Shedding their coats

The horses are shedding their winter coats now that the weather is a bit warmer most days.They shed a lot on their own but we help, too.

Ugh, after a while we need a shedding.

The pony, Barney, is the only one who insists on a treat after a good shedding.

Ahhh, shedding the coat must feel good!

The ankle biter

He’s short-legged and looks like a Corgy but he’s not.

Otto is half Jack Russell and half sneaky cow dog.  He’s not technically “old” at 11 years of age. Although, he’s showing signs of slowing down.  He has trouble moving cattle more than a couple of miles–it takes him a few days to recover from a long drive, if we allow him to go.

If he doesn’t get a little bit of work time in, he will follow me around barking non-stop and staring me down out of boredom.

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This is Otto's mad face.

Yesterday, the guys were moving a group of cows about eight miles to another pasture.  Otto knew he was being left out.  He barked and stared until we loaded up and met the guys with only a short distance left to go.

Otto is watching the cows from the car window.

It was heaven!

Otto running from the car to the cows.

Otto barking and following the cows.

Needless to say, when it was all said and done, he climbed up on his ottoman and slept through the evening and night–I even caught him dreaming of the next great ankle-biting chase a few times!

Weathering the storm

Last Monday we were expecting a spring storm.  But, we didn’t expect the devastation it left behind. The storm itself was not long lasting and didn’t include an accumulation of snow but the high winds, wet snow and cold temps did a number on Northeast New Mexico.

Photo courtesy: Marty Mayfield Photography

By 9:30 Monday night the electricity and cell towers were out.  Before it was all said and done we lost our land line and roads were closed for two days. Most of us have what we need to survive for a couple of days. But, it’s rare that every single mode of communication is completely cut off.

I have to tell you, this was a pretty interesting experience!  When was the last time you had absolutely no way to communicate with the outside world and absolutely no way to leave your house?

The storm snapped hundreds of electric poles knocking out power in several counties.  The cold temps and heavy snow combined with the 60 mph+ winds created quite a mess for the small electric companies. Local photographer, Marty Mayfield shared this photo and many others on local radio station, KRTN’s Facebook page:

Photo courtesy: Marty Mayfield Photography

Local crews started working on the damage immediately, even before the storm had passed.  In addition, two other electric companies and two contractors were called to help.  Most of us had power by Thursday or Friday, at the latest.  Thank goodness for these crews who worked long days in pretty tough conditions!  One of the crews called out was from Roosevelt County Electric Company, our friend Clayton Barber was on the crew.  He took these photos:

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My own work (and my personal need to be “connected”) depends on the internet and a cell phone.   Who knew I could survive for a few days without?

Lions and Lambs

March has been pretty nice as far as the weather goes.  Light jackets, afternoon walks and birds chirping.  It’s the best possible way for the calves to come into the world.

Then, today, snow–the first day of Spring, no less.  Typical.

The Farmer’s Almanac discusses the truth behind the month of March and its lion and lamb attitude.  The Almanac says it’s probably just an observation by those who have come before us, merely a cute rhyme and nothing to bet the ranch on.

But, here in Northeast New Mexico, my father-in-law’s obervation that March comes in like a lamb and out like a lion typically holds true.

Heifer and Calf

Between the weather and travel I haven’t been back to the nursery to snap any photos of new babies.

I finally made time today!  Several babies are already on the ground.  All but one have been moved out of the nursery to the pasture.

First calf heifers are often wild–they run around, kick and snort to protect their baby.    This momma was no different; I can’t say I was much different with my babe so I guess I can’t blame her!  This shot is the best I could do today!

I wish I could’ve captured a photo of his entire face, he has a perfect mask.

The cows will be calving soon.  We’ll have a little better luck with photos then!

Baby watch

These ladies are in the “nursery”–a little closer to home so somebody can keep a close eye.  They are first calf heifers meaning each will have their first baby in the coming days and weeks.

I love this time of year!  I am officially on baby watch.

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