..... "Ranch Talk"
For the most recent Cottonwood news, check us out on Facebook
February 2014--Cottonwood Guest Ranch Newsletter
April, 2011--Cottonwood Guest Ranch Newsletter
October 14, 2010
Well, can we just say,
it is very hard to believe that it's the middle of October! Where did
these last couple of months go? What we do know is that we at
Cottonwood have had a very busy last couple of months. So exciting.
Our returning and new guests brought great energy, horsemanship and loads of
fellowship. The weather has been amazing as well. We are just
beginning to experience real Fall temperatures and weather here. Check
out our most recent newsletter below.....
July 12, 2010
Well, a lot has happened
since our last talk. The Holistic Management meeting took place right
after the Horse Drive. The group meets several times a year and is
made up of the Cottonwood and Boies Ranches and of our representatives from
the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resources
Conservation Service and others. There was a work project at the Boies
Ranch and then the following day was a tour of some places at the Cottonwood
Ranch. Here's a photo of our new headgate/diversion which controls our
There is also a fish
ladder on the side to assist the fish when they are spawning.
Here is another photo
taken during part of the tour. We were looking at the growth and
health of one of our creeks, paying special attention to the progress of the
plants, grasses and trees that are growing along the creek banks.
Our annual 4th of July
Parade was a great success and a whole lot of fun! We had 40
participants riding on a total of 10 floats which included trucks, flatbeds,
4-wheelers, a tractor and a water truck. The participants were very
creative again this year including our guests.
Kyle commandeered the
John Deere tractor towing Kody and his Aunt and Uncle:
The Grand Marshalls,
Horace and Renie, led the parade in their 4-Wheeler and displayed a huge
American Flag that belonged to Horace's father as a veteran of WWI:
Lori & Taylor's theme
for their float was the Florida Oil Spill Clean-up Crew complete with Dawn
detergent & inflatable flamingos:
Tom drove the Hummer
with a cardboard Statute of Liberty as a hood ornament and he towed a wagon
with an inflatable baby Clydesdale pony decorated with empty Budweiser
bottles. Alecia drove a 4-wheeler and her passenger was a 5-foot
inflatable Uncle Sam.
Our guests created the
City Slickers float and all dressed up in costumes including a cow, cowboy
in a crazy 10 gallon hat, a golfer, gals riding stick ponies and some other
Kenny, Amber, Pete and
Pam manned the water truck and gave all of us a welcome "shower" partway
through the parade. Kody also pulled snowballs out of his cooler (he
had gotten them the day before from a snow drift on the mountain) and we all
took part in a good old-fashioned snowball fight.
The highlight of the
parade was Amber leading all of us in the singing of the National Anthem.
Kody bought some goats
and they are grazing and trimming many of our thick brush areas here at the ranch.
Here's a photo of Billy and Bob:
There is also a 4 month
old male goat, a 2 year old female and a 1 year old female. They are
really interesting and seem to love it here at Cottonwood.
Our hummingbird babies
are getting so big and can't be very far from leaving the nest. Check
Ellen, Annette and their
group were here last week and did a little (actually a lot) of different
things during their stay. They gathered cattle off the forest for a
couple of days; they gathered and ran in horses and then took the horses up
to the forest; they fished and camped and just had a great time. We
look forward to their visit every year.
Terry took Lori, Taylor
& Alecia up to an Indian Cave that he had discovered many years ago.
Unfortunately someone has been digging in the cave and has disturbed and
ransacked it. It still was a very interesting place and the views from
the cave were absolutely spectacular.
This week is our July
Horse Drive and we're very excited. The weather looks like it is going
to be perfect. The horses and our guests are ready to ride!!!
Mitch & Sue Smith's
daughter, Brittany, was married last weekend to her sweetheart Carl.
Many of you remember Britt when she worked here at the ranch 3 years ago.
It was a beautiful wedding at Mitch & Sue's house in Wells. Here is a
shot of the happy couple just before they exchanged vows and also here is a
photo of their gorgeous wedding cake lovingly made by our very own Kim
Next week we take a pack
trip from the ranch through the Jarbidge Wilderness and will end 5 days
later in the town of Jarbidge. While we are on the Pack Trip, about 20
senior management members of the Bureau of Land Management will be holding a retreat at
That's it for
now...we'll leave you with a photo taken on a pack trip in 2009. The
riders have stopped at a watering hole to give the horses a well deserved
drink. Check back often for more updates. Better yet, come on
out to Cottonwood and see for yourself!
