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February Thaw

Lemmons Meadow

Lemmons Meadow.

 

It’s been a weird winter so far. We’ve had lots of snow, lots of thawing, and a lot of bare ground for February. The critters are glad for the warmer temperatures.

cows with puddles

cows with puddles

Bucks in the Mouse Pasture

Bucks in the Mouse Pasture

horses in the Wyoming Field

horses in the Wyoming Field

Casey training horses

Casey training horses

 

 
 

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Hoarfrost Haiku

hoarfrost-on-fence

Hoarfrost stars sparkling,

meteors blazing a cold

ephemeral light.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Fog instead of shearing

Shearing shed in the fog

Shearing shed in the fog

The time has come to shear the early lambers. We raise our own bucks out of our purebred Hampshire and Rambouillet ewes. These girls lamb in late February and March, so we like to get their wool off before lambing is well underway. Of course, we have some babies on the ground already.

The shearing crew showed up right on time–well maybe a couple of days late due to weather, but that is actually on time. We had to haul the shed into the Powder Flat Headquarters with a tractor due to mud. We managed to get a half day in, and shear most of the whitefaces. We were ready to start bright and early the next morning, but…fog, in February. This meant that the ewes in the wool were, not exactly wet, since it was 17 degrees, but frosted. We knew that with some sun, and maybe a breeze, they would be dry enough, after lunch, to start shearing. But no. The fog didn’t burn off until afternoon, and the air was absolutely still. Finally Meghan said, “I’m calling it. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

Ewes coming in for feed

Ewes coming in for feed

ewes on the run

ewes on the run

bringing in the sheep

bringing in the sheep

Catching a ewe who has just lambed

Catching a ewe who has just lambed

Frost on the wool hanging from the fence

Frost on the wool hanging from the fence

Heifers with more frost

Heifers with more frost

This bull is glad he doesn't need to be sheared.

This bull is glad he doesn’t need to be sheared.

In the meantime, the bulls came in for water.

In the meantime, the bulls came in for water.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2017 in Animals, Events, Sheep

 

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Bulls! Heifers!

McCoy waiting to fly

McCoy waiting to fly

Eamon is working on his pilot’s license, so he decided to combine business with education. Eamon, Pat, McCoy and Eamon’s flight instructor, Ryan, flew to Texas to shop for bulls and to Nebraska to check on our heifers that are wintering there.

Our new bull--unfortunately, they couldn't hook a stock trailer onto the airplane.

Our new bull–unfortunately, they couldn’t hook a stock trailer onto the airplane.

McCoy checking out the bulls

McCoy checking out the bulls

Heifers on cornstalks

Heifers on cornstalks

Heifers on feed in Nebraska

Heifers on feed in Nebraska

McCoy, Eamon and Pat with the heifers

McCoy, Eamon and Pat with the heifers

Home Ranch from the air

Home Ranch from the air

 

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Animals, Cattle, Family, Folks

 

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Aquarians and heifers

January cake for Sharon, our neighbor Nikki, and Brian

January cake for Sharon, our neighbor Nikki, and Brian

 

The past few days have seen several birthdays, so we had a communal birthday party. Here is the cake that Megan made for the occasion. Nikki decided to stay home with her new baby, but her husband John came and we celebrated a combined 142 years of living. We had some discussion of the arrangement of candles.

Today, Tiarnan and I took a walk through the snow. He’s another Aquarian with a Valentine birthday.

It was a good day.

Tiarnan on a snowy day

Tiarnan on a snowy day

Squaw Mountain with plowed snow

Squaw Mountain with plowed snow

Tiarnan and the heifers

Tiarnan and the heifers

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Animals, Cattle, Events, Family, Folks

 

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Winter from the air

Almost sunset over Battle Mountain

Almost sunset over Battle Mountain

 

Today, we set out by air to look for missing heifers. The runway at the Dixon Airport hadn’t been plowed, but the pilot, Justin, did an amazing job of taking off and landing in quite a bit of snow in what looked to me like the Volkswagon Beetle of small airplanes. Unfortunately, in spite of several hours and lots of miles of searching, we did not find said heifers. We did see a lot of amazing country, elk, deer, antelope, wild horses, sheep (ours) and cattle belonging to our neighbors. If you see heifers with a JO brand, a red eartag and a white eartag, please let us know.

 

 

 

 

Elk hanging out on the Little Snake River, below the River Bridge

Elk hanging out on the Little Snake River, below the River Bridge

Wild horse at four o'clock (not in a Horse Management Area)

Wild horses at four o’clock (not in a Horse Management Area)

the Headquarters at Powder Flat

the Headquarters at Powder Flat

Here's the Chivington Place being "reclaimed" after O&G

Here’s the Chivington Place being “reclaimed” after O&G

Eamon, as we come into the snow-covered runway

Eamon, as we come into the snow-covered runway

Meanwhile, back on the Red Desert, Meghan and Pepe were digging out the corn pile!

Meanwhile, back on the Red Desert, Meghan and Pepe were digging out the corn pile!

 
 

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Lambs–and the livin’ is easy

Lambs on feed

Lambs on feed

 

After our lambs are born, on the range or in lambing sheds, after they spend the summer grazing on the Forest with their moms (dodging bears and coyotes), after they are weaned, they ride on big trucks to a feedlot near Greeley, Colorado. There they are fed on a natural ration until they become lamb chops, sold through the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative. In the meantime, they are well-cared for by the feedlot folks, who see to their well-being.

Sometimes the lambs share their feed in a sort of multi-species way!

Sometimes the lambs share their feed in a sort of multi-species way!

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Animals, Sheep

 

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