Imitating Nature

There are many considerations regarding when a rancher wants his/her cows to start calving. In the winter time, the native range just can’t supply the necessary nutrients for a cow,  let alone a cow growing a calf inside her, so most ranches in the Northern Rockies feed hay through the winter months. Feed is the…

Old Farmall Still Farming

My mother’s father was a farmer. My mother  couldn’t wait to get off the farm and experience the city lights. She says I got the farmer gene, which often skips a generation. This old tractor still runs, and we use it to cut hay. It’s a simple machine. When I drive it I feel the…

Yes, Wyoming is Desolate

Sometimes I’m a little miffed at the way people describe Wyoming. Words like barren, desolate, and god-forsaken have been used. I recently read a best seller where the protagonist walks through Wyoming and dismisses it with a few sentences as ugly and trashy. The author then goes on to spend pages and pages describing a…

Up to the Task

He’s been enjoying the faux spring of Wyoming: day time temperatures in the 50’s, the grass is turning  green, and the robins are singing. He’s feeling the sun on his hide. He’s feeling the green grass. A renewed, jaunty zing in his step. A renewed sense of energy and power. He’s no “dead head.” He’s…

A Cow Horse I Once Knew

Here’s a good video from the Wyoming Office of Tourism highlighting some of the uniqueness of Wyoming and the west. There is a tall, lanky, pale palomino in that horse herd, reminding me of a horse I once knew. The story follows below. We were working on a very large cattle ranch. The lanky palomino…

Rookie Photographer

After having my DSLR camera for more than a year, I’ve decided it’s time to delve into its finer capabilities, ie, quit using all the auto features. I used to do a pretty ok job back in the day before digital, setting my own aperture and shutter speed, but it’s been awhile and digital has…

The Original Western Ranch Decor

I  like to look at the old log cabins, barns, and outbuildings built by early pioneers and ranchers. Wyoming has a lot of them, and our arid climate means they can be in pretty good shape half a century or so after they were last inhabited. The use of local materials is noteworthy to me….

Wyoming Summer Branding

Most ranchers try to get all their calves branded in the spring when the weather isn’t too warm and the calves aren’t too big. But there are always a few that slip through and you have to catch them when they’re bigger. Heading and heeling is the preferred method around here for handling those big…

Wyoming. Land of Extremes

Last year the Wyoming headlines read: “North Platte River reaches record high at Saratoga” “Platte River floods still threaten; half of record snow pack has yet to melt” “North Platte River Flooding 2011” “Planning, weather help Casper avoid flooding” “River keeps rising” “Casper preparing for high water levels” And this year, in the recent headlines…

Glass Eyed Pony

Glass eye Wall eye China eye Clydesdale eye Cotton eye “When horsemen speak of a glass-eyed horse, they refer to an eye that is any color other than normal [brown], but the eye is usually some shade of blue.  A ‘china eye’ is blue, a ‘wall eye’ is part blue and part white, and a…