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The Texas Side Of Things...

published: June 14th 2019
by: Jim Banner

Welcome to the beginning of the dog days of summer!  But did you know that old saying doesn’t mean what most of us think it does?  We usually think the dog days of summer refers to the fact that the summer heat is so hot that dogs lie around in the shade, panting and trying to find a cool spot, normally under a shade tree, but that’s not where the saying comes from.  Originally, the phrase had nothing to do with real dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer.  Instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the sky.  To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, sometime in late July.
    Now I don’t know about the weather where you are, but this past Sunday it was 106 degrees at the ranch in Castell.  I hope this isn’t a sign of what we have to look forward to in the next few months or I might be leaving for the mountains very soon.  Most of the folks I’ve visited with lately say they are in excellent shape right now with green pastures and lots of producers are baling hay as fast and furiously as they can trying to replenish their depleted inventory from last year.  Although most of the state is having an unbelievable spring, I recently visited with Bob Siddons, who has a ranch between Tilden and Freer, who said he hasn’t received any significant rainfall since the end of March and that his property is getting drier by the day.
    For me, this period from June through August is the time of year I get a lot of work done at the ranch.  I get up early in the morning and work until about 1 p.m. and then head for the house and wait for it to cool off again in the evening and then work until the sun goes down.  This schedule doesn’t allow for much of a social life but then again, I don’t need one because I’m spending all my money paying for the things I’m trying to fix or replace.  So far, I’ve been able to work my cows and calves, clean up a lot of brush and cactus, fix some fence and put up a flagpole for my mother.  Next week I will start killing mesquite, clean out my barn, push some more brush and cactus and all I can think of is…do I know how to live or what?
    If you are looking for something to do instead of slaving away in the heat, may I remind you that the Independent Cattlemen’s Assn. Convention is scheduled for next week, June 19-21 in San Marcos, Texas.
    This convention is always a great event with excellent speakers and the members are second to none.  Also, don’t forget to register and attend the 65th Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in College Station, Texas on August 5-7.  This is always one of my favorite events of the year and one of the largest educational cattle gatherings in the United States.  Their trade show is huge and if you can’t find the product or equipment you are looking for then you probably don’t need it!  Some of the best speakers in agriculture will be there discussing modern day topics and views and just about everything from animal nutrition, future markets, land management, and even cattle handling will be covered.   Our own Brian Bledsoe will once again be giving us a prediction of the weather for the fall, winter and even next spring.
    Besides, it will be hot in August and trust me when I say those Aggies know how to cool you off while you are there.
    We will be taking a little time off the next few weeks to heal up our aging bodies, so we won’t publish another SLS until July 12th.  Please don’t call me in two weeks and ask where in the heck your newspaper is because then I’ll know you didn’t read my column.  I hope to see you soon at some of the upcoming events and until then, Think Texas!

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