June 21, 2010
Today is the first day
summer and it is also Vicki and Agee's wedding anniversary! The crew
is out irrigating, working on fences, checking on cattle, sorting horses and
lots of organization, maintenance and clean-up after last week's horse
drive. The week was awesome and the guests really had a great time.
Rocky & Tom returned as did Nancy but the rest of the guests were here for
the first time.
Here is a shot of them bringing the horses home
through the gate and back to the ranch:
While all of the horses
were in and being sorted, we had the chance to take a good look at the 14
new foals this year. Here's a shot of one of them and a glimpse of a
couple in the background.
June 5, 2010
Today is Piper's 21st
birthday so most of the crew is going into Twin Falls this evening to
surprise her and to help her celebrate. Sam and Shirley's birthdays
were also this week and so we had a party for them Thursday night.
Amber and Kenny made the most delicious Chicken Fried Steak for dinner.
We celebrate Amber and Kenny's birthdays these next two weeks.
McKenzie and Jason
welcomed their new baby boy into the world last week. His name is
Easton Trip Molsbee. They are all doing great. Here's a photo of
him taken Thursday evening:
the next morning
Over Memorial weekend we
were privileged to welcome back to Cottonwood some staff and 21 students
from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Ron Clark and his
co-founder Kim Bearden accompanied the students as did staff members Rosalyn
and Kenneth. Great American Financial Resources in Cincinnati sponsored the trip
(Delta airlines picked up the airfare). Great American representatives
Kyle, Tom, Mat & Karin also accompanied the group. It was an awesome
weekend. The group had horseback riding clinics and then rode each
day. They enjoyed hayrides, campfires complete with s'mores, teepee
ghost stories, all the animals (cats, dogs, puppies, tiny baby kittens, calves, horses,
chickens, birds, etc.), dancing the Virginia Reel, lots of games and chats
in the lodge and, of course, all of the delicious food, including this
incredible Dutch Oven bread that Vicki Smith baked:
Pictured are Vicki
Smith, Kim Bearden (Ron Clark Academy Co-Founder) and Willie Thornton who is
an 8th grader at the Academy and will graduate on June 16th. Brad, Mike and Mike's
friend Ross came out to visit and help with the weekend and Kenny's sister
Lori and her husband Tom came out to help us for about a week and to enjoy
the RCA staff and students. We all had an amazing time together.
Here are a couple more shots from the weekend:
Today we welcomed the
Iron Horses and Machines club whose members restore and drive antique
tractors, Model A's and Model T's. They came from Winnemucca, Spring
Creek, Elko & Wells, Nevada to enjoy the lodge for a night and
drive around the countryside for the weekend in their unique machines.
Here are a few photos:
Check out the dog that
rides just ahead of the steering wheel on this International Harvester
Next week we host Ty
Smith's FFA group who are going to camp out on the Middle Fork of Cottonwood
Creek and then spend a couple of days here at the ranch. We also welcome
back Ken, Les & Paul for a ranch stay. They are going out with the
Cottonwood Cowboys to our horse's winter range and gather the horses into a
holding pasture in anticipation for our June Horse Drive which begins on
June 13th. We will be welcoming some favorite repeat Cottonwood guests
(Rocky, Tom, Joe & John) and a bunch of new guests, as well.
The weather has been
beautiful even with the stray showers. The range is very wet and
green. We have many new foals and calves. The cattle are up on
the forest right now. We took some additional yearlings & pairs up on
Wednesday and it was great to see such happy cattle on that rich grass and
land. Because we've had such a moist spring, the wildflowers are going
to be spectacular this year.
The hummingbirds are
back. Amber was out mowing Horace & Renie's lawn and found this
hummingbird nest. It is only 1 3/4 inches in diameter. There is
one egg in it. Check it out:
The Robins are abundant this year, as well as, the Western
Warblers, Goldfinches, Wrens, Woodpeckers, Nighthawks and so many more.
Off to do chores and get
ready for this evening's guests. Check back often for updates.
