It's that time of year again. This is the first of many "brandings". I always say branding, but we don't brand. Each calf needs to be processed, which involves an ear mark, ear tag, vaccinations to prevent them from getting a disease, and castrating the bull calves. We also check their overall health and doctor them if necessary. I don't particularly like doing this to the calves, even though I know it doesn't hurt them. It's necessary so that we can identify our calves from other ranches and for them to stay healthy. They bounce right up and are just fine.
Mt Wheeler made a great backdrop for these branding photos.
As always, it isn't just the cowBoys that get things done. Our cowGirls are awesome.
We have cowboys of all ages.
I always feel like the ground crew doesn't get enough credit. Without them we couldn't do the job. The ropers trade off and work the ground as well.
Just because they are girls don't think they can't throw a calf.
A concerned momma.
This is the first time Dave has had his horse, Gaucho, in the roping corral. He did great.
Ha, proof I do something besides take pictures. I know it's hard to believe with as many pictures as I take. I just run around like a chicken with my head cut off most of the time trying to take pictures and give shots.
There are so many pretty horses.
Gee, that was just round one. Stay tuned for more branding pictures if you can stand it.
Dave talked me into going up in the plane with him a few weeks ago. I am not the best flying partner. I took my dramamine and up we went. We flew over Strawberry Creek to see the damage of the fire from last summer.
We checked on our cows out North.
We looked at the fields and headed home.
I survived the flight, and it was beautiful, but I'm still not a fan of the little plane.
I did have an excellent pilot though.
We've been moving our cows onto their spring range, but some of the calves were too young to travel. We let them grow and came back out yesterday and today to move them along.
The weather today was quite a bit different than the nice day we had yesterday. It was windy and a little rainy.
Clay on a horse he calls Montana, Hannah in the background on Lexi.
I took this picture of this cow and calf to try to identify her later. She is a mean cow. She came at Clay on his horse yesterday. It could have been a bad wreck. Luckily his dog Callie saved his hide. Old yellow tag 53
These were pictures from today. I didn't get many yesterday. I guess I just didn't remember to take any.
This was yesterday, Dave on our new horse Gator. We have been feeding him up. He came to us quite poor.
Hannah and her horse Lexi and dog Rip. Clay and his 2 year old Maggie and his dog Callie.
Yesterday was a nice day for a picnic. Don't you love Clay's lunch chair?
It is time to move the cows onto spring range. The weather was beautiful, but a little too warm for very pregnant cows. We took things slow.
We all split up to gather the cows which had scattered across the large valley and up into the hills. This is the view I had. It was amazing. There is nothing like the peace you get being alone in the desert on a good horse.
I managed to find a cow or two.
Eventually we all gathered together in the bottom and headed across the valley.
Haha, who is that cowgirl?
The sky was amazing.
Crossing the hard pan.
We are in the middle of calving our heifers. After the babies are a couple of days old we take them and their mommas to a separate pasture. This helps keep the moms from getting confused. It is a slow process getting the little ones anywhere.
It takes some patience from the cowboys and their horses.
Sometimes the babies require a little personal attention.
We have some pretty great cowboys and cowgirls.
This cow couldn't have her calf without a little help. This is a series of pictures I took of Dave corralling the cow so we could help her.
It takes a good horse, a quick mind and quicker feet.
We have about 100+ heifers calved, only about 170 or so to go. See you soon.
So far this season has started off well. The weather isn't warm, but they aren't dropping in snow.
We did have thick fog this morning. It sure sparkled.
It was pretty frosty.
Geese on the frozen pond.
These two both want the same calf. One is confused.
Stay tuned for more calving pictures in February. Things are about to get quite busy around here.
Winter means frosty mornings, beautiful skies, a lot of hard work and maybe even a little fun.
A day on the range.
I broke the ice in three sets of tubs yesterday. Now that isn't three tubs mind you. It's like 8 to 11 tubs in each set. Wow, I was exhausted.
Along with ice breaking comes the winter riding. The cowboys took the cows out to the North range this week. I made Clay and Hannah pose for a couple of pictures. They are good sports.
This was a two day cattle drive, for a total of about 25 miles. Day one they went 14 miles. Then finished up the next day.
Dave and I hauled hay, mineral block and water troughs for the cows. What a beautiful day.
We managed to sneak a little fun in on Christmas day.
This old toboggan still flies down the hill. It was my dad's when he was a kid in the 50's.
This was the landing. haha
Here is a family photo. It is a difficult process getting this group to pose for a picture.
Clay, Hannah, Kori, Ryan, Tana and Dave.
So that is about it for 2016. Here's wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.
I went with Dave to break ice yesterday. It was chilly, but oh so pretty.
We had to use an axe to break the ice.
Then we used this fancy invention a friend of ours made for us. It was pretty handy and really saved our backs. We could get big chunks of ice out quite easily.
Obviously I was getting a kick out of using it. Why not make the job fun right?
The cows were happy, we were happy and it was beutiful.
We must like the cold weather, or NOT. It seems like when the temperature drops we head out to the range. But along with the cold comes beautiful scenery.
We counted the cows out of the fields and headed to the range.
It was COLD. There was a cold wind out of the North. I was lucky enough to leave the cowboys to the riding and I headed home to make them something warm for lunch and shuttle their truck.
I caught up with them as they were reaching the hills.
Hannah bundled up. She was doing fine, but I am sure she was wishing the wind would stop.
The dogs didn't seem to mind the wind.
Clay on Maggie, she is only two.
After a warm lunch they were off again, they still had quite a journey ahead. Up and over the hills and on to the range on the other side.
Dave and I took the trucks around so they would have a ride at the end.
KC our helper
Here they come. Oh I bet the truck was a site for sore eyes. No wimps around here.
The cows were happy to see the water too.
Today we went out to the Gonder Range. It was a whopping 8 degrees. But the wind wasn't blowing, so it actually felt better than the other day.
We were bundled up.
Kyle counted the cows through the gate.
My good girl, Josie.
And look, it warmed up.
The other day we took the cows from Burbank to the fields in Garrison. They were happy to be headed to their next location.
The cows were really strung out. It was quite a site.
Clay is training this little filly. It's her third ride out. She did great.
A couple that rides together, stays together.
Hannah had her mustang along again. She is really making a lot of progress with her.
We had a great day moving cows. Then it was time for another small task. Hannah and I went to water the heifers. Sounds easy right? Well as we were headed out Clay told us to take a rain coat. What? Why?
We may have lost control of our water for a bit.
On was one thing, off was something else.
It wasn't easy moving the fire hose from trough to trough. And I decided that it was important to take pictures. Hannah was a good sport that's for sure.
Yep, we got wet. I think it was an excellent bonding moment.
But look, we succeeded. (Don't look at the muddy ground)
Now that's a happy cow!