sand dunes

Category Archives for // sand dunes
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    Zapata Tent Camps

    “We’ve got an hour before the sun sets, should we ride out and find some bison?”

    And so kicked off our camp out on the Medano among the wild bison. A combination of laid-back spontaneity and the freedom of having 55,000 acres to yourself set the tone for the evening. With the tents set up and fire ring built, Kate, Jessie and I had our chores done and could go have some fun. We set off north in search of some

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    by Emily Paxson

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    Christmas in Spring

    Photographer Matt DeLorme reflects on his first branding experience at the Chico.

    by Ranchlands Review

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  • Chasing the Green

    This spring feels like it’s pregnant. As if it is about to burst out unchecked as a living being.

    by Duke Phillips

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March 12, 2016

Stoked on Stoats

I’ve lived on the ranch for three years now and it seems I have one or two really pivotal wildlife sightings each year. I’ve seen bears, bobcats, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, beaver… An endless list really of varied and exciting species… but today I saw my first Stoat! I had seen Long-Tailed Weasels aka “big stoats” in my mammal books on the area, but never come across one in real life, so I was practically giddy when I saw one pop

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January 22, 2016

Office Coyote

I spend the majority of my day in the office, but that is not to say I don’t see a lot of incredible things from my window. Lately a lone coyote has been loitering around the lodge grounds, behind the office in particular. The dogs let me know with a low growl every time it’s around and we watch through the large office window until it leaves. Usually it’s just passing through, but today I watched it do a few

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March 13, 2015

The Call

“ The cops just stopped by. A seven year old boy went missing from the dunes. He was last seen at 5 p.m. heading west.”

I read those words on my phone. It was from Scott. It was Sunday evening. I was reading The Crossing. After that I was thinking of my son. He was fast asleep and safe, but I couldn’t help think of him over and over and all I saw was

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September 4, 2014

Medano Creek

Medano Creek flows through the Great Sand Dunes National Park each spring and summer with runoff.

February 28, 2014

Lead Elk

We had about 500 elk as our lead animals on our move today. We were moving a group of 150 cattle from our pastures over to the San Luis Lakes State Park, to begin intensively grazing there. It turned out that the elk herd that has been hanging out on the ranch and Great Sand Dunes National Park for the entire winter, happened to be right in our path. Not being real sure what to make of us, they trotted off down a fenceline.

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August 18, 2013

Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

Thanks to frequent afternoon thunderstorms throughout July, the grass is greener, the cows are plumper, and Medano Creek is flowing again!  The creek dried up early this year because of lack of snow melt.  However, the summer monsoons have brought the water back down the mountains!  Here at the ranch we got just over 3 inches in the month of July.  For a valley that gets less than 8 inches of rain annually, that’s fantastic!!  Though it may not be

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June 15, 2013

A lunchtime guest

We stopped for lunch while riding out in the Dunes, and were joined by a surprise visitor…. a baby kangaroo rat!

Spotted by 8 year old Clara, the cute little guy hopped under the shade of one of our chairs and hung out for a while.

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