Tag Archives: horse
Meanwhile, back at the Powder Flat ranch…new babies keep arriving. They gladden the heart!
The weather is still trying to make up its mind. Is it Still Winter? Almost Spring? Spring? But Eamon’s mare Dirte made up her mind that it was time to deliver her colt. We still haven’t gotten close enough to determine whether it is a filly or a horse colt. The trees are trying to decide if it is safe to send out buds. In the meantime, the calves, lambs and colts are making their appearance. It must be spring!
Pat’s mare Plata did not foal in June with the other mares. She is an older mom, and took her time. Maeve called, saying, “Grandpa–Plata had a filly and she is black with a diamond on her forehead!” Pat asked Maeve what she wanted to name the baby and she said “Diamond.”
Tiarnan and Rhen went with me to move sheep camp on Tennessee Creek in the Routt Forest. Jean Carlos was happy to see the boys and fed them a hearty lunch of spaghetti, vienna sausage and mixed vegetables. They were hungry. After pulling the camp down a very rough and narrow road, Jean Carlos gave Tiarnan a ride. In spite of the bouncy trip, Rhen had somehow fallen asleep, and was mad when he learned he had missed a ride on the horse. We then went on to Clark for some of their famous ice cream.
It’s time to gather the cows from their summer grazing grounds on the Forest. Rhen is getting the crew organized.
This is in memory of my Dad, George Salisbury, who died Christmas Day, 2010.
The wind is blowin’ cold down the mountain tips of snow
And ‘cross the ranges layin’ brown and dead;
It’s cryin’ through the valley trees that wear the mistletoe
And mournin’ with the gray clouds overhead.
Yet it’s sweet with the beat of my little hawse’s feet
And I whistle like the air was warm and blue
For I’m ridin’ up the Christmas trail to you,
I’m a-ridin’ up the Christmas trail to you.
Oh, mebbe it was good when the whinny of the Spring
Had weedled me to hoppin’ of the bars.
And livin’ in the shadow of a sailin’ buzzard’s wing
And sleepin’ underneath a roof of stars.
But the bright campfire light only dances for a night,
While the home-fire burns forever clear and true,
So ’round the year I circle back to you,
‘Round the rovin’ year I circle back to you.
Oh, mebbe it was good when the reckless Summer sun
Had shot a charge of fire through my veins,
And I milled around the whiskey and the fightin’ and fun
‘Mong the mav’ricks drifted from the plains.
Ay, the pot bubbled hot, while you reckoned I’d forgot,
And the devil smacked the young blood in his stew,
Yet I’m lovin’ every mile that’s nearer you,
Lovin’ every blessed mile that’s nearer you.
Oh, mebbe it was good at the roundup in the Fall,
When the clouds of bawlin’ dust before us ran,
And the pride of rope and saddle was a-drivin’ of us all
To stretch of nerve and muscle, man and man.
But the pride sort of died when the man got weary eyed;
‘Twas a sleepy boy that rode the nightguard through,
And he dreamed himself along a trail to you,
Dreamed himself along a happy trail to you.
The coyote’s Winter howl cuts the dusk behind the hill,
But the ranch’s shinin’ window I kin see,
And though I don’t deserve it and, I reckon, never will,
There’ll be room beside the fire kep’ for me.
Skimp my plate ’cause I’m late. Let me hit the old kid gait,
For tonight I’m stumblin’ tired of the new
And I’m ridin’ up the Christmas trail to you,
I’m a-ridin’ up the Christmas trail to you.
December 1st is the on date for our winter sheep grazing allotments on the Red Desert, north of I80 and Wamsutter, Wyoming. The sheep walk a five-day trail from our late fall pasture, Badwater, to the checkerboard Chain Lakes allotment, with the private owned by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. It also serves as critical winter habitat for antelope. We maintain the water and the fences, and provide “boots on the ground.” One band of sheep winters in Chain Lakes and two move on to the aptly named Cyclone Rim allotment. A few weeks ago, this blog showed photos of our search for water holes on Cyclone Rim.
We are still thirsty for snow and watering spots. For almost the first time ever, the sheep had dry days on the trail, although not back-to-back. Normally by this time of year, we have enough snow for the sheep to eat for water. They are very hardy, and most years go much of the winter surviving on snow and without access to fresh water. The sheepherders are asking us for snow, as if we could bring it like firewood and dog food. We tell them, “Do what we do, pray!”
The bucks will be turned in with the ewes in a few days, in order to bring those spring lambs. To make sure the ewes are in optimal condition, we decided to worm them in advance of bucking. On this day, it was coldish and windyish, but certainly a relatively pleasant day.