Category Archives for // winter
January 10, 2013


With our crew reassembled after the holidays, we have jumped into a series of pasture moves and gathers. Working in two or three separate groups of riders, we went to with gusto this week: consolidating groups of cattle and moving them elsewhere on the ranch, and sorting out old rough looking cows for sale.

Because we’ve been dealing with a lot of dry cows (cows without calves on them), my dog Liz(ard) has been able to accompany me on pasture moves.

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October 29, 2012


The swing from warmish chilly mornings has swung to cooler chilly mornings that are sometimes on the cold side.  The tree colors have faded except for a lone tree here and there.  The cows are now out in their winter grounds, all pregnant and haired up.  The corrals cleaned up after all the processing.  Trucks, tractors and pipes under houses and in the livestock watering system are winterized.  Fires burn inside some of our homes in the mornings and evenings.


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April 2, 2012

So Far So Dry

So far the year has started out severely dry, even dryer than last year. We have now completed our third warm, dry winter in a row and are going into our third dry summer too if things don’t change real soon. Because of this, our livestock numbers are very low and therefore our workload in that area is minimal. What that means for us this year is getting a lot done in other areas. The ground is already thawed due to a very warm

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January 31, 2012

Snow and a Friendly Owl

Last week we had a light dusting of snow on the ranch that quickly melted away on the prairie floor, but left a little moisture in the mountains. The mountains right now look like they’ve been dusted in powder sugar and usually remain that way until the next snow.

Watching the bison in the early winter morning or in the snow is always a treat as they blow big plumes of air and snort around as they eat. When the clouds

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January 27, 2012

Weaning Late

Some of you who read David’s recent blog might be wondering: “isn’t January late for weaning calves?” The answer is yes, and although it was not an accident, it did get started that way. Two years ago in February we rode out to bring in 50 pairs or so that we did not get gathered the prior November and therefore had not had their calves weaned yet. These cows with calves at side had lived the winter in a large pasture with a lot

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January 24, 2012


For the past few weeks Tess and I, and Jeff and Carla have been traveling to the Chico to help out with their weaning process. Overall it is a 3 week process that is currently in it’s third week. In the first week we gathered all of the pastures across the Chico with cow/calf pairs and slowly brought them closer to headquarters where the actual weaning would take place. Last week, once everything was gathered in a nearby pasture, we

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January 12, 2012

Weather in Colorado

If you’ve spent much time in Colorado, you know how unpredictable the weather can be. Yesterday, David and I started out at the Chico where it was incredibly windy and cold, the sky was full of clouds that promised snow. We set out for Zapata about 9am, and fourth the weather until we summited La Veta Pass, about the 3/4 mark for our trip. At the top of the pass, the clouds almost cleared, the wind stopped, the sun came

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January 3, 2012

Annual Meat Cutting

Last week we had our annual meat cutting.  Each year we harvest several animals whether they be elk, bison, or cattle for each employee’s freezer.  It’s one of the benefits of working on a ranch and, to me, it’s a huge bonus.  The meat is taken straight off of the range and into our freezer so you just don’t get any better.  This year we butchered one elk and one bison.  We didn’t have a large crew to get the

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December 20, 2011

Snow for the Holidays

It looks like there will be snow on the ground and maybe in the air for the holidays this year. As I write this Tess and I, and her family are stranded in Las Vegas, New Mexico after I-25 was closed due to severe blizzards.

The storm that we are in came in from the west and hit northeast New Mexico and southern Colorado, so both Chico Basin and Zapata got some snow.

On Wednesday there will be another storm coming in

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March 22, 2011

Essential Snowpack

Here in southern Colorado we’ve had an extremely dry winter, hardly any snow and relatively warm weather.  Although snow in the winter time can be a hardship, we still depend on it for the moisture it provides when the warmer weather shows up.  Winter snow tends to be light and fluffy with not a lot of moisture in it.  On the valley floor that kind of snow can disappear without ever melting and going into the ground.  However, when it snows on the valley

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