Andre the Giant

Meet Andre the Giant!  He was born on Tuesday night to Cow #5187 and weighs over 100 lbs.

His momma ran away for a day after giving birth so we loaded him up and took him home for a bottle.

Momma was located and they are now back together.  Both are adjusting well.

Sheesh, I’m pretty sure I would’ve run away for a while after trying to give birth to a baby this big, too!

More time for more work

In the age of technology, ranching has become more efficient.  There are still things that are done the traditional way but with cell phones, trucks and trailers things can be done a bit faster and with more communication.

This week, the guys moved a set of yearlings about 13 mountainous miles to their summer pasture.  They drove them horseback, begining at first light.  This photo is not from this particular drive but the beauty of the early morning was quite like this:

 Fifty years ago, the guys would’ve driven the yearlings, then they would’ve made the ride back home.  They probably would’ve packed a sandwich and hopefully would’ve made it home by late-afternoon, assuming everything went as planned.

These days, we can meet the guys with a truck and trailer at the end point.  They are home in time for lunch, the horses are spared the trip home on foot and one more project (or two or five or more) can be completed before dark.

Spring greening

At 6800 feet above sea level, spring comes a little later here than other parts of the state–as a rule, we don’t plant our gardens before May 15 and we keep our winter coats handy until then, too.  But, it’s hard not to get a little feverish when we start to see a hint of spring greening.

Check out other Friday Fences.



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.


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?