Friday Fauna- Herding Oklahoma

Cow and calf
Longhorn Cow and calf, Longhorn World Championships, Oklahoma City. I wanted to take this little guy home but he didn’t fit in the Prius. Watercolor over pencil, 8 1/2″ x 11″ Stillman & Birn Epsilon Series

Sometimes living in Oklahoma is just the best of the best, especially if you have secret cowgirl lifestyle yearnings. Deep in the heart of Oklahoma City, a stockyard sprang up today, surrounded by modern, glassy skyscrapers, and there was much mooing. I sketched longhorn cattle and wished I had on a pair of cowgirl boots or a pink denim jacket. I would have blended in better.

Trail Dust, the longest pair of horns on the block.
Trail Dust, with the longest pair of horns on the block. Let me add from my notes that “El Toro”, a very Spanish-looking bull, was actually named “Drag Iron”. The announcer said, “They just pulled Drag Iron out of the pasture with 80 cows, and you saw how pretty he looks. Semen is available on that good Drag Iron bull”.

I watched a big freckled gray bull named Trail Dust enter a squeeze chute where a crew of eight strong cowboys measured his horns. Trail Dust bore the weight of an immense  edifice that drooped away from his head and rose again, black tipped. He had to turn his whole head sideways and tilt the horns straight up to get in the chute. “I think he has or had the record for the longest total horn” the announcer said. They came out to 108 11/16 inches. “He’s got more total horn than anything today” said the announcer. “When he first started coming here, he was white. Now he’s turned a real dark mulberry roan color. Isn’t he a beautiful bull?” He was. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He made me feel like such a cowgirl. Now, if I just had the right boots.

Happy Friday.

Heifers on parade.
Heifers on parade. Since you likely can’t read my handwriting, the note, a quote by the announcer, says, “These measuring guys are full service guys- they’ll take pictures of your bull, and if you need your bull wormed, they’ll worm your bull for you.” Watercolor over pencil, 8 1/2″ x 11″ Stillman & Birn Epsilon Series sketchbook.

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