We hope that you join us here at Cottonwood soon!!!
January 1, 2010
Happy New Year from all
of us at Cottonwood Ranch!
December 16, 2009
Here are some pictures
of a ram that came in off the forest with our cows last week. He seems to
be very comfortable with eating off the hay wagon and even hanging out in
the arena while we work cattle.
Bighorn Sheep are not
uncommon in some parts of the O'Neil Basin. They are most often seen
in the hills and on the bluffs above the Home Ranch, but no one can remember
any ever being here at Cottonwood. We just need to coax a female here
November 19, 2009
Summer guests are all
gone, the yearlings have been gathered and sold, the calves are branded and
winter is just around the corner at Cottonwood. It was just 3 degrees this
morning. We don’t have snow yet, but it probably will be coming soon. The
horses are covered with their winter coats and most of the birds have flown
off to warmer climes. I did spot a magpie in the yard this morning, and of
course we hear the owls hooting in the evenings. The two baby owls that we
watched hatch and grow this spring and summer are still here, they must be
planning on spending the winter. And of course a lot of the crew have gone
to their winter jobs. Kim is back at her Dean of Students job in Jackpot,
Piper is back in college in Twin Falls, Mark and Mariana left for Ireland
the end of September, and Mike left soon after for his job in Portland.
Laura went to Las Vegas to attend culinary school (with her cooking talents
she will probably be a famous chef someday) and Alecia left to spend the
winter at home with Tom. We miss them all!
There are new beaver
dams up and down the creek. The beaver have been busy all summer preparing
their winter homes. It’s fun to catch sight of them swimming in the ponds
and dams around the ranch. The one thing that we have here are a lot of
willows which supply the beavers with plenty of wood to build their dams.
And, of course, the dams they build are a great asset to the health of the
We had a wonderful
summer; many old friends returned to the ranch and many new friends came for
the first time. We had folks from England, Denmark, Switzerland, Russia,
Austria, Japan and of course the good old USA. The horse drives were great
fun; the folks that came to stay at the ranch and join the crew loved their
“cowboy” experience; the pack trips were a great success as well. I heard
one guest exclaim that they couldn’t believe the incredible places and
terrain that a horse could easily navigate. The trail down “Kevin’s Pass”
is quite a thrill for everyone. And everybody was enchanted with the little
town of Jarbidge.
Speaking of Jarbidge,
the town celebrated their centennial in August. The town of Jarbidge was
established in 1909, just a year after Renie’s (Irene’s) mother Nonnie was
born. Nonnie spent much of her childhood in Jarbidge and lived there as a
young married woman. She is 101 years young and soon to be 102. Her
daughter Bonnie (Renie’s sister) brought her to Jarbidge for the centennial
celebration and the entire Cottonwood crew met them there. Nonnie rode
in the parade on the Cottonwood chuck wagon, visited her old home and the
cabins where her friends had lived, and reminisced with other old-timers
(none quite so old) about "the good old days" of Jarbidge.
We have two new puppies
on the ranch, McKenzie and Jason have a new border collie and Amber has a
little brother to Kenny’s Spanish shepherd pup. They are really cute and
make quite a welcoming committee when you step out the door.
July 12, 2009
Our guests for the July
Horse are arriving today. We're very excited. The weather for
the entire week looks like it will be great as well.
We're also getting
prepared for our two pack trips this month. Kenny, Kody and Terry
headed up the mountain this morning to check the trail to the Camp Creek and
Emerald Lake Camps. We're looking forward to their return on Tuesday
to hear the tales of their trip.
The Cottonwood cowboys
and cowgirls are riding the forest today and bringing cattle down to the
Goat Creek allotment.
We added the 2010
schedule to the website this morning. Check it out by clicking on the
Schedule/Rates tab above and then clicking on the 2010 link.
Gotta go...our guests
for the week are here and getting settled. We'll update Ranch Talk
again as soon as we can. Until then, happy trails!
July 5, 2009
We had our annual Fourth
of July parade yesterday and it was our best yet! There were 40
participants in total with 3 riders and 10 floats. Here is a sampling
of the creative entries this year.
