I spoke too soon on the drones last week. A couple of evenings later, I walked outside from the shop office, and as had been my first instinct, looked up to the sky. I should establish the setting here — we live in a large valley, have no yard lights and considering the closest incorporated town is an hour away by road, very little ambient light.
The night scenery in the valley is beautiful, and a stargazer’s paradise. Not so much if you have an aversion to overhead drone activity. So there I was walking across the yard, and glanced up, and I’ll be dang if there wasn’t a flock of them — and yes, in case you didn’t know, a group of drones is called a flock.
There was a group of five gridding the south side of the valley, two others were following behind. For the record, I did not pee my pants, I just jumped in the hydrabed to run up to the teammate’s house to see if they had a scope. I had no intention of shooting at anything, I just didn’t want to get too hyped up in case maybe it was a flock of geese with blinking lights attached to their wings or something along those lines. The group disappeared off to the east before we could get a decent scope on them, but then returned on the north side of the valley in a similar formation.
I’ve continued to search every other evening after that but have come to the conclusion that we must be boring, as they have yet to return. I did see that they have ventured to the eastern part of the state and have caused quite the hoopla. It seems that even the #fakemedia is getting involved — one reporter stated that they had seen the drones over a metropolis, and the photo showed a perfect picture of the constellation Orion’s Belt.
What surprises me in all of this is that there’s a lot of difference between states and rural/urban. I follow a Colorado drone social media page, and it seems on that one there’s a lot of discussion about a “mother ship” and aliens. Whereas on the Nebraska social media page, there’s a lot more talk about shooting one down. I guess to each their own.
I try not to state-bash very often, but I did take this last Saturday off as it had been a while since I was able to venture away from the operations and take a breather. The business partner and I spent around five hours at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. I usually try to get out there every year for a day to visit with clients and old friends, and this year was a little extra special as we had some friends from Iowa showing an April heifer out of a heifer I had sold them a couple years ago.
I was almost sad I didn’t spend a little more time there as the people-watching was all the entertainment one needed, including a lady decked out in the cattle area on the “hill” complete with purple hair and cat ears.
My business partner and I were discussing this when she goes, “I have a story to tell you.” Evidently, she had a coworker this last week that came into work at the hospital one day pretty upset because the high school that her son attends in Colorado would not allow her son to wear a hat. I’m still a firm believer that you should not wear a hat in school, but it wasn’t so much that he couldn’t wear a hat, it was that there was a group of students enrolled in the same school that identified as “furries.”
These students wear cat costumes to school and vocalize by hissing or scratching at people. You can’t make this stuff up, but because they “identify” as something, the school refuses to do anything about it. In case your interest is now piqued by “furries” and you want to pick up a hobby, they even have conventions.
When I posted that on Twitter, a fellow ag producer commented that if their grandkids would do that, they would send them to the vet for their shots.
Now, in their defense, I think we’ve all had that stage where we pretended we were animals, whether it be horses, dogs, cows, or cats. I went through that phase, but I grew out of it by the time I had started kindergarten.
Long story short, I kind of wish maybe those drones were aliens and there was a mother ship, so it could take some of those individuals with them.
Jaclyn Wilson is more than a rancher, raising Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Neb. She’s an artist with a welder’s torch. She holds leadership positions with several agriculture organizations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.