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Beware the Ides of April

snow in April

 
 

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More Winter

Adolfo as St. Nick ( the snow was too deep to drive the cake to the waiting critters. Note the magpie who was riding the grub line.

Adolfo as St. Nick ( the snow was too deep to drive the cake to the waiting critters)

 

 

I feel like I’ve stepped into “Dr. Zhivago” with piles of deep snow everywhere. It’s more like an old-fashioned winter, and we are glad to have lots of hay in the stacks. Luckily the temperatures aren’t very cold (relatively speaking) and it just keeps snowing. I know this is making our friends in California very happy! Glad to help out, folks, but you could come help shovel the sidewalks!

 

winter waiting

Note the magpie who was riding the grub line.

 

Llamas on the feed line

Llamas on the feed line

waiting for feed in the Wyoming Field

waiting for feed in the Wyoming Field

 

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Sadie the Border collie, Ranch Supervisor

Sadie supervising the bucks going up the hill

Sadie supervising the bucks going up the hill

X marks the spot, sheep

X marks the spot

Quoth the crow, "Nevermore"

Quoth the crow, “Nevermore”

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife, Sheep

 

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Out like a lion

snow by the old barn

snow by the old barn

cows waiting for the sunset

cows waiting for the sunset

 

 

 

We woke up this morning to almost a foot of fresh snow. We are starting to get some calves on the ground (or in the snowbank!) but yesterday’s wind had quit and it is pretty warm. This good wet snow will do us a lot of good.

Lilacs in waiting

Lilacs in waiting

Yup--those are ducks on the pond

Yup–those are ducks on the pond

likewise the honeysuckles

likewise the honeysuckles

 

 
 

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Winter’s comin’ on

It begins. 10 p.m. on October 3rd.

It begins. 10 p.m. on October 3rd.

Honeysuckle bushes at 7 a.m., October 4th.

Honeysuckle bushes at 7 a.m., October 4th.

first big snow

Haystack with flags, 8 a.m., October 4th.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Events

 

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April is (again!) the cruelest month

April is (again!) the cruelest month

Our prayers were answered, and April has brought us showers, sort of.  A week and a half of blizzards, wind and freezing weather has brought us blessed moisture, but at a terrible cost.  We know–really we do–that a foot of wet snow will bring us green grass in a few weeks.  We had begun to despair of much-needed moisture, and were trying to figure out how to get through the summer with dry conditions and no feed left over from last year.

While these storms have brought us up to above 100 per cent on our snowpack, they came while many of our neighbors were calving on the open range.  We are calving some of our cows and heifers, and shed lambing our purebred sheep, Hampshire and Rambouillet, which we raise our own bucks from. The winds were so high, and variable that it crept in every crack in the lambing sheds.  The oldest shed has a lot of cracks, which we usually figure are good for air circulation (less respiratory ills).  This time, for the first time I can remember, lambs actually died from the weather, in the shed.

On the Red Desert we were getting ready to trail out, but the high winds caused the sheep to blow out, and mix with a neighboring herd.  It took a few days to gather them up and sort them out, but they were finally able to “hit the trail” for the lambing ground.

We also lost several calves to the severe weather, but again, we had shelter nearby and I know that our losses were not nearly as bad as some of our neighbors who range calve.  Several of them said that they won’t know their losses until they gather the cows for branding.

The storms have done us more good than harm, because no moisture means no summer feed.  Some nice warm rains would be nice.

dead lamb in the lambing shed

dead lamb in the lambing shed

Cows and sheep huddled against the fences

Cows and sheep huddled against the fences

Snow-covered dead lamd

Snow-covered dead lamb

Live (!) calf in the calving

Live (!) calf in the calving barn

loader with dead lambs (wrong date on Richar's camera!)

Loader with dead lambs (wrong date on Richar’s camera!)

Pregnant ewes in sheltering in front of the lambing shed

Pregnant ewes sheltering in front of the lambing shed

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Animals, Folks, Peruvian sheepherders, Sheep

 

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Stolen kisses

Sunset, December 29, 2012

Sunset, December 29, 2012

Snowflakes brush like kisses
stolen as Old Man Drought
looks the other way
not seeing sweet soft touches
that fall like caresses
filling the spaces
where dry has slowly,
inexorably pushed and sucked
and laid bare the rise and fall
of landscape.

Snow falls and falls
and fills the thirsty land,
the creekbeds and ponds,
the rills and runs of arroyos
dry so long,
now filled with promise
of flood and flash and
a possible future
of spring grass.

A spring that could be
green with feed
for those who hunger–
grasses fed by winter snows
that kiss the earth with wet
and the promise of rain.

Maybe drought’s doom
will not curse us forever.
Maybe these snowflakes
sent like kisses, wet brushes
against our cheeks
portend a promise
of green and grass
and prosperity.

A lover’s kiss.
Take that
Old Man Drought.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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