The Newlywed Float
complete with bed, tub, dining room table and a whole lot of messin' around:
The Singles Bar Float
with a full bar, battery-operated blender and chaperones:
The Swimmin' Hole Float
which had a water-filled trough surrounded by willows and bathing suit clad
The Cottonwood Water/Fire Truck:
Horace's Treasure Yard
The Grand Marshall calling the parade to order:
The team, haywagon, riders & Grand Marshall heading out the front gate:
There was even a hula hooping irrigator:
Pausing to sing "America
As you can see, we had a
fun-filled, perfect 4th of July. The day ended with a barbeque,
dancing and a spectacular firework display.
Besides working cattle &
horses and taking care of the ranch, we had a very exciting week. Last
weekend McKenzie and Jason were married here at Cottonwood with almost 400
guests attending the ceremony and reception. The day couldn't have
been more perfect. The ceremony was beautiful, meaningful and
touching. And the reception was a great party with delicious food and
dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Here are a couple of photos
of the gala:
This week we also hosted
a conference which included the Governors of Idaho & Nevada and many
representatives and heads of our state and federal agencies. There was
a lot of great discussion, sharing of ideas and information as well as an
afternoon horseback tour of Cottonwood and some of our grazing allotments.
That's it for right now.
We're gearing up for our July Horse Drive and two mountain Pack Trips this
month. Check back for more updates when you can!
June 15, 2009
As promised, here is the
photo of our leppy calf Ubu. He's a week old now. In this photo,
Ubu is in the vet room patiently waiting for Jason to prepare his morning
bottle of milk:
Jason & Ty's bachelor
party was very fun last Saturday night. As a joke, the ranch crew and
family dressed up McKenzie's old 4-H cow, Tammy, in a skirt and many bras
which were stuffed with dollar bills. Tammy and Jason were good sports
and Tammy was rewarded for her patience & humiliation with a huge bucket of
Kenny's birthday is
today so we're all looking forward to tonight's celebration.
Mike came to breakfast
this morning with his beard and mustache shaved off. What's next?
Our land is extremely
wet and green from all of the rain that we've been getting. No one can
remember when we've had such a wet spring. What a godsend it's been.
The wildflowers are absolutely spectacular and the mushrooms are abundant,
as well. It's awesome to see all of the lush growth.
We'll be moving the
cattle this week from the southern part of the forest to the northern end.
Kyle's daughters Lizzy &
Cassidy are here for part of the summer. They are a big help to their
Dad and also to the kitchen crew.
Time to go do chores.
Check back again soon for more updates!
June 13, 2009
We just finished our
June Horse Drive yesterday. What a great week! We had guests
from Austria, England, Denmark and the good ole' U.S. of A. Our guests
from the states included our return guests and great friends, Rocky, Jimmy
and Joe. They actually just came from Oregon where ranch friends Tom
and Anne were married on June 6th. Tom and Anne met here at Cottonwood
a few years ago on a Horse Drive. Tom was living in New York and Anne
was in Oregon. They kept in touch after the Drive and a romance was
born! Sometimes Cottonwood is a great matchmaker!!! Another
return guest was Mike from St. Louis. We also had new guests from Long
Island who were very fun and seemed to have a great time as well.
Tonight is Jason's and
Ty's bachelor party. Oh boy!!!
Oh, Kenny has a new
puppy, a Spanish Shepherd named Dez. She is eight weeks old and so
darned cute. Check her out:
We also have a leppy
named Ubu. We'll take a photo of him soon to post here on the site to
share with you.
Mark is talking with his mom, June, right
now. She's back in Ireland and will be visiting Cottonwood soon.
We can't wait to meet her and share our ranch family with her.
Our Holistic Management
meeting is coming up next week. We'll be showing our new water diversion,
the sagebrush project, some of the burn area and a couple of other spots on
the Cottonwood tour.
That's all for right
now. Happy Trails until our next post!
June 3, 2009
Our resident owls had
two babies this spring. They can't fly very well yet but their
feathers are quickly turning from white to brown. Check out this photo
that we snapped of one of them:
The horseshoers are here getting all of the riding horses shod just in time
for our big spring horse drive next week.
Our new chef Mark is cooking up a storm in the lodge kitchen. The crew
is very happy to have him on board. He's a great cook! His wife,
Mariana, is managing the lodge and keeping it in tip-top shape. Laura
is back for the summer and baking up a storm. Yum!
