RSS

Tag Archives: Border collies

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 

The holidays are here,
The year is almost gone.
Sunset’s coming sooner,
long nights–they linger on.

Christmas on the Ladder Ranch
brings us gifts galore.
Family gathers ‘round us
while Yuletide fires roar.

Deep within the meadows—
summer’s rush to green has passed–
round bales stacked like coins,
winter’s wealth, its shadows cast.

Fair weather birds have fled,
but winter sounds abound,
brave trills of chirping chorus
echo bird-song all around.

Coyotes add their yips and howls
and wail their eerie cries
which echo through the hills
making hackles rise

On man and beast alike.
On Battle Creek, an icy sheen
glows while cracks and groans—
add to winter’s subtle keen.

But here beside the fire,
with its crackle and its roar,
we’re warm and well and happy,
with all we need and more.

There’s children’s cheery laughter—
they cry and yell and shout,
like to scare the coyotes
as they run and tear about.

There’s cows and sheep and horses,
there’s canines large and small—
dreaming Border collie dreams
and guard dogs watching all.

The cows must fill their bellies
with grass hay long since cut,
and raked and baled and scattered
‘long the tractor’s snowy rut.

They’ve calves to grow within them—
throughout the winter’s cold
and await the season’s turning—
winter solstice comes and goes.

And ewes upon the desert
munching daily corn,
awaiting warmth in springtime
when their babies will be born.

In Battle Mountain’s folds,
deer and elk have bedded down.
In hollows under oak brush,
there’s shelter that they’ve found.

We thank the Lord for blessings
for His creatures great and small—
for all of those we care for,
Please Lord, bless us all!

We are grateful for our friends
and kin, found both far and near,
from Ladder Ranch to you and yours,
Merry Christmas! Yuletide Cheer!

 

 

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 25, 2020 in Animals, Cattle, Dogs, Poetry, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , ,

Border collies on the job

bringing ewes up for shearing

 

 

Daughter and mother,
my right-hand canine duo—
Cora and Sadie.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Animals, Dogs, Poetry, Sheep

 

Tags: , , ,

Life in the North

ewes in the Bighorn Basin

Faithful blog readers know that due to extreme winter conditions in the Red Desert, our usual wintering ground, we have trucked most of our ewes north to the sugar beet fields in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. The Bighorn Basin is several hundred miles to the north of us, almost to the Montana border, but is also several thousand feet lower, and less snowy. We have some ewes who experienced “early conception,” probably due to a rogue buck lamb who escaped docking. At Powder Flat, we are set up for shed lambing (usually in March) and have a great crew. Pat and I went up to visit the ewes and herders, and to collect the pregnant ewes and bring them home to lamb. The Bighorn Basin is also experiencing an unusually snowy winter, though for them it is several inches of snow, not several feet. We have a good crew there too–Pepe, Modesto, Alejandro and Joel. It’s a long ways from home, but has feed available for the ewes.

ewes near Burlington

Border collie on the job

Tres Amigos

pregnant ewes ready to load

Modesto and Pepe

Home at last

Dogs give a welcome home

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2020 in Animals, Dogs, Family, Folks, Peruvian sheepherders, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Counting on, Modesto’s bunch

ewes and lambs in the Johnson corral

July 1st brings the on-date for the Forest grazing permits. We worked Modesto’s bunch at the Johnson corrals, in the Routt National Forest.  We not only counted the ewes and lambs, but put numbered paint brands on the “marker” ewes, and gave Rhen an opportunity to practice his mutton busting.

Cora keeping an eye on the sheep.

Belling number 2, Juan supervising

 

numbering the marker ewes

Rhen practicing mutton busting

Siobhan and her team of Border collies

Counted, belled and numbered–heading for summer pasture

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 2, 2019 in Animals, Dogs, Family, Folks, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Romance on the ides of December

Avencio unloading the bucks

 

The ides of December means that it’s time to put the rams in with the ewes. Romance in December brings lambs in May. A sheep’s gestation is five months less five days. I wish we could predict now just when the shearers will arrive and what the weather will be like on the 10th of May.

on their way…

Bucks in their working clothes

romance is in the air

Guard dog checking out his new charges

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

Puppies for sale!

It was hard to keep Cora’s puppies in focus!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 21, 2017 in Animals, Dogs

 

Tags: , ,

Ides of August

Cows and calves in the Smylie Meadow

Alfalfa windrows

All is green and warm. It’s hard to believe that we are not far away, in time, in temperature, from fall. Soon we will see frosty mornings, golden leaves, and critters headed for lower climes. For now, we hang onto these long sunny days. Each sunrise the sun sneaks south, while we breathe warm breezes, a little longer.


Cora and Sadie, looking ahead

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Animals, Cattle, Dogs, Events, Farming

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Working Mom and Daughter

Cora and her mom Sadie on Monday

Here’s Sadie on Wednesday

Cora checking her e-mail

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Animals, Dogs

 

Tags: , ,

Bringing in the heifers

Gramps and Belle on the job

Gramps and Belle on the job

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 18, 2016 in Animals, Cattle, Dogs

 

Tags: , , , ,

Puppies, and colts and lamb, oh my!

a plethora of guardian dog puppies

a plethora of guardian dog puppies

Siobhan with guardian dog puppies--we like 'em socialized!

Siobhan with guardian dog puppies–we like ’em socialized!

It is only early February, but we do have lots of young animals around. We have had more than one litter of Livestock Guardian Dog puppies (hence the difference in sizes), a litter of Border collies, last summer’s colt crop, and–oh yes–one lamb. The little ones are fun, but soon we will have scores of lambs and calves on the ground, so this is the calm before the storm. Barring bad weather, which we have definitely not had, I consider the time between when the bucks go into the ewes in mid-December, and when the purebred lambs and the heifers’ calves start arriving in early March to be the lull. How can it be going by so fast? And why do I still feel so busy?

Maeve and Siobhan with an adult livestock guardain dog, with the sheep at Lower Powder Springs

Maeve and Siobhan with an adult  guardian dog,overlooking the sheep watering at Lower Powder Spring (one of them isn’t dressed right!)

 

 

Five (of seven) of Sam's and Yonush's Border collie puppies

Five (of seven) of Sam’s and Yonush’s Border collie puppies

 

the colts check out Maeve (no coat in early February)

the colts check out Maeve (no coat in early February)

the colts hanging out at Powder Flat

the colts hanging out at Powder Flat

Learning to be horses

Learning to be horses

What does it mean when the (surprise) lamb sees its shadow on Ground Hog Day?

What does it mean when the (surprise) lamb sees its shadow on Ground Hog Day?

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,