Cast of Characters

The Cattle

Happy California Cows in the Snow
Cattle are run on the Dipper Ranch on a seasonal and rotational basis to establish a conservation grazing program.  The cattle operator leases the 240 acres of grassland and improves range conditions such as fences, gates, roads, springs, weed control and erosion protection.  The purpose of our conservation grazing program is to control the amount of less desirable non-native annual grasses and thatch (dead plant material), reduce the amount of weedy and invasive plant species, reduce wildfire risk by controlling fuel loads, create conditions that provide better native plant biodiversity, and promote the local, historical agriculture economy.

Bovine terminology:
Cattle - if there is more than one.
Cow - an adult female who has had calves.
Calves - young cattle of either sex.
In some regions, the term "cows" is commonly used interchangeably with "cattle" especially if the gender mix of the herd is unknown.  I call them all, singular or plural, "cows".

The Ranch Cats

Cole reflecting on life after the coyote attack.
Cat King Cole - part of my integrated pest management program, Cole is a great mouser and now there are no problems with rodents in the leaky old ranch house.  He likes to leave me Mouse Butt for Breakfast.  Cole was attacked by a coyote on Halloween day in 2009 while we were hanging out behind the barn.  Fortunately, I released one of my sonic boom screams, and the coyote released Cole before doing any harm.  I never let my cats outside anymore which is kinda sad but I learned that country-living lesson good enough that day.

Mango swims in sheets.
Mango - Mango joined us in spring 2010.  He is a big cat and a push-over.  Cat King Cole is teaching him how to mouse.  He will jump into any closet, cupboard or drawer that you open, even if he has already been there many times.  He has a meow like a death-rattle which lets me know that there is an interesting bird to watch outside.