Category Archives for // season
  • IMG_1174

    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

    Continue Reading

    by Emily Paxson

    Read the Full Article
  • mdelorme_05022017-08980

    Christmas in Spring

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

    by Ranchlands Review

    View the Gallery
  • 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

    Read the Full Article
April 14, 2016


Spring snuck up on me this year.  I took some time off to head back to Kansas for a week in late March.  There was no mistaking that spring was in full force there, given the golf course-like pastures.  Here in the high desert, it’s a bit more subtle.

Before I left we’d been around a few fences and hadn’t really noticed any green yet.  There was a green hue, but perhaps I thought it was wishful thinking or my mind

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

May Camp, 9.8.15, 7:09PM
September 26, 2015

Late Summer Blooms

A series of images showing the change in season from summer to fall.

March 23, 2015


This weekend on the Chico Basin Ranch, we hosted our tumble weed removal day near the bird banding area. It was incredible to see so many people show up and volunteer their time and efforts to help clear tumble weeds so that we would be ready to start our bird banding project. Many of the volunteers were birders, who were passionate about birding and wildlife. It was nice to see this community come together in efforts to make this area

Continue Reading

February 13, 2015

Valentines Day

It turns out that CJ our Maintenance Manager at Zapata is quite the romantic. This morning he delivered flowers and chocolates to all the ladies on the ranch this morning. It made our day!

Continue Reading

February 12, 2015

The Crew

The day was like any other. After breakfast we smoldered the fire and rode out. The sun was starting to peak over the Sangres and through the clouds. Not enough to shed the sweater. Everyone was full of biscuits and gravy and eggs and coffee.
We trotted. The horses were fresh and ready. The guests and staff blended to make one crew.
Soon we reached the Big South. After the last rider made it through the

Continue Reading

October 4, 2014

End of Season

The guest season is drawing to a close here at Zapata with just two weeks left. People always wonder if we just put our slippers on and relax for a few months afterwards, but the reality is these upcoming months are as busy as any summer month!
Recruiting for the 2015 season begins, marketing plans swing into action, the ranch and lodge are winterized and if course bison roundup and processing begins. So as with any ranch… the list never

Continue Reading

October 2, 2014

Fall is Here

Yesterday, after the clouds cleared from the storm, Pikes Peak’s shoulders were covered with the first snow of the season. Mornings are now crisp, the middle of the days warm, the range gold, yellow and tan and full of grass from the wonderful rains this summer. Fall is in here in full force. The snow tells us what we already know: winter is on its way. We are all looking forward to the new season

Continue Reading

June 3, 2014

Hoping for Rain

The little green up we experienced in April and May is dwindling fast.  The only bright spot is moss growing in the water trough where the bulls are drinking, in the photo.  We were taking them to the Long Branch pasture, staging them for turn out with the cows June 15.  Big thunderstorms have missed us as of the last several days; people in town raise their eyebrows when I tell them how dry its getting, “Why we’ve been getting

Continue Reading

May 30, 2014

Iris Season

It’s iris season at Zapata! Each spring I look forward to the first bloom which always comes sooner than anticipated (mid-end May). All of the meadows on the northern side of the ranch turn purple with flowers that only last a couple of weeks. The iris is commonly called the “Western Blue Flag” or “Rocky Mountain Iris” and is native to CO. It tastes bitter to livestock, so the bison leave it untouched for us to enjoy.

Continue Reading