Monday, April 7, 2014


Yup, we recently celebrated the big 35. When you get married on St. Patrick's day, it's easy to remember your anniversary and it seems like everyone is celebrating with you! We had a wonderful few days, working - of course, but also eating yummy meals, relaxing, sipping champagne and playing music on the deck.
Hors d’oeuvre for two 

Before dinner, we hiked up Spring Gulch to the Rye Bench hoping to spot six heifers AWOL on the neighbor's. We didn't find any sign of them, but I enjoyed the bright green lomatium in full bloom and the delicate pink phlox springing up in the midst of plump patches of prickly pear. 
Packing salt on our anniversary

Mike gets wayward heifers through rims 
Next day we rode and packed salt, checking on the yearlings we turned out last month after weaning. In the afternoon, we drove up Horse Creek looking for the heifers. This time we hit the jackpot and found them a short distance up from the mouth of the creek.

I thought it looked too steep and rimmy, but Mike said if he could get across the creek, he thought he could trail them up the ridge and home. His creek crossing skills are impressive and I watched him balance on a fallen tree and make his way to the other side, slow and catty.

Gabe adjusts while Wes holds the reins

After our anniversary, Gabe and Cammie helped us gather and trail the cow herd down from Pumpkin Creek. We had great weather and everything went pretty smoothly. Cammie and I rode up to the cabin and the guys rode back and trailed, while Cammie and I brought the truck down with the boys.

Gabe, Cammie and boys head for the fishing hole

We even made it home in time to do some fishing and goofing off before devouring a delicious ham dinner cooked in the dutch oven. The long days are sure nice after the early dark of winter.
Concentration might catch a fish

Mike has started another fence project. Fencing, fencing, fencing, it never ends. But I'll be glad to have this new fence. It will enclose the area between the house and barn, including the bunkhouse, shop and other outbuildings, and tie in with the corrals.
Gabe and Mike fence planning at dusk

Is it deep enough for the post? 

In real cold winters, when the high creeks and springs freeze, the cattle come down off the benches to water at the river. And after drinking, they often loaf around between the house and barn, leaving their calling cards.

The new fence will create a little holding pasture that we can use for a few animals at a time, while keeping the herd a bit further from the house. We'll still see them when they come by, just not have them right outside the kitchen window!

Time with Grandpa 

I'm thankful to have a partner who likes the same things I do, family, meaningful work, wild places.

Every day challenges us to learn, to benefit from science, art, and husbandry in our labors. And perhaps most of all, to listen, to observe, to be mindful of what we use to live and what our actions result in.

I'm also thankful to have a partner who accepts me just the way I am. Swing and all.
A little sketching, a little swinging, a good way to celebrate.

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef