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Water is life…on Powder Rim

Cows and baby calves

 

The cows on Powder Rim are doing a great job calving. Thanks to Casey for “going native” and tending them. Of course, I don’t know what a cow could want that they don’t have…especially fresh water!

Springtime by the reservoir

wild horses hanging around the developed water

Solar well pumping water

blessed water

Pat checking on the new babies

 

 

 
 

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Along the spring sheep trails

looking east from Powder Rim

We have started trailing from our wintering grounds to spring country where we have shearing and lambing in our future, and theirs.

The ewe lambs have spent the winter in the Powder Wash country. Yemerson has started them along the Powder Rim trail. In a few days, they will arrive at the Badwater Pasture, where they will hang out until early July.

In the meantime, the ewes who wintered on the Chain Lakes allotment on the Red Desert have started south. Their destination is the Cottonwood lambing grounds. In a few weeks, we’ll have wool in the bags, and lambs on the ground, God willing.

ewe lambs watering on the Powder Rim trail

nooning at the reservoir

leaving the Red Desert

between I80 and the railroad overpass

Pepe giving an early lamb a lift

catching a ride

over the Union Pacific bridge

almost to the Rodewald gate

Timmy–ready for green grass

 

 

 

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The Centennial Livestock Express

Luis looking for the drys

We are almost done lambing out the purebred ewes (one left to go). We have a few ewes who need to go to the auction because they were dry (not pregnant) or otherwise not likely to produce a lamb next year. Here are Meghan, David and Luis catching the ewes who will go on the Centennial Livestock Express. Here also are lots of successful moms and cute baby lambs who will grow up to be our replacement ewes, bucks and 4-H lambs. It is starting to green up, so the ewes are eager to get out of the corral to chase after those early sprouts.

Luis stalking the elusive dry ewe

Davis and Meghan consulting

David and Meghan checking for milk

David with the sheephook

some Hampshire lambs

ewes and lambs with Bakers Peak

guard dog with blackface ewe

 

Seeking green grass (on the future site of the transmission lines)

 

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March

Squaw Mountain with mist

 

 

In like a banshee,
Be wary—the Ides of March
And out like a mist.

Battle Mountain with mist

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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The Sage Grouse Strut

Grouse with the ladies
from the Craig Daily Press

The Sage Grouse Strut

It’s the Sage Grouse strut,
It’s the Sage Grouse stroll,
It’s the Sage Grouse hustle,
We boys are on a roll.

To impress our feathered friends,
we puff and shoot the breeze,
hootin’, “Hey there, ladies—
you’re some fancy chickadees!”

I can thrust my chest out—
like two shiny pearly shields,
I can waggle spotted tail feathers
in these sagebrush springtime fields.

I can flap my grousy wings
with a fancy dancey fly–
that bird with ruffled plumage
can’t even flutter to the sky.

Ten males vying for the attention of the hens

“Hey girls, look here at Big Bird–
Do you like what you see?
I’m the coolest guy out here—
Hey darlin’ chickies, pick me!”

“Just smell that spicy sagebrush,
(you can quit your hiding place)
the hen party should be over,
It’s me you must embrace!

“You may be small and brown,
but you’re winsome as can be–
shake your bootie over here
and make some eggs with me.

“Just ignore that moulty bird
with his wimpy rooster tail.
Take a brushy stroll with me
along this sagey trail.

Antelope hanging out with the grouse

“I’m a’stompin’ and a’struttin’
upon this crowded lek.
Forget your frumpy henfriends—
I’m at your call and beck.

“I’m the coolest cockerel–
see that rooster over there
can hardly puff his chest out,
He’s only suckin’ air.

“That chicken who is struttin’
and a’prancin’ through the sage
couldn’t hardly get a date
if he was dancin’ on a stage,

“and that struttin’ fool you see
is nothin’ but a poult.
if you study him real close
he’s about to start to moult.

“Don’t even take a look–
that cocky dude is not the best.
He’ll love ya and he’ll leave ya
with chicks tucked in the nest.

“Just ignore those other birds,
with their inferior display,
I’m the ace who offers
the best sort of DNA.

“I’m the best grouse on the lek,
I’m a struttin’ fool, you see–
so take the Sage Grouse stroll
through the scented brush with me!

“It’s the Sage Grouse strut
It’s the Sage Grouse dance,
Step right up, you sexy hen,
it’s time for Grouse romance!”

Teacher Cindy Cobb and Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong answer third grade students’ questions. during Greater Sage Grouse field trip. Photographer Noppadol Paothong from the Missouri Department of Conservation documents it all. That ‘s Maeve on the lower right in the pink coat.

 

 

 

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Lambs on the ground

Mama ewe on the alert

 

 

It must be spring! We’ve got lots of baby lambs on the ground. We lamb the purebred Hampshires and Rambouillets in March at Powder Flat. These babies grow up to be rams and replacement ewes, and a few will even become 4-H lambs.

Thanks to our great crew–Edgar, Luis, Uribe and David for all your hard work and long nights. Now we pray for warm rains and green grass.

Home on the hay pile

morning in the corral

Rhen with a crossbred lamb

Rhen watching Luis on the run

NOT wanting to lie down with the lion

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Animals, Sheep

 

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Sage chickens–sort of

chickens at Chain Lake

So just when you think you’ve seen it all…

A couple of days ago, Pepe called Meghan at the cookhouse. He is tending sheep on our permits on the Red Desert. I heard Meghan say, “gallinas?! domesticados?!” (chickens?! domesticated?!).

Apparently, someone turned loose some hens and one rooster. Meghan called the BLM Range Conservationist, who tried, unsuccessfully, to catch them. The Chain Lakes allotment is checkerboard, with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department owning every other section. Mike, the Range Con, then turned the matter over to the Game and Fish.

They are fowl, if not fish.

What’s amazing is that they haven’t been eaten by coyotes!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife

 

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