Kyle has been irrigating
the meadows all spring. Between his hard work and all of the rain that
we've been getting, the grass is really starting to grow. If this
keeps up, we should be able to put up a pretty decent crop of hay this year.
Lulu arrived from Brittany the other day. She'll be working with us
and the horses for the next month. She came to Cottonwood on a student
Terry arrives at the end of the week. We can't wait to have him back
at the ranch. The martini pad will be in full swing once he arrives.
Piper comes home next
week for the summer. Kody is back again this year and so is his sweet
dog, Kat. McKenzie & Jason moved out to the ranch a couple of weeks
ago. We're all gearing up for their wedding here at the ranch in a
couple of weeks.
Alecia put out the
hummingbird feeders last weekend. She had to...the birds were
practically knocking on her door looking for their nectar.
celebrating Shirley's, Sam's & Piper's birthdays. Laura is making a
pineapple upside-down cake (Kenny's favorite). Kenny's birthday is
coming up in a couple of weeks, too. It's always a party around here.
Mike shaved his hair off
yesterday. Now his hat won't fit properly. You never know what
he'll do next to amuse all of us.
Sam & Shirley's niece,
Stormy, is out here for the summer and helping out wherever she can.
Sam & Shirley's grandsons, Cody & Sam, will also be here at the ranch soon.
Vicki retired from
teaching last month. We're looking forward to having her at the ranch
a lot more. Horace, Renie, Agee & Kim are all here and doing great, as
We have a bunch of baby
chickens in the chicken coup. Once they're grown, they will hopefully
supply us with lots of fresh eggs everyday.
That's just a quick bit
about what's going on at Cottonwood Ranch right now. Check back for
news and updates. We'll try to keep you posted as best we can.
Better yet, come on out and see us!
March 5, 2009
Ranch News.... from Renie
snows are still on the ground and
temperatures still mean that we have to wrap
up warm. Around 15 to 25 degrees at night
and 30 to 40 degrees during the day with
another cold front due soon.
Our little leppy Calf from last year, Alex,
whom so many of you enjoyed bottle feeding
has now grown into a Bull, but Kenny says
that Alex still loves to be petted!
On the subject of Cattle; Spring branding is
due to begin in about 3 weeks, weather
The cattle are doing well with the snow
melting from the meadows and the arrival of
just one or two new calves. Cottonwood tries
to work with Mother Nature planning calving
later in the spring for several years now,
with most of the herd calving in May.
It is very hard on baby calves to be born in
a snow bank in the middle of a blizzard.
And of course the coyotes are very hungry
that time of year also. By the time the
calves are born in May, the rabbits and
squirrels are out and about again, and the
calves are much safer from predators.
We've spotted about 100 Elk on Vineyard
mountain while driving back and forth to
town. Driving to Twin Falls last week a
large herd of antelope crossed the road in
front of us and it probably won't be long
before the deer start returning from winter
Our friendly owl still sits
on a tree limb in our yard and hooting at us
spotted a visiting robin in the yard a few
days ago. That is always a sure sign that
spring really is not too far away.
Agee's and Mike's puppies
have grown into beautiful young dogs over
the winter, and still very rambunctious!
The animals are beginning to
get restless with spring creeping in; some
of the horses left the meadows and came
visiting on our lawn last night.
Spring fever!!! "
November 5, 2008
Horace & Renie (Irene)
Horace & Renie finally moved back into
their newly refurbished log cabin and very stylish it is
too! I wonder what the original settlers from 1800's
would say if they could see the place now? It will be
wonderful to see welcoming light in the windows again.
McKenzie & Jason have set their wedding
day for next Summer. Best wishes you both of you.
McKenzie's brother Beau had his wedding at the ranch
this year, so Agee, Vicki and all the team have had a
On the Move
Our untiring cowboys Kenny, Kodi, Mike &
Cameron are preparing some of the herd which will be
moved to Winter pastures at the end of this month. Many
of our horses have just had their shoes removed after a
great season of patient work with our guests and have
been turned out to relax.
There's always work to be done at
Cottonwood no matter which season it is!
gives a hoot?...
.....That would be our family of owls who
have reappeared and it's nice to have them back.
(not that the cats like the competition!)
