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Monthly Archives: December 2014

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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More Romance on the Red Desert

Apolinario bringing in the ewes on Eagle's Nest

Apolinario bringing in the ewes on Eagle’s Nest

Today we put the bucks into the ewes on the Red Desert. Bucks in on December 15th means that we can look for the first lambs to arrive on about May 10th. The bucks have waited for many months to be reunited with their lady loves. The ewes seemed glad to see them too, although for them, a brief–very brief–dalliance means that they spend five months pregnant and five months raising lambs. Of course, it guarantees the ewes a good living, and a whole lot less boredom than the rams face the rest of the year. We were blessed to receive a badly needed snow the day before, ensuring winter water for the sheep. It was a Goldlilocks snow–not too little and not too much, and the 15th dawned bright and sunny.

A leap of faith

A leap of faith

Bucks on the run

Bucks on the run

 

Love at first sight

Love at first sight

Guard dogs on the job

Guard dogs on the job

Apolinario

Apolinario with his dog and horse

Pat, Apolinario, and  the reason we buy dog food by the palate

Pat, Apolinario, and the reason we buy dog food by the pallet

 

 

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Morning sight

Horses in the yard

Horses in the yard

 

We woke up this morning to the welcome sight of snow. We also spotted a couple of horses who found their way in to graze the newly covered grass.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Animals, Horses

 

Bucks and ewes at Black Tie reservoir

The bucks are in a hurry to get out of the trailer

The bucks are in a hurry to get out of the trailer

It’s that time of year, finally. The bucks have been waiting, sometimes patiently (spring) and sometimes not so patiently (fall), but after ten long months, it is time for them to join the ewes, thus ensuring a spring lamb crop. We took a load of blackface bucks to the Black Tie reservoir area at Powder Wash, where they joined the ewes there. We had an experience we hadn’t had before–the guard dogs puppies, born last spring and now ambitious adolescents, did not like the strange bucks joining the flock. They’d never seen rams before, and they correctly ascertained that the rams did not have honorable intentions. The barking and chasing did damper their lust, until we called the dogs in and convinced them that the presence of the bucks was OK. It’s been a dry early winter, but a snowstorm did come in today.

Guard dogs alarmed at the arrival of the bucks.

Guard dogs alarmed at the arrival of the bucks.

United at last!  Ewes and bucks ready for romance.

United at last! Ewes and bucks ready for romance.

Pat and Antonio with the anti-lust brigade.

Pat and Antonio with the anti-lust brigade.

 

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Yearling ewes on Powder Rim

waiting for snow

waiting for snow

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Animals, Sheep

 

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Mule deer on Powder Rim

Mule deer on Powder Rim

Mule deer, fat and ready for winter

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Sunset, Pat’s birthday

Horizon sheep at sunset

Horizon sheep at sunset

Battle Mountain, with not enough snow

Battle Mountain, with not enough snow

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Nature and Wildlife

 

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