RSS

Category Archives: Events

A Successful Shearing

shearing underway

2021 shearing went very well. Roland Montemayor’s crew showed up with plenty of shearers and wool handlers, good equipment and on time. The Montemayor crew has sheared for us for several years. We try to shear two weeks or so ahead of lambing, which is easier on the ewes and the shearers, and allows time for the ewes to trail on to the lambing grounds ten pounds lighter.

My only complaint was the howling wind for the first two and a half days. The winds were so strong on the third day that it was blowing the fleeces away. As Meghan pointed out, “The point is to get the wool into the bags.” We called it a day after lunch. We have shut down shearing many times due to weather, but this is the first time we’ve stopped because of high winds. Finally the weather settled down and we were able to finish all the sheep–pregnant ewes, yearlings, the early lambers and the bucks. Roland’s crew moved on and sheared sheep for a couple of our neighbors. Shearing is one of the very most important things we do all year, and it is one which we have little control over since there are so many factors that come into play. Thank you, Roland, Ciro and crew for your good work!

early morning–waiting to get started\

wooly ewes waiting their turn

the first shorn sheep

shearer at work

Tiarnan, Guillermo and Anthony on deck

Siobhan at the chute

 

packing the wool

wool handler on the run

packing the fleeces into the tromper

guard dog supervising

Thomasa–former bum lamb and newly sheared lead sheep

Pepe processing sheep

lunch line

lunchtime

top hand Julio

bells

Badwater base camp

 

view through the hatch

shorn ewes: free at last!

Pat and Roland

ewes through the shearing shed

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Earth Day

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2021 in Events, Farming

 

Tags: , ,

200,000,008 vaccines on April 21st

Meghan receiving vaccine instructions

President Biden announced today that two hundred million Americans have been vaccinated for Covid-19. The Ladder Ranch crew, including Meghan, made that 200,000,008. Most of our Peruvian employees received their second Moderna vaccine. They were glad to get it, as Covid rages in Peru, affecting their families who don’t have access to vaccine. Meghan received her first shot, so we can go into lambing with one less worry. The Carbon County Health Department sponsored the clinic at the Baggs Senior Center.

Thumbs up! The Ladder Ranch crew, post vaccine

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2021 in Events, Family, Peruvian sheepherders

 

Southering

Ewes ready to leave the Red Desert

We are heading south from the wintering grounds on the Red Desert. The first leg takes us to the Badwater Pasture. The shearing crew has assured us that they will be here in a couple of days, which means we can shear the pregnant ewes at Badwater. This is better for the ewes because they can trail the last 40 miles to the lambing grounds at Cottonwood without ten pounds of wool on their backs. It also means they are shorn well before they start lambing. Some years the shearers are late due to weather, equipment or misadventure, and we see lambs on the ground as we are trying to shear. With luck, all will go well. Stay tuned!

 

Seamus opening the gate

heading under I80

truck above, sheep below

passing through Creston Junction

between I80 and the railroad overpass

the orange flag alerts oncoming traffic

Joel bringing the ewes over the Union Pacific line (the trickiest part)

through the gate and into Rodewalds’ pasture

Pepe and John at Rodewalds’ gate

 

Tags: , , , ,

Greater Sage Grouse dance

Early morning Sage Grouse dance east of Muddy Mountain

Third grade teacher Cindy Cobb is famous for her field trips. The most famous field trip is to see the mating dance of the Greater Sage Grouse, which is amazing. The kids have to show up to the school at 5 a.m. or so to board the bus for the dancing grounds on our lambing grounds. Last year when my grandsons McCoy and Tiarnan were in third grade, they missed the cool field trips because the coronavirus had closed the school, This year, the fourth graders joined the third graders on the trek to see the lek where the male grouse dance and hoot in their attempt to attract the hens. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Biologist Phil Damm accompanied the students on the bus and explained what they were seeing. These kids know the ways of the birds and the bees!

McCoy looking our the bus window

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2021 in Events, Nature and Wildlife

 

Tags: , , ,

Bernie in Wyoming

Bernie taking a break from D.C.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2021 in Events, Folks

 

Tags: ,

Solstice

Solstice sunrise

Solstice Sonnet

Season’s end draws, dims, slides down to the rest
of the year, where we await winter sleep,
Day’s end presents sundown, darkened nest
where quiet lures, lulls, to somnolent deep

and tempting dreams, where twilight dusk holds sway.
Dawn comes late, with sparking, shimmering freeze.
Solstice rays shoot beams, arrows into day–
Ancients rose, chanted, begged gods to be pleased

and halt sun’s chariot southering drift,
to change its course, to close its dogged lap.
Prayers intoned, begged for light’s return—strong, swift,
No more creeping darkness, to suck and sap

its sunlit balm. Now incline to summer–
swing past the solstice, past darkness’ slumber.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 21, 2020 in Events, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Conversation Between Buck and Rambo

Looking for the ladies

Conversation between Buck and Rambo
or
Breeding season on the Ladder Ranch

There’s a rumor goin’ ‘round, ‘bout some ladies to be found–
the boss is hookin’ up the trailer, gassin’ up the truck
(The trailer lights aren’t working, again, but oh well.)

I’m hopin’ that you’re right, and it seems that time of year—
they’ve been pourin’ out the grain, dashed red powder on our backs,
lots of hay, and we all look fat and ready—well, you know.

 

Last year all the ladies loved my tuxedo vibe.
My black face is debonair, my moves make me look fine.
I jumped out of the trailer, and I think they liked my leap.

Ha—that woolless blackface face can’t compare with wooly charms,
and HOW ABOUT these curly Rambouillet horns. They love those!
I’ll rub them on this hay bale and that will make them shine.

We have to wait all year, just hangin’ with the guys—
they keep us in buck prison, and we KNOW how that can be.
It’s the ladies that we want, with their pretty ewey charms

YES! The boss says time to get to work, but it’s not work at all,
we can whisper those sweet nothings, but you know they’re loved and left.
raisin’ lambs on grassy meadows, while we move back to bachelor digs.

BOTH: Time to get to work!

Which one of these is not like the others?

 

 

Red bucks in the middle

It’s time to get to work!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 13, 2020 in Animals, Events, Poetry, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , , ,

World class sheep exhibit at the Little Snake River Museum

This weekend marked the Grand Opening of the William MacPherson Sheep Center at the Little Snake River Museum in Savery, Wyoming. John and Catherine MacPherson donated restored sheep wagons from Carbon County’s early sheep production days, in honor of Bill’s father, an early sheepman. The Museum District and the MacPhersons saw to the construction of an exhibit building to house the wagons and other historic sheep production paraphenalia. A coming attraction will be an original wagon built by James Candlish and donated by the Vern and Della Vivion family. James Candlish was a blacksmith who is credited for building the first sheepwagon in Rawlins, Wyoming in 1884. It will be on loan from the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.

Here’s some photos of the event, which featured speakers, music, a spinning demonstration, children’s activites, a barbeque and a tour of the Savery Stock Driveway. Wyoming author and musician David Romtvedt presented Basque music, poetry and history (although most of Carbon County’s early sheep producers were of Scots, Irish and English descent). A great time was had by all!

MacPherson Sheep Center

Cat Urbigkit tells the crowd about predator challenges

Sharon reading poetry at the Government corrals

David Romtvedt playing Basque tunes at the Niland  cabin in the Medicine Bow National Forest

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 16, 2020 in Events, Folks, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

County Fair in the Time of Coronavirus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siobhan, Tiarnan and Maeve with their wool sewing projects

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 7, 2020 in Events, Family, Folks

 

Tags: , , , ,