WINTER SHORT BREAKS
lodge is open all year round and we are offering some fun
Winter activity breaks. What could be better than
snowmobiling or cross country sking on virgin snow and then
relaxing at the end of your day in the hot tub or cosying up
by a glowing log fire with friends or family.
We know many of you join
us year after year for our Ranch Stay, Family
Week and Horse & Cattle Drives and we don't want
to disappoint you, so we're taking this
opportunity to drop a little reminder your way.
If you're planning to join us next year let us
know, and we'll pencil you in.
Some of you, and you know who you are :-) are
definitely last minute planners.
We love you all and don't want to miss you next
BOOK NOW !!!
June 7, 2007
It’s Spring on the
range. The grass is green; the wildflowers abundant. The weather is
unpredictable. The robins have nests in all of the trees including their
favorite spot on the wagon wheel chandelier. The cows are calving and the
horses are foaling. Hazel & Tabitha both had kitties and Ash is due to
have her puppies any day now. Growth and new life everywhere one looks.
It’s definitely Spring.
Everyone wintered well
including the horses and cattle. The cattle were gathered off the winter
range at the end of April and shipped safely back to Cottonwood. It went
smoothly thanks to the veteran crew of Kenny, Troy, Bruce, Ron, Marcia,
Matt, Tom, Alecia, Agee, Val, and the Eldredge’s: Bruce, Dennis, Bob and
their crew. As always, the cattle were very happy to be home again.
Lil and Bill are back
after a very busy winter of traveling and visiting their friends and
children and grandchildren. The crew is in seventh heaven with Lil in the
kitchen again and we’re thrilled to have Bill back on the crew.
McKenzie ended up taking
internet classes last fall instead of going back to town to school. It was
wonderful having her here riding and taking care of the horses and cattle.
She stayed until Christmas which was when her boyfriend, Jason, proposed to
her. She said yes, of course, and they are planning a summer 2008 wedding
at Cottonwood on Horace & Renie’s lawn. McKenzie is currently living in
Preston, Idaho and working at a cattle ranch in Utah.
Aron left the ranch to
go back to school last August. We had Gene join the crew for most of the
fall. He kept the water running in the troughs for the cattle, among other
things. Alecia was able to stay through the end of October to help McKenzie
and Kenny with the cattle work. Claudia & Thomas from Munich, Germany were
here through Thanksgiving and were great ranch hands as well as being a
Annie, Kenny, Agee,
Horace, Renie, Sam, Shirley, Michael and Randy held down the fort at
Cottonwood throughout the winter. Sam had some successful surgery and made
a fast recovery. Horace had a bit of a scare in May which resulted in being
fitted for a pacemaker. His heart is extremely strong but just needed a
little help with timing. He’s been outworking
all of us since he returned home. Not that that's unusual. The man is a machine and a great example of an industrious work
Trey arrived in April
from Pearl, Mississippi. He’s been working with the riding horses, getting
them ready for the season and also working on the barns, tack, etc. He’s
always there with a helping hand and a smile, as well as being hard
working and a good team player.
Piper just graduated
from Jackpot High School on the 25th of May. She and her
classmates asked Tom to be the guest speaker at their commencement
ceremony. He was extremely honored at the invitation and gave a very
inspiring speech. Piper is now at the ranch for the summer and plans to
head to the College of Southern Idaho this fall. Kim has finished the
school year as Dean of Students and Athletic Director at Jackpot High and is
out at the ranch for the season. We’re so happy to have her home again.
Alecia is also back for the summer. She’s put out hummingbird feeders and
planted flowers around her trailer and in the beautiful window box that
Randy made for her shed. The cats were very happy to see her again, but
that’s another story for later. Terry is expected to arrive at the end of
this week when the Nevada State Legislature finishes its current session and
we’re all looking forward to his presence, hard work and great stories.
Brittney, who is Mitch &
Sue’s daughter and Horace & Renie’s granddaughter is also here for the
summer. We’re so happy to have her here at Cottonwood. We had the pleasure
of her brother, Ty, with us last summer. Ty is working fire detail this
summer for the BLM. We miss him but know that he’s well needed since
they’re predicting a very busy fire season this year.
