It's October and that means it is time to start taking cows out to the winter range.
The cowboys brought the cows from the fields South of Garrison, over Cedar Pass and all the way East to the Gonder Range on day one. These pictures are of day two.
I had the really tough job of keeping the already gathered cows standing still while the others gathered cows to me. ( I'm joking, it wasn't tough at all.) It gave me a chance to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.
See, I have my cows under control.
The cows started coming in.
Oh how important I felt having them all gather to me.
Meet Hannah, our newest ranch hand.
This is Hannah's adopted mustang. It looks like she is doing a great job with her.
Up the bench and into the hills we went.
I just love this fall weather. Happy Trails.
Unfortunately when you raise livestock there is loss. A calf in the feedlot died last night so we wanted to find out why. Finding out the reason of the death could help us prevent more deaths.
Hannah has performed autopsies before so she helped Clay do one on this calf.
They started with the esophagus making sure there wasn't an obstruction or sign of injury or damaged tissue. It looked fine.
They checked out the lungs. They had a little discoloration and peculiar feel. Possibly pneumonia or other respiratory problem.
The heart appeared healthy. Hannah seemed a little too happy to have that heart in her hands. haha
The liver showed some discoloration. Hannah and Clay will look up possible reasons for this.
I don't know about these two.
Dave and I just got back from a fun filled trip to Wyoming. We started in Kemerer Wyoming.
Kemerer is the home of the very first JC Penney store.
Next we headed to Thermopolis Wyoming. Here they have the world's largest mineral hot springs.
We walked around Hot Springs State Park. It was quite pretty, but a little stinky.
The hot springs and the river were neat, but the real reason we were in Thermopolis was for the Wyoming Quarter Horse Sale.
Our son Clay has been working for Bill Smith in Thermopolis all summer getting some of these horses ready for the sale.
There were so many pretty horses.
Yes, that is Wilford Brimley. He likes to help out at the auction.
Several weanlings, yearlings and two year olds were at the sale from the Bartlett Ranch which is in LaGrange Wyoming. The two year olds were part of the colt breaking clinic that Clay was part of in June. He helped start a couple of them.
The young horses were cared for and shown by a group of really good horse women. They worked with and trained these horses all summer.
Leave it to Clay to find a girl for himself.
After the sale we took a drive to Greybull Wyoming to see friends.
We took a ride with our friends in the Big Horn Mountains to check on their horse herd.
Yes, they made the women ride in back. But we had the refreshments.
Yes, this happened. We took a little dip in the creek. This just added to the adventure and fun of the day.
No one was hurt and we found this mis-hap pretty funny. Looking at the picture it occurs to me that the driver isn't nearly wet enough.
The scenery on the mountain was incredible.
We found the horses. They were beautiful.
We get many of our horses from here. Now I see why they are so good in the mountains. This is where mares, foals and young horses spend the summer.
As you can see, I really enjoyed the horses.
We left Greybull, drove over the Big Horn Mountains and on to Devil's tower.
Our friends own the Devil's Tower KOA and have a ranch there as well. They toured us around. We saw more beautiful country.
Our Wyoming trip was great. We got to see where Clay spent the summer, spent time with great friends and saw some wonderful country. I love Wyoming!
It's the time of year when we wean our calves from the cows. It has been dry and dusty. The cows weren't cooperating, so it was a little difficult to chase them and be a photographer.
Did I mention the dust?
The calves are loaded onto trucks and hauled to the feedlot on our main ranch in Baker.
Sad cows already missing their babies. I hate this part.
We unload the calves and count them, weigh them and give them their vaccinations.
Sometimes you have to really get into your work..
Since this last batch of calves consisted of 625, we actually gave them the shots the next day. We started at first light to beat the heat. We do several groups of calves, this is the largest group we do.
The corals are so dusty. We really do need rain.
Yes, that is a refrigerator. No it doesn't have beer. haha
I am not too sure I should have to work in these conditions. I tell my boss that and he just says, "o well"
We tuck them away in safe pens full of feed and fresh water. They will cry for a few days, then settle down and realize they don't have it so bad.
The mommas will be sad for about three days, then they will go about their happy lives eating. They already have next year's calves in the hatch.
There has a been a fire in our neck of the woods.
Here is the latest update from Eastern Nevada Interagency Fire:
Strawberry Fire Update
Size: 4,700 acres
Percent Contained: 20%
Current Resources: Four Type 1 hand crews, eight type 2 hand crews, nine engines, one bulldozer, three water tenders, four helicopters, and one heavy air tanker and lead plane.
