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Category Archives: Folks

The Sage Grouse Strut

Grouse with the ladies
from the Craig Daily Press

The Sage Grouse Strut

It’s the Sage Grouse strut,
It’s the Sage Grouse stroll,
It’s the Sage Grouse hustle,
We boys are on a roll.

To impress our feathered friends,
we puff and shoot the breeze,
hootin’, “Hey there, ladies—
you’re some fancy chickadees!”

I can thrust my chest out—
like two shiny pearly shields,
I can waggle spotted tail feathers
in these sagebrush springtime fields.

I can flap my grousy wings
with a fancy dancey fly–
that bird with ruffled plumage
can’t even flutter to the sky.

Ten males vying for the attention of the hens

“Hey girls, look here at Big Bird–
Do you like what you see?
I’m the coolest guy out here—
Hey darlin’ chickies, pick me!”

“Just smell that spicy sagebrush,
(you can quit your hiding place)
the hen party should be over,
It’s me you must embrace!

“You may be small and brown,
but you’re winsome as can be–
shake your bootie over here
and make some eggs with me.

“Just ignore that moulty bird
with his wimpy rooster tail.
Take a brushy stroll with me
along this sagey trail.

Antelope hanging out with the grouse

“I’m a’stompin’ and a’struttin’
upon this crowded lek.
Forget your frumpy henfriends—
I’m at your call and beck.

“I’m the coolest cockerel–
see that rooster over there
can hardly puff his chest out,
He’s only suckin’ air.

“That chicken who is struttin’
and a’prancin’ through the sage
couldn’t hardly get a date
if he was dancin’ on a stage,

“and that struttin’ fool you see
is nothin’ but a poult.
if you study him real close
he’s about to start to moult.

“Don’t even take a look–
that cocky dude is not the best.
He’ll love ya and he’ll leave ya
with chicks tucked in the nest.

“Just ignore those other birds,
with their inferior display,
I’m the ace who offers
the best sort of DNA.

“I’m the best grouse on the lek,
I’m a struttin’ fool, you see–
so take the Sage Grouse stroll
through the scented brush with me!

“It’s the Sage Grouse strut
It’s the Sage Grouse dance,
Step right up, you sexy hen,
it’s time for Grouse romance!”

Teacher Cindy Cobb and Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong answer third grade students’ questions. during Greater Sage Grouse field trip. Photographer Noppadol Paothong from the Missouri Department of Conservation documents it all. That ‘s Maeve on the lower right in the pink coat.

 

 

 

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’till the cows come home, and baby calves on the ground

Casey, Taylor and Chad supervising unloading the cows

Each winter, we send many of our cows to Laramie to be wintered by our friends, the Spieglebergs. They raise a lot of hay at their high altitude ranch and give great care to our cows. Now it is time for them to come home, so they are arriving, one truckload at a time.

In the meantime, we are seeing new calves on the ground. We’ve had some scary weather with high winds and low temperatures, but for the present, we have bare meadows, warmish days and nights, and a lot of fun overseeing the new babies.

coming home

Meanwhile, back at the mud puddle–Maura, McCoy and Tiarnan

Siobhan watching the cows cross the bridge, headed for the Lemmons pasture

Cows and baby calves in the Ames Field

Black baldie mama

hanging out in the Lemmons Place

 

 

 

To lamb or not to lamb, that is the question

If it’s March, it must be time to pregnancy test. We breed the best of our Rambouillet ewes to Rambouillet rams, thereby ensuring a new crop of replacement ewe lambs, as well as their brothers/cousins. Since purebred whiteface lambs are more vulnerable at birth, especially the twins, we pregnancy check the moms so that the ewes carrying twins can lamb in the sheds. The rest of the Rambouillet ewes are bred to our Hampshire rams. Their lambs have hybrid vigor and usually do fine with drop lambing on the range. Our friend Geri Parsons from Optimal Livestock Services comes up each March at mid-pregnancy to check the ewes and call out “single”, “twins”, “open” and even “triplets”. Meghan and her crew appropriately marked the ewes with a paint dab on their heads to signify their status for later sorting. Geri usually braves chill winds and long drives for several days to accomplish this task. Here’s some photos of this year’s pregnancy checking.

Ewes, waiting for the verdict

Pepe at the chute, Geri’s office in the tent

 

It was REALLY MUDDY!!!

Chris bringing up the ewes

Pregnancy testing crew–Sam the Border collie, Modesto, Maeve, Meghan, Pepe, Tiarnan, Geri, Chris

 

the view from Eagle’s Nest, looking east

 

 

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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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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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