Renie’s sister Bonnie
and brother-in-law Jim are on a trip to Italy for a couple of weeks. While
they’re gone, Renie’s & Bonnie’s mom, Nonnie, is here at the ranch. She’s
99 (her 100th birthday is January '08) and is sharp as a tack. Everyone loves
talking with her, trying to glean some of the things she’s seen and done in
her amazing life. It’s a joy to have her with us.
Jeff and Mike, who just
graduated from McCallister College in St. Paul, Minnesota arrived a couple
of weeks ago and have been hard at work ever since. They seem to get all of
the odd jobs assigned to them which they tackle swiftly, competently and
with a great sense of humor. We recently took First Aid Classes together
and Jeff & Mike had us in stitches (not literally) by the end of the day. We all passed the
course, by the way.J
Maeva arrived last week
from St. Brieuc, which is in the Brittany region in the northwest part of
France. She is here on a study program and working with the horses and
working cattle for the month of June. Her English is excellent and we are
enjoying learning bits and pieces of French from her.
Check out the number 3
tab to the left to see photos of all our staff and the number 2 tab to see
photos of the Smith family. The number 1 tab shows photos of a few of our
The kids from Squaw
Valley Academy spent a week here in May. The weather was mixed but they had
a great time anyway. The Quilters spent their annual weekend at the lodge
and it was relaxing, productive and successful as always. Mona held a
photography class over a recent weekend and will be having another one this
Fall. We see Chuck often since he’s working down in the bull pasture
gathering soil samples for the Natural Resources Conservation Service of
Nevada. Sheldon & Dan just stopped by for an overnight since they had a
project on the Winecup Ranch for a couple of days. Jerry, his new
Stephanie and daughter Melissa are here this week. We've lost track of
how many times they've visited us. Michael & Celine hosted
a couples retreat last week. Their son Brandon and friend Jaden were here
for their 4th visit. It was Michael’s 5th visit and
Celine’s 2nd time here. Russ and Michelle also attended for the
second time in a year. New guests Tyson & Jackie, and Cody & Jenny also
attended the couples retreat. Among other things, they rode horseback up on
the forest, relaxed, shot trap, played pool, had lawn bowling tournaments
and drove 4-wheelers up on the mountain to enjoy the views and have a
snowball fight in the huge snow drifts. It’s always great to have our old
friends visit and to welcome new Cottonwood friends and family. Speaking of
good friends, the guests for our Spring Horse Drive arrive this Sunday and
we’re excited to see Carol & Jack, and Suzanna & Lawrence again. Beau and
his girlfriend Erin will be here for the week and we’re looking forward to
working and hanging out with them.
We just celebrated
Piper’s 18th birthday and her friends Elvis and Veronica showed
up to surprise her. It was a great party. Piper had already had a
memorable day. We had seen a sick cow on the forest the previous day and
decided to catch it and doctor it on Piper’s birthday. Kim set up a
temporary corral and we herded the surprisingly spry cow into the
enclosure. She was definitely feeling much better but we decided to give
her the antibiotic for her lingering respiratory symptoms. Piper roped the
cow and held her tight against the panels while Kim gave her the shots. How
many gals can say they’ve done that on their 18th birthday?
Piper's mare, Fancy, had
a foal the other day. Piper brought them in this evening. The
foal is a beautiful paint bay filly. Check it out:
We have counted 8 new
foals so far this spring.
The owls have returned.
We’ve yet to see them but hear them occasionally in the night. We seem to
have birds everywhere again this year. The finches and wrens love the trees
by the teepee and also the willows by Tin Can Alley. The hummingbirds favor
Shirley’s feeders as they have each year and are very active there. One
hummingbird prefers the gnats that live on the exterior of the barn. We
don’t have many bunnies. The owls had a hand in reducing the rabbit
population last year. Out on the range the antelope are abundant again. So
are the coyotes. We’ve seen a few deer and elk, too, on the lower forest.
The sage hens are doing very well and seem to be everywhere you look and
everywhere we ride. The ducks, geese, killdeer plovers and sandhill cranes
love the moist meadows and the creeks.
