Category Archives for // LIVE

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Ranching is not only a job, it’s a way of life that connects people to the land, both physically and spiritually.

February 7, 2013

The Quonset

This week has been dedicated to reorganizing and improving the Quonset (the big red hangar looking structure at HQ).  Here Harper is planing 1 of 6 new work benches we’re building for the metal and auto mechanic bays we’re creating in the Quonset.  He’s planing it smoother than Suave’s new felt brim.  For those unfamiliar with Suave’s new headwear, it’s pretty darn smooth.  For those familiar with the Quonset, note the west door is open in the background.  Eli, Michael

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February 3, 2013


On the west side of the ranch are three “circles” or “pivots” of farm ground that we lease out to neighbors who use it to grow organic potatoes and barley.  The field is in the shape of a circle because the irrigation method is a ¼ mile long sprinkler that pivots at the center of the field.  As a rotational crop they plant a fast and tall growing grass called Sudan or Sorghum or a variation of the two.  This crop can be

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February 1, 2013

Warmer Days

The months of December and January here were really cold and finally, last week, the weather broke.  We have now had several days above freezing and most of our snow has melted.  We had moved our cattle to pastures where the feed was tall enough to stand above the snow and now that the snow is gone we are moving the cattle back to those pastures where the feed was buried.  As the next couple of months unfold, the cattle

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January 31, 2013


He’s still alive and kicking it.  Cholla is a hell of a drug.

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January 29, 2013

Schoolhouse Proverb

A photo by Jeanie Mitchell of an inscription left by a member of one of the many volunteer groups that put time and heart into the schoolhouse.  Thanks to Bill Maynard for forwarding it on.

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January 22, 2013

Lone Star School House

After the Lone Star School House fire, things have been very quiet and sad at the Chico.  Its like an old friend died.  I can’t say how sorry I am that this happened, the responsibility that I feel, the loss.  Its one of the vestiges of the past that was a symbol for many things.  It touched the lives of so many children and grownups alike: school kids, boy and girl scouts, hunters, guests and all the families that have

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January 19, 2013

Nothing We Could Do

It was a tragic afternoon.  We lost a Chico landmark, and more, a partner in many of our endevours, when the Lone Star Schoolhouse burnt to the ground yesterday afternoon.  It will take us a while to sort our all the ramifications to our education and hunting operations, let alone just the sense of loss of the passing of this unique building.
No one was hurt and we got there in time to keep the fire from spreading far into the surrounding grass, we

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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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January 4, 2013

Festive Colors

Folks from town always seem more than willing to share their festivities with us.  While out chopping ice on New Years Day I saw not one, but three different balloons.  That was just driving along the road in one corner of the ranch.
This one was more bouyant than most, maybe because it didn’t land in a cholla patch.  The shiny red balloon sure was a stark contrast the dry old winter time prairie.  On one hand we are glad we

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December 15, 2012

A Long Way to Green

This week Stuart and I made the long trip out to Central Kansas to check on some calves we sent out to pasture there about three weeks ago.  The drought has caused us pursue different alternatives as we attempt to retain ownership on our calves long enough to take advantage of what most predict will be a very strong market this winter and spring, without pasture on the ranch to keep them here.

These calves are on “Volunteer Wheat”, taken care of by

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