Category Archives for // summer
July 2, 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Adventure

On Sunday we saw a lost, or what we perceived as being lost, Stingray Corvette headed down the road toward the sand behind my house.  It’s rare to see anyone on our roads except our trucks, much less a high performance car.  Duke and I half smiled because we knew it would be back soon due of the loose sand it was headed into, and the low clearance of the car.  I say half smiled; we also were in awe.

Continue Reading

July 1, 2014


The cholla cactus just started to bloom last week. At first you just would see one flower here and there, but after a few days, there were blossoms everywhere. They don’t last very long, but the bright, purple flowers are pretty astounding against the blue skies, and offer a contrasting color to the greens and golds of the prairie. 

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 15, 2014

Prairie Primrose

I’ve spent the last couple of days at the Chico in meetings. Yesterday during a break we took a walk out into the pasture and came upon a small group of Prairie Primrose. It’s one of my favorite flowers as it’s such a contrast to the just greening grass and gray soil. The grove we came upon was premature, just a couple of flowers.

This picture taken by Steve Weaver (, shows how the flower can truly blanket the land when

Continue Reading

August 21, 2013

Cutting Hay

Every year we cut around 300 acres of hay on the Medano meadows and that is what’s going on right now. Our neighbors own all the haying equipment and also do all the cutting, raking, and baling. Joe has been stacking it on a trailer and hauling it in to the bison pens so that it’s in a stack and ready to feed once bison round-up time is here. It takes quite a bit of hay to feed all those bison while they’re

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

July 26, 2013

Making a Hand

We branded Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly for the last time this year. We were joined by a crew from the Zapata as well as friends and family from as far away as California, Texas, and Illinois. Many in our crew had never branded before this season, but it’s always amazing how much skill, confidence, and competence each new team member picks up over the course of a year. The patience and teaching ability of the veterans is no small factor

Continue Reading

July 2, 2013

Western Bluebird

By late July the sound of bird song begins to give way to the sound of hungry young birds! With all the parent birds working over time to fill tens of greedy mouths. This was one of a group of young Western Bluebirds I photographed the other evening. The young birds on this ranch don’t run the gauntlet of being caught by domestic cats, as there is none allowed on the ranch… It’s a pretty safe place for them.

If you

Continue Reading

June 22, 2013

The Team

Though there was a nice water tank on a pipeline to drink from, these cattle decide one last sip from a receding mud hole was worth the risk- well maybe not.  Our guest Thomas dove right in and got muddy with us as we saved these mud bathing beauties.  Joking aside, with the drought making mudholes of water holes we have to be ever vigilant.

Continue Reading