Survival on the Range: The Cattle of Foster Canyon

Living and traveling in the Southwest I have become familiar with the locals; not always people, they provide comfort in places that would otherwise seem lifeless. While some scoff at the sight at livestock on the range, we must realize that our porterhouse had to grow up somewhere. The roaming herds of the desert face a hard life; while constantly fending off coyotes, mountain lions and starvation they still manage to get on. I’ll admit I have a soft spot for these gentile beasts…until dinner.

As Guy and I descended the hills back to the main roads we crossed the path of a cattle herd grazing and watering. A calf lay in the middle of the road for what I figured as lame; my heart sunk at the sight. The elders guarded the little one while it struggled to get up in a pitiful display. Eager to get out of the truck, Guy whimpered while I watched the animal finally rise after a half dozen attempts. The cows must have thought I came bearing gifts because they moved in on the bed of my truck. Taking full advantage of my new found friends I decided to photograph them in all their glory.

If I let Guy out he would have lasted all of 30-seconds. The battle scars and ragged horns of the oldest told the stories of far more fierce than my K-9.

The magic of babe bovine wore off quick when a tremendous gust of wind blew dusted manure the in my face. Camera and cameraman soiled, I departed with a solid respect for the animals. Possibly I’ll pass on the burger next time, but no promises.