Tag Archives: Ladder Ranch

Happy New Year!

The New Year comes through fortune’s gate.
It gives us hope, and prayers of grace,
with power of time, we await

the future, blank–this unknown fate,
unknown journey to unknown place—
the New Year comes, through one-way gate.

Our dreads, our sins, night fears abate—
the past, the future, run apace
with power of time, next year awaits.

We cast our lot, the dice gyrate,
spin and clatter, hit chance’s space—
write next year’s tome on fortune’s slate.

Earth’s axis tips, while stars rotate.
The waxing moon unveils her face,
marks pass of time, while we await

Through time, through space, sped arrow-straight,
light races on its ceaseless chase.
Now New Year comes, through future’s gate—
through power of time, we await.

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Posted by on December 31, 2020 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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Saturday Afternoon at the Ladder Ranch

Megan and Eamon discussing her future run at the NFR


We know how to have a good time on a Saturday afternoon. Eamon borrowed Ed Buchanan’s roping dummy on wheels. He pulled it with the four-wheeler, giving McCoy, Tiarnan, Rhen and several adults the chance to practice their roping. A good time was had by all!

The dogs thought this was a grand idea

McCoy roping the dummy–Megan supervising


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Pal–the horse Houdini

Pal leading his pals on the great escape


You sly old pony–
you can open any gate. . .
will work 4 green grass.


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Posted by on April 29, 2020 in Events


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Ides of March

The lights still brighten the night, and my heart. We haven’t taken them down because the cords are still snowed under. They have been glowing continuously for three months.

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Posted by on March 15, 2020 in Events


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Saint Francis of Ladder Ranch

Saint Francis of Ladder Ranch


Poor St. Francis,
he never knew such outrage in Italy:
Patron Saint of the Ladder Ranch,
animals, and the natural world.

His statue stands guard in our yard,
watching over birds, even the grouse,
the eagles, the robins, and it seems,
ravens, crows and magpies.

He looks out for cattle, sheep,
horses, dogs, and those wild critters.
our children.
He sees deer, elk, antelope.

St. Francis, please care for
the bats, the bees, and butterflies—
maybe not mosquitoes!
No patron saint for them.

So here stands his likeness,
concrete birds upon his fist.
In summer, actual bird poop
paints stigmata hands and feet.

But now, in the depths of winter,
in cold winds and drift
poor Francis stoically endures,
waist-deep in snow-white robes.







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Posted by on February 7, 2020 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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Llama Drama

Beulah, Maria and the bucks

There was lots of llama drama
At the shearing shed tonight,
Mama Beulah and Maria
Put up a worthy fight.

“Can’t you see it’s cold out,
Can’t you see our frosty breath?
It’s not weather fit for shearing.
No fleece could bring our death!”



“We have barns to give you shelter,
We have cozy straw for bed,
There will be no frozen llamas,
You have no need for dread”

“But we can see those rams
Who have lost their wooly coats,
They no longer look majestic,
They look more like hairy goats.”

Pepe and Maria

“Step right up here, ladies,
To the Ladder Ranch salon.
You’ll soon sport the latest style,
Your wavy locks will soon be gone.”

“No, we like our flowing locks.
We like it long and swirly,
We like it warm and thick.
Our best look is llama curly”



“Your new look will be most stylish.
Your new look will be most sleek.
You’ll have the latest, greatest ‘dos,
Your llama glamour all will seek.”

“Whoa, what is all this racket?
What is this clank and clatter?
We don’t want a crew cut hair cut!
Our opinion doesn’t matter?!”

Holding the spitting mad llama

“Never mind those four strong guys,
Just ignore that noisy shearer,
Lie right down here on the platform.
There’s no need for fear here.”

“Wait, I’m on my back now!
You’ve stretched me stem to stern!
Those blades are on my skin!
Are you sure that it won’t burn?”

“Don’t struggle so, my llama,
Soon this shearing will be done.
From your fleece you’ll soon be parted,
And your hide will soon see sun.”

“No—I won’t take this lying down,
It will make this llama sad.
Why, this humiliation
Just makes me spitting mad!”

“Now you can look just lovely,
With your new stylish trendy ‘do,
You can join your sheep friends,
With a cut that’s cute and new!”

Edgar assisting with the shearing of Beulah

“No, I don’t want this summer haircut,
Can’t you tell that it’s still cold!
I don’t like those noisy clippers
I don’t like this strongarm hold!”

“We can let her go now,
Her shearing is complete.
Oh, yuck! What is this vile goo
That’s spattered on my feet?!”

“That’s my mama llama spit,
You deserve that sticky blast.
Maybe next year you’ll remember
And this trim will be my last!”



Yup, it was lots of llama drama
At the Ladder Ranch tonight,
If you don’t mind a little spit
They’re quite the stylish sight!

Beulah and Maria, looking like the camelids they are!



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morning on the Mesa

morning on the Mesa

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Posted by on January 14, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife


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Winter, at last

January snow

January snow

We’ve had inches, not feet, of snow…until today.


Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife


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Bringing in the heifers

Gramps and Belle on the job

Gramps and Belle on the job

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


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Merry Christmas from the Ladder Ranch!


Bones of the new lambing shed in the Cottonwood Pasture

Bones of the new lambing shed in the Cottonwood Pasture

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.

Battle Creek glows with icy sheen.

The stream murmurs, cracks, 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!








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Posted by on December 25, 2014 in Events


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