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April 10, 2014

Green-Up

Green-up is finally here but just barely.  The cattle, bison, horses, and wildlife are “chasing” the green grass coming up; however, the term “chasing” means precisely how it sounds.  There’s not enough green yet to go around which means animal condition is still on the downhill.  Once a grazer tastes green they will no longer touch the old dormant feed even if it is plentiful and even if they would benefit more from it.  As the ground temperatures raise more

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March 24, 2014

Climate Change Impacts Already Being Felt Worldwide

LINCOLN, Neb. — Climate change already is being felt around the world, and society must figure out how to adapt to the changes already underway and mitigate the severity of future impacts, experts said Tuesday (May 7) at the global Water for Food Conference.

March 21, 2014

Weed Wars

I went out this morning to get set for halter breaking some colts to find this gift from yesterday’s wind storm.

March 20, 2014

Ranch Roundup

A snapshot of the past two weeks at Zapata: moving calves, building fence, welding and spotting elk.

February 27, 2014

Ranch Musings

I sometimes wonder, when a Russian thistle sprouts and begins its journey to being a tumbleweed, do the older, well-traveled tumbleweeds tell stories about the places they have been and the things they see? Do the young weeds dream of the places they would like to go? I suppose it will remain a mystery.

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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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May 11, 2013

A Little Bit of Hope

Zan and Harper with the Beefmaster herd making tracks through the mud.

A half an inch of rain does not the end of a drought make, but it sure is nice to remember what rain feels like.  The rain fell slowly in intermitant showers, mostly over two days.  Many areas of the ranch, such as Headquarters, recieved at least a half and inch.  A few bright spots nearly an inch.  Exactly what the long term inpact will be will depend on follow

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April 2, 2013

Snow

This is a drift right behind my house.  We’ve been waiting for a spring storm all winter.  Finally it came, big flakes pilling up on the ground.  Then, sure enough, the wind began blowing sweeping the snow from the blanket that had formed on the ground, into piles behind all the cholla and yucca plants cross the prairie. When I looked out the window, the snow was going practically sideways, the trees bending, the windows almost bending inward from the

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March 31, 2013

The Right Place at the Right Time

While riding up the dry bed of Medano Creek, we were shocked to round a bend and see the very first spring snow melt winding its way towards us.  A foamy tongue of water finding its way through the sand, turning the dry creek bed into a stream before our eyes!

We stopped and watched its progress, marveling at our luck of being in the right place at the right time.  The horses stared too, snorting and side stepping out of

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