Saturday, April 8, 2017

It's Really Over

The benches and even the rims have cleared of snow now. Spring squalls bring rain and sometimes hail, but the trails are open and the cattle are ranging farther as the green-up spreads across the canyon
North toward the Snake

Mike has finally been able to pack some salt out, and also some protein block for extra supplement. It feels good to get out on the trail after being confined so many months.
Packing salt
Even though the river has been really high, reaching low flood stage a few times, Dawson still got in some fishing. The steelhead run is low this year. Not sure why exactly, but we knew the counts were down and only a few fish have been caught so far this spring. 
Grandpa and Dawson setting up for fishing

Weston isn't all that interested in fishing, but he finds plenty to do on the river bank. Such as building forts out of driftwood. 

Getting fort building materials

It was a treat to have Zeke home for a visit and to have his help with some of the jobs around the ranch. Mike was harrowing the fields, doing some burning and getting ready to drill seed into the restoration areas on the river bar. 


I was glad the roads finally dried out enough to haul the tractor down. It's so handy for cleaning the corrals, harrowing and other jobs. We finally found a good used trailer that works well for transporting the tractor from the valley to the canyon and back. 

Good ear protection Mike! 

It was even dry enough to light some burn piles and also burn some of the standing kochia we wanted to remove before seeding.

Burning Kochia

Zeke and I hiked to the bench to check the fence and look for cattle. We found a few head on the neighbors so herded them back with the dogs.
Zeke and Punch headed home

Evenings, we managed to get in a lot of music playing and even a few games of dominos. It was a joy to be together, engaging in varied conversation in various languages, preparing meals, reading and translating poetry. I love it that Zeke and I both like poetry so much. 

Banjo and guitar

With sunshine that actually felt warm, and the stirrings of the trees and grass and shrubs, we let ourselves be lulled toward the lushness of spring. Many more birds have arrived and the geese are nesting, flying up and down the river with their persistent honking.

Old dog Newt sunbathing

The horses are shedding like crazy. Old Zeb got so hairy this winter he looked like he was part wooly mammoth. Must be his mustang blood. He's not going to let a tough winter do him in, even at nearly thirty years of age!
Hairy old Zebulon Pike just gets hairier with age

Mike is heading off to Kyrgyzstan again, his last of three trips. I will miss him. But I know I'll find solace in the solitude of the canyon, with the greening and growing and rising and flowing. A good place to reflect on all of life's changes.
A peaceful place to rest

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef