Category Archives for // prairie
February 7, 2018

An Apprentice’s Story

Nick Baefsky started an apprenticeship on Chico Basin Ranch six years ago, in the fall of 2012. Today he and his wife Amy, another Ranchlands apprenticeship graduate, manage a ranch in New Mexico with the help of three young interns and apprentices. They fix old generators, prop up fences, uncover and splice lines of ancient poly pipe. They gather big brushy pastures by waiting until late in the day when the cows come into water. They keep lists of the vehicles, generators and equipment that needs to be repaired, the pastures that need to be prepared for cattle, the pipeline leaks that need to be fixed. They keep precipitation records and grazing charts that they use to estimate how they’ll move the cattle herds across the ranch through the year.

March 23, 2017

Photographing the Flat

My favourite photographs are the ones that manage to get the Chico as it really is: a huge, rolling expanse of yellow-brown prairie, freckled with cholla, and ringed by a faraway line of mountains.

February 8, 2017

Tracking Colorado Pronghorn

Pronghorn are one of the most iconic species of the American plains, yet biologists know very little about their movements in southeastern Colorado.

February 3, 2017

Prairie Winter

Even during winter, when the rest of the prairie falls dormant, days grow shorter, and animals retreat into their winter dens, the ranchers’ work doesn’t slow.

July 13, 2013

Box Turtles

Driving out east a few mornings ago I saw 6 box turtles in the road. It is amazing how they virtually disappear for the majority of the year, then at the first hint of moisture they inundate the two track roads in the sand country on the eastern end of the ranch. It had rained just enough to settle the dust for the first few hours of the day but that was all it took to activate the turtles.

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May 13, 2013

Horny Toads

While riding out last week to the branding (see Jeff’s post for more details on that!) I spotted 4 Horned Lizards, which we usually call Horny Toads. We grew up scouring the ground for them while we were riding, as they’re slow enough for you to get off your horse and catch.  In reading up on them today, I learned that if scared enough, they can shoot an aimed stream of blood from the corners of their eyes!

Luckily this little

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January 10, 2011

Prairie Snow

Most of Colorado received snow over the weekend, including the Zapata and our sister ranch, Chico Basin.

Just a few weeks ago we were getting snow flurries at the Zapata but the temperatures were jumping pretty high during the day and all over the ranch you could see little snow puddles just like these – it looked as if the prairie was covered in little miniature ponds.

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