Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Evening light

We've had a lot of grey lately. Fog and low clouds hemming in the canyon like an old blanket thrown over top of us. So we're extra glad to see blue sky, to glass for our cattle, to enjoy the changing shadows and colors of light moving through our world. 

The grandboys stayed with Mike and I for a long weekend and helped us take a break from fencing. The romp and wrangle of meals, snacks, forts, trains, stories, drawing, singing, and sword fights wore us all out in a good way.

Pastels, snacks and races

Feeder fort

Every morning at the feeder, the boys 'tamed' the calves. Slowly getting close enough to touch their horns or their wet noses. Dawson comes into the house for breakfast after feeding with Mike, "Grandma, I touched FIVE calves!"

2014 calves in the weaning pen

We finished weaning the calves and turned the steers back into the herd.  The heifers came out to the valley where we'll pick some to keep and some to sell for breeding stock. 
Sun bathing and cud chewing

Downriver, our new fence is up, cutting off steep norths where a few cattle liked to trail down to the river, and across Horse Creek to the neighbors' range. Parts of the fence were tough to build and Mike used more steel than usual, hoping to make it last through our frequent wildfire cycle.
Gate support

The pounding of building fence takes its toll. Lugging heavy fence material and wire across the steep slopes, and working while balancing on a greasy north make it more challenging and tiring.

View downriver from the fence

Finishing that fence was a relief. I enjoyed the reward of sitting back in the tall grass, gazing north at the ridges and benches beyond our current range, thinking of people and places downriver, and the many cow camps where we've lived and worked during our lifetime.

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef.