Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cattle ID

Cowboy V often manages his cattle by walking and watching.
The cattle operator, Cowboy V, brought another load of cattle to the Dipper Ranch on Wednesday.  For once, I was around.  The sky was overcast and sometimes sprinkling, but unloading the cattle was easier than I expected, and certainly easier than rounding them up.  I didn't help much, but I did ask lots of questions and took photos.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Wet, cold and dark induce dreamy illusions as a storm envelopes Long Ridge.
Denning - a personal definition - reluctance to leave the lair; the time of year when wet, dark and cold conditions cause a shift towards low metabolic activities:  reading, writing, searching for thermal underwear and down comforter, mending, walnut-cracking while watching movies, sleeping, thinking about but not actually waterproofing boots, dreaming of a functional woodstove, baking, and more reading this time with a cat sitting in lap.

The season of glorious clouds has been superseded by the wet season with increasing periods of cold and darkness.  Morningside, I argue with myself in the hot shower, "See you are waterproof.  Get going!"  Instead, I find lion faces in the fake marble patterns of the cheap shower walls and the daylight just gets shorter.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Get Ready

Rain and snow greeted newly arrived cattle in December 2009
Cowboy V called today and he'll start trucking in cattle soon.  This weekend, rain or shine, we'll be closing gates.  I tend to leave the interior gates open after all the cattle are gone by midsummer, so the deer and I can frolic from one pasture to the next without pause.  Actually, the deer just stot over or flex under the wire fences, but they'll detour through an open gate if handy, and by staggering which gates are open, I guide the deer's sharp hooves along gentle slopes rather than carving up the steep ravines.