When I go to town, I often schedule coffee with the girls. It usually looks something like this:
Cowboys, men in general, don’t schedule these kinds of things, usually. So, when they run onto each other along a county road and want to gab a bit it looks like this:
I have to laugh because my husband often calls us gals a bunch of hens carrying on. Hmph, they do it, too. The only difference is they call it ”working”.
Spanish for chokecherry, Capulín is named for the bushes that grow in the area. They are very tart and very tiny berries.
My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law each have a few in their yards and can crank out the chokecherry jelly like nobody’s business.
I had not ever tried Chokecherry Jelly before meeting my husband. Now, I can’t think of life without it!
The growing season is very short here. That means it will be a few months before we see any chokecherries but you can bet they will be harvested in the fall and made into the best jelly in the world.
A thrown horseshoe is more than just an old horseshoe around here.
They take on a not so secret life of their own.
They become barn door handles.
They become tray handles.
They become wind chimes.
They become games.
They become hat racks.
The become pipe guides.
After they do their job on the horses, horseshoes take on a life of their own on the Morrow Ranch.
How do you use used horseshoes?
I am fascinated with old buildings on the ranch and on properties nearby. I have been curious about this one for a while. Any guesses?
I don’t have a lot of details. But, it is clearly made of adobe bricks, a common building material in New Mexico. Adobe is considered a durable material. And, because of its thermal mass, it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
I happened to ask Granny if she knew how the building was used. She is certain it was once a hen house.
A round, adobe chicken coop–cool chicks in the summer and hot chicks (well, warm chicks, anyway) in the winter. How cool is that?
Technically, this sign does not mean the cattle are guarding the road.
But, I think the intention was lost in translation early this morning.
This is actually open range where the cattle have the right of way on this highway. I could’ve honked them out of the way but I wasn’t in a hurry, just out for a Sunday drive.
I have been getting a lot of interesting questions lately! Audrey from Minnesota Prairie Roots asked this:
Having grown up on a Minnesota dairy farm without pasture land for grazing cattle, this is all new to me. So can you explain the sirens? And what are you feeding your cattle?
Most of the year, the cattle eat grass. We are very lucky to have excellent range land and the drought has not been quite as hard on our corner of the state. But, in the winter and when grass is scarce we supplement with ”cake”.
Cake in the tubs.
It is a compressed corn-based product for the commercial beef herd. There are different brands and ingredients. But, mostly it includes grains, protein, fiber and minerals.
We use the sirens to call the cattle to the feed truck. With the rugged terrain and large pastures, they can usually hear us before we see them. The siren is very loud! You can hear one by clicking here (this is a specific brand which I am not necessarily endorsing, just sharing the sound for you).
When they come to the siren we let them eat cake!
I recently watched the Billy the Kid episode on PBS’s American Experience (you can watch the entire episode by clicking on the blue link).
The Kid is a legend in all of America and especially in New Mexico.
I had to laugh when I read this excerpt from the Golden Age of the American Cowboy on the American Experience site:
“Although they were harmless on the plains, cowboys were often dreaded in towns, where they had a reputation for drunkenness. Many residents believed cowboys, as a class, to be morally corrupted, vulgar, profane, and lecherous. Several towns created gun control ordinances that fined those who insisted on wearing a six-shooter.”
I’ve been around a lot of cowboys and cowgirls when they were drunk. I’ve been around a lot of other classes of drunk people, too. Who is not just a bit vulgar, profane and lecherous when indulging?
The wind is very, very cold lately and it seems like it never stops!
Thank goodness for the wind because that’s what keeps the water tanks full.
We have many cats and no mice–we all have a job to do at Morrow Ranch. Besides the wild fare, the cats go through a 40-pound sack of feed every week, or so.
A few of the barn cats this fall at Granny's back door.
From time to time, a mother cat refuses a baby or a barn owl gets really hungry. That’s when a kitten ends up as more of a pet–bottle feeding and all.
But, here’s the thing. The barn cats are, well, feral–wild little creatures with no manners what-so-ever. They hiss and hunch, they are not easily trained to use the cat box and they hunt bare human skin such as feet, legs, fingers and ears.
Tuffee is Granny's kitten. The mother abandoned her at Granny's back door this summer.
At our house, Bob Cat got a name and ended up in the house during a snow storm a few years ago. Cody felt sorry for the little lady as the owl was particularly hungry and wiped out not just the momma but four of her kittens.
Bob Cat wasn’t so much lucky as she was smart enough not to leave the barn. She has been invited in and kicked out over the years depending on her, ahem, manners.
This winter, she’s been minding said manners and has taken to lounging as though she’s done it all her life. This was the couch scene at four this morning:
I rode around with Cody in the feed truck on Saturday. We spent the morning feeding cows expecting their third or fourth baby and checking water.
With snow still on the ground and temperatures in the 30s, it’s a cold ride and the potential, or should I say extreme likelihood, to get stuck is still there but I’ll tell you about that another day.
Back to the cows.
They know the drill: they hear the truck coming and turn to look.
Then, they hear the siren and decided to mosey a little closer.
Then, the siren turns over for 30 seconds at a time and they come a runnin’.