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Category Archives: Friends

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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Adios, Dunkin

Pepe and Sharon with Dunkin

Pepe and Sharon with Dunkin

I am sad to report that Dunkin, a sheep of much renown and many adventures, has gone to that great pasture in the sky. He led a long and interesting life, especially for a cross-bred, parrot-mouthed wether. Here he is with his patron, Pepe, who found him as a newborn lamb at the side of his dead mother. He was a friend to dogs, sheep and people, and will be missed for his skills as a bellwether.

 

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What happens if you don’t pay your bill at El Rio

Rhen and Gael washing dishes--McCoy supervising, at El Rio Restaurante  in Baggs

Rhen and Gael washing dishes–McCoy supervising at El Rio Restaurante in Baggs, Wyoming

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Events, Family, Folks, Friends

 

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How do you keep them down in Paree, after they’ve seen the farm?

Pat and Sharon in a bicycle taxi near the Eiffel Tower

Pat and Sharon in a bicycle taxi near the Eiffel Tower

Faithful blog readers may have noticed a lack of posts for the past few weeks. We have a good excuse–right in the middle of gathering, sorting, shipping, etc., Pat and I told Meghan and Eamon “Good luck!” and left for Iceland and France.

We met several of our old (meaning long-time, of course) friends for a reunion. Luckily, several speak French and know a lot about Paris. We also visited Julia and Benoit, who spent a few days on the ranch last spring. They live in the farming area near Laval, and gave us tours of both farms and a nearby medieval castle, and an abbey, which happened to be the fantastical Mont Saint Michel.

 

Our friend Bob hanging out with the locals in Reykjavik.

Our friend Bob hanging out with the locals in Reykjavik.

This is a sheep truck at a processing plant in Selfoss.

This is a sheep truck at a processing plant in Selfoss.

sheep near lava field

sheep by lava field, near Grindivik, Iceland

Julia's sheep near Laval

Benoit and Julia’s sheep near Laval, France

Pat with Julia in front of their 400-year-old farmhouse

Pat with Julia in front of their 400-year-old farmhouse

cows near Benoit and Julia's farm

cows near Benoit and Julia’s farm

Sharon with the "taxi" at Mont St. Michel

Sharon with the “taxi” at Mont St. Michel

working feet

working feet

Locks of love on a bridge over the Seine

Locks of love on a bridge over the Seine

Cows

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Animals, Cattle, Events, Folks, Friends, Sheep

 

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University students see the world

UW crew

We promised them fame!

We recently played host to graduate students from the University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Indy Burke brought her students on a field trip to study grazing systems. We showed them how we graze both cattle and sheep in a landscape scale rotational system. Next winter, they will visit Tierra del Fuego and learn about livestock husbandry and grazing systems on the “Uttermost End of the Earth”.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Folks, Friends

 

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A Visit to Ute Creek Ranch

sunset over Ute Creek

sunset over Ute Creek

 

We are in New Mexico, visiting our great good friends, Jack and Tuda Crews. Several years ago (can it be 15?!), they left Wyoming and moved to Bueyeros, New Mexico, where Tuda’s family has ranched for many generations. The Ute Creek Ranch has been recognized for its conservation practices, including the New Mexico Society for Range Management Excellence in Range Management award. Tuda and Jack have vastly improved their range and their riparian areas, in spite of many years of drought.

Pat, Jack and Tuda look at the Aqua Balls on their watering tank

Pat, Jack and Tuda look at the Aqua Balls on their watering tank

The Aqua Balls reduce evaporation by 91 percent. This saves 16,000 gallons of groundwater in a year, at this tank alone. The tank is windmill driven and also provides water for wildlife.

The Aqua Balls reduce evaporation by 91 percent. This saves 16,000 gallons of groundwater in a year, at this tank alone. The tank is windmill driven and also provides water for wildlife.

Each watering tank on The ranch has an overflow pond, which provides bird habitat.

Each watering tank on The ranch has an overflow pond, which provides bird habitat.

St. Francis overlooks the ranch headquarters, and the Tuda Libby Crews Bird Sanctuary..

St. Francis overlooks the ranch headquarters, and the Tuda Libby Crews Wild Bird Sanctuary.

Northern New Mexico used to have lots of sheep, but these were the only ones we could find.

Northern New Mexico used to have lots of sheep, but these were the only ones we could find.

 

 

 
 

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