Total Personnel: 348
BAKER, NV – The approximately 4,700-acre Strawberry Fire, burning in Great Basin National Park about five miles west of Baker, Nev., is tonight 20-percent contained with full containment expected by Friday evening, August 19.
The lightning-ignited fire, which is consuming white fir, pinion-juniper, sagebrush and grasses, has burned onto adjacent Bureau of Land Management-administered lands. Firefighters are implementing a full-suppression strategy, using all available assets to protect life and property, and resources. Firefighter and public safety are the top priority.
The Wheeler Peak Campground remains closed as does Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive above the Lower Lehman Creek Campground. The trail from Upper Lehman Creek Campground to Wheeler Peak Campground is also closed. The public is asked to respect all closures. The launching, landing, or operation of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited due to impacts to the ability of fire personnel to fight fires safely and effectively.
Regular visitor services in the Lehman Caves Visitor Center area are continuing uninterrupted at this time. The Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing Party is still scheduled Thursday night, August 11, as is the Great Basin, Great Inspiration Artist Workshops on August 13.
Management of the fire will transition at 6 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 11, to the Great Basin Team 7, led by Tony DeMasters.
We have cows on that mountain just a canyon or two North of the fire. So we headed out to try to get them out of the danger zone.
The cows had no interest in leaving the mountain. It is about six weeks early to bring them home. They were stinkers, hiding in the thick mahogany and circling around us and back up. We had quite a job. Just finding the cows in the thick timber up in the steep canyons is really tough. Thank goodness along with us and our cowboys, our neighbors came to help.
Dave had to go on foot several times to get the cows out of the thick trees.
Fire behind us. Glad to be out of there. Although, we only found about half of the cows and may need to get back up there if the winds shift.
Until then we will pull out the chairs and watch it burn.
It seems by the lack of my blogging, that we haven't been working since we got home from our vacation, but that hasn't been the case, at least not for the cowboys. They have been busy busy working on the feed lot, building fence and monitoring the cows and calves on the mountain and in the pastures.
I have been busy canning fruit and making jam. Occasionally I do get out and help the cowboys. For example this day we went to the mountain to move the cows.
It is always nice to get on the mountain and out of the heat. Finding the cows can be a bit of a challenge.
We got the cows gathered up and moving over the hill then Dave and I went to work on a spring.
One of the many glamorous jobs of ranching.
The corgi is great help as you can see.
Developing and keeping these springs running is not only important for watering our cows, they also water the wild life.
This is us moving the heifers from the field below our house back up the hill to the Roland Ranch. We have to keep herds rotating to keep the feed growing.
Here comes some good help.
The heifers were hot. I think Dave's horse liked the excuse to get wet too.
Today I was lucky enough to do another glamorous cowboy job of cleaning water troughs. We are about to start weaning calves and the feedlot needs to be ready. It is important that the calves have fresh clean water to drink when they arrive.
It's kind of gross, but I've done worse.
We have started getting the bulls out of our cow herds. There will be more pictures coming as we finish up the job.
This kind of catches you up on what has been going on this summer. August gets quite busy, so stay tuned.
It was a long and hard spring, so after we finished bringing the cows home and processing calves, Dave and I took a much needed vacation. We headed over the ocean to Oahu HI.
We stayed in a cute little condo right on the beach in a little town on the West side of Oahu called Maili.
We tried out the snorkel gear in the condo. Oh we are sexy.. haha
We toured Pearl Harbor. It was an amazing and emotional experience. Here are a few pictures of the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Pacific Aviation Museum.
USS Bowfin Submarine.
We went snorkeling with the dolphins. Actually, Dave and the others on the boat did. I got a little panicky of drowning and got back on the boat. They soon found me a float board and I got back in to snorkel with the turtles and fish.
The views from the boat were beautiful.
One day we spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was fun and interesting. They have replicas of eight Polynesian Islands set up, with representatives native to those islands as the hosts. They do demonstrations and shows teaching of their native traditions and life styles.
Of course I loved all the flowers.
They had a river parade with each island village preforming on a little raft.
It was interesting to learn about the ways of life and some history of these islands.
Next we visited Kualoa Ranch. It is an interesting place with a lot of history. I will copy some of the information.
In 1850, King Kamehameha III (Keaweaweʻula Kīwalaʻō Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa) sold approximately 622 acresof land at Kualoa to Dr. Gerritt P. Judd.Later, additional acreage in the Hakipuʻu and Kaʻaʻawa valleys were purchased by Dr. Judd’s son Charles Hasting Judd from Queen Kalama’s land holdings.
