive even, she appears to have a look of almost recognition.

I believe that she recognizes what she sees, namely a human, but she is at the same time very wary because she doesn’t recognize this particular human. She is asking herself, “Who is that?” “What do they want?” “Do they have food?”. But somewhere in the back of her mind her instincts are informing her of the possible danger.

So, in response to the greatest question on her mind, “Does this human I like BBQ?” she has taken that last step as a guard cow. Her whole body language sends the message, “You have come close enough!”

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6 Facts About the Texas Bluebonnet

Bluebonnet Carpet reminds us that every year there is a reminder of the coming warmer seasons. Around late March, North Texas and the Hill Country begin a gradual warm up into the welcome spring. Our attention turns from the dreaded ice storms to devastating hail and tornadoes.

Many people often ask how Texans cope with such a range of extreme weather. The answer lies, at least partly in the beauty found during the blooming of our state flower. April is the only time of year when entire pastures of grazing horses and lazy cows tromp and munch happily among the blue, pink, red, and white Bluebonnet Carpetflowers of the Texas bluebonnet.

Here are some basic facts for the bluebonnet.

  1. The amount of rain does will influence  how many flowers what you see every year. Depending on the amount of spring rains, Texans either enjoy a huge deluge of these gorgeous flowers or barely see one.
  2. Bluebonnets are not just blue. Most bluebonnet flowers are blue, however, both pink and white variations are found naturally.
  3. The pink bluebonnet was first discovered in a field south of San Antonio. Legends say that they were white bluebonnets that turned pink after the San Antonio River ran red with the blood of the Texas defenders at the battle of the Alamo.
  4. Bluebonnets are usually found with a red flower called Indian Paintbrush. The Indian Paintbrush is actually a parasitic plant that feeds off the root system of a bluebonnet.
  5. Bluebonnets only occur in 55-75 degree weather. In Texas, this usually means they bloom sometime around late March to mid April.
  6. While it’s not illegal to pick Bluebonnets, to some Texans it’s kind of like burning the National Flag. Everyone has the right to do it but it’s not necessarily seen as the friendliest thing to do.

I hope you’ll agree that bluebonnets are a most extraordinary flower. They always remind us of the beauty of nature and its ability to create lavish landscapes. Now, all you need to do to enjoy the bluebonnets is to place one on your wall.

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