By Linda M. Hasselstrom
A set of non-public essays from essentially the most generally released American environmental writers addresses the troubles in regards to the results of ranching at the atmosphere.
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Extra info for Between Grass And Sky: Where I Live And Work (Environmental Arts and Humanities)
We’ll raise healthy calves, manufacturing beef. Even today, when I’ve spent ten hours on this tractor, with the thermometer registering 104 degrees and the wind blowing gritty dust into my teeth, I can feel the cold of the coming winter. During the long, dark evenings, I’ll read environmental magazines; many of them will say ranchers are ruining the West. I’ll grit my teeth. Because ranchers work as I have worked today, you can choose a ﬁne cut of steak, juicy and red, at the supermarket. Or you can stand at your grill, shaping hamburger, mouth watering as the grease pops in the pan.
The owl turned his head back and forth while the men shivered in the chilly wind, then hopped to the top of the crate. Again, he looked carefully around, then ﬂew to the top of the pickup. He hesitated, then leaped straight up and soared into the trees. h 50 • b e t w e e n gr ass and sky Our winter pasture is six miles north of the ranch, along Battle Creek. The land was ﬁrst homesteaded by James Hartgering, a pioneering surveyor. His daughter ﬁrst leased, then sold it to us. Hartgering’s house once stood on a slight rise of land surrounded by apple trees.
We could see no cuts on her head, no visible evidence of her last epic struggle. My ankle and knee turned purple and green and remained swollen for a couple of weeks. Most range cows aren’t as hard to corral as Whirlaway, but it wasn’t especially unusual for us to spend a hard half-day’s work getting a wild cow out of the pasture. Whenever a city friend envies us the ranching life and says, “All you have to do is sit around and watch those cows get fat,” I just nod and raise my glass of iced tea in a salute to Whirlaway.