This is the remnants of an old sugar mill.
Between 1863 – 1870, the Kualoa Sugar Mill was built and operated by Charles H. Judd and Samuel G. Wilder.
An old WWII bunker
During World War II, the United States Military operated an auxiliary Army airstrip at Kualoa with many of the large monkeypod trees providing natural hangars for small planes.
Hollywood films such as Jurassic World and Jurassic Park, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates. TV shows including the old and new Hawaii Five-O, Magnum P.I. and LOST have also been filmed at Kualoa.
And of course there are a few cows there.
Here is a little of what they say about their cattle:
Kualoa Ranch has been a working cattle ranch since the 1870’s. Raising beef cattle for export carried Kualoa Ranch as the main source of income for over a hundred years. Though cattle ranching is not the primary source of revenue today, Kualoa Ranch is still a working cattle ranch raising beef cattle on all parts of the property. All of our cattle are local. They are not brought in from out of state. The cows are born and raised on Kualoa Ranch property and bulls are purchased from within the state of Hawai`i.
We have six different breeds of cattle at Kualoa Ranch. We have Black Angus, Brahma, Brangus (Brahma/Angus cross-breed), Hereford, Limousin, and Charolais.
No blog is complete without pictures of cows.
Of course they do some farming. They raise a large variety of fruits and vegetables.
We were told we had to visit Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on the North Shore. We did, and sorry to say, we were not impressed. Maybe it was just what we ordered.
We found ourselves in Waimea Valley. There were 35 themed botanical gardens and the 45 foot tall, Waimea Falls. We also found it interesting to see replicas of the ancient civilization that were once there.
Here is what they say about it:
One day we took off on a hike to Kaena Point, which is the westernmost tip of the island of Oahu.
The State of Hawaiʻi has designated the point as a Natural Area Reserve to protect nesting Laysan Albatrosses and wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Hawaiian monk seals, and the fragile (to vehicular traffic) native strand vegetation that has been restored there.
The hike was pretty hot on the way back, but it was still enjoyable and fun to see.
We avoided the big city of Honolulu and the crowded beaches of Waikiki, it's not our speed.
We spent the last night at our condo, sitting on "OUR" beach, drinking wine and watching the sunset. In fact, this is how we spent every single night that we were there. It was the best part of the trip.
It was a magical trip and we got some much needed rest and relaxation.
Before we could process our last bunch of calves we had to bring them in from the North range. It was a tough cattle drive.
It was really hot, in the mid to high 90's.
This bunch of cows were particularly stupid. They can't stay with their calves to save their lives. We had a hard time keeping the lone calves on the back end going.
There was a major lack of water. The week before the creeks between the far North range and home were running, but they had stopped. This was hard on the cows, and the cowboys.
Yes, this is how it often looked when they were supposed to be moving.
Finally by day three the cows were getting the idea to go home and started to line out and go. They still had a problem keeping their calves with them. Did I mention they weren't the brightest bunch?
Finally, our destination. They should be happy here.
Ahh, fresh cool water. I just wanted to sit in it. Happy end to three long hard days.
Another day of branding. It was a windy and dusty day.
There may have been a few dirty faces.
The kids are really getting to be good ropers.
This is an up and coming roper practicing her loop. She'll be catching heels soon.
It's good to know there will be another generation of cowboys and cowgirls.
Some cowgirls in action.
There was some good roping going on.
Of course the job would never get done without a great ground crew. They really work hard.
Momma cow looking out for her baby.
It was dusty, but i didn't hear a single complaint. We'll be back at it this week. Stay tuned.
It's spring and that means all the cows have to come home. We gather them together off the winter ranges and bring them in. The journey can be long.
This is a large hard pan in the desert. It is kind of neat to ride across.
We experienced all four seasons this day. Coats on, coats off. It was kind of fun.
You can see my horse is pretty wet and a little annoyed.
We have five herds in different places on the desert.
It is a lot of hours in the saddle to get all the cows home.
We have some wonderful scenery to enjoy along the way.
We stopped for lunch and my horse wandered to the water trough. She was thirsty I guess.
She found a little friend.
One white cow.
The calves get tired by the end of the day.
Sometimes the dogs get tired too.
The flowers are really starting to bloom on the desert.
I'm not sure I have ever seen a bright red cactus flower before.
Someone I know, (Ryan), called this a wild daisylion.. haha
It has been nice to be able to work with both of my boys this spring.
We're still at it. I'm sure there will be many cow herding and branding pictures to come.