The cats-Tom Cat, Oscar,
Hazel & Tabitha-spent the winter in the old bunkhouse, which has now been
renamed “The Cat House.” They are really good hunters. We very rarely
find mice anywhere anymore. Hazel and Tabitha were pregnant this spring and
had their litters sometime around the end of April. They originally had 12
kittens between them but we still can’t get an accurate count on how many
survived since the kittens hide anytime anyone goes in the Cat House. The
largest count so far has been 8. Because they had their litters within a
day or two of each other, Tabitha and Hazel share the nursing of all of the
kitties. Check out this photo taken when the kittens were a couple of days
While most of the
kittens seem to be completely dark charcoal or black in color, there is one
that is a charcoal, black & grey tabby. One of the kitties looks exactly
like Tom Cat except that the kitty is charcoal and white instead of Tom
Cat’s black and white coloring. It has the same white patch that runs from
the nose bridge over the whole muzzle and chin down the chest and tummy, and also four white socks
like Tom Cat. We don’t know yet if any of them have Tabitha’s Siamese
crossed eyes or ringed tail. The kittens are all darling and we can’t wait
to watch them emerge and grow.
Like we mentioned
earlier, Beau's dog Ash is pregnant and we anticipate her litter sometime
soon. The father is McKenzie's fiancé Jason's dog, Cap. For
Ronnie, Smitty, Jimmy, Rockie and all of our other friends who love Ash,
here is a current photo of her.
That’s all of the ranch
talk for right now. We’ll write again when we get the chance. Check back
soon to see what we’re up to next and how all of the crew, guests and
creatures are doing. Until then…Happy Trails!
With the summer quickly
winding to a close, we look back on the past few months of 2006 with
satisfaction and joy. Spring gave us a quick thaw that brought a lot of
water to the basin. Eventually the temperatures settled back down and
things evened out. The cattle came off the winter range (Spring Valley,
east of Ely) a lot easier than in previous years. It does seem to help now
that we’re all learning the country down there. Shipping went well also and
all the cattle, yearlings and calves made it back to Cottonwood safely.
We had a new cowboy join
us this year at Cottonwood. His name is Aron and he’ll be breaking horses
as well as working as an all-around ranch hand. McKenzie finished up the
school year and was at the ranch full time by mid-May. Kenny & Sam hold
down the fort year long and for that we’re so grateful. Terry has been here
off and on since January. We don’t know what we’d do without his never
ending energy, lively conversation, wealth of experience and just plain hard
work. Speaking of never ending energy, lively conversation and hard work,
Bill & Lil arrived in May. Lil’s been cooking up a storm ever since and
Bill has the grounds, storage and much of the maintenance all up to date and
under control. Emily also joined us for most of the summer. Among other
things, she cared for and fed the 4 orphaned calves three times a day and
nursed them back to health. Thanks to Em, the 4 babes are doing
exceptionally well. Horace & Renie’s grandson Ty (Mitch & Sue’s son) joined
us for the first time this summer and what a great experience that has been
for everyone. We will miss him when he heads back to college at the end of
August. We will also miss Beau who has helped Sam irrigating for most of
the spring and summer, and Piper who spent a good deal of her summer
vacation at Cottonwood. Piper heads back to school for her senior year.
Alecia spent most of the summer here, and after her August hiatus, will
return to spend most of the fall with us.
Randy has been hard at
work on the ranch shop, the staff housing and at the lodge. One of his
projects has been building two bathrooms in the new shop. They won’t be
anything fancy, but we’ll finally have bathroom facilities right by the
barn. Other notable improvements were the renovations he made to the
bathrooms of the Desert Room and the Boot & Spur Room. Incredible!
Although it’s very difficult to photograph, check out a portion of the
Desert Room’s new bathroom:
Ken has been out to
Cottonwood a couple of times this year and brought a good friend of his for
a visit in June. The June Horse was a huge success and we enjoyed the
company of good friends George, Lori, Taylor, Rocky, Jimmy, Merrianne, Jane
& Anni. We also met 15 other guests from Oregon, Washington State, New
York, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois and England who quickly became close
Cottonwood friends. The horses were brought in safely and everyone had a
great time. We had a wild and windy night at the Gully and also some crazy
weather at lunch time on Thursday but, other than that, the weather was
wonderful. Fran, Jerry, Bob, Daneen & Dominic rounded out the ground crew
all week long. They also entertained us with their music and singing the
entire week, especially Sunday & Thursday nights. Cowboy and his wife also
spent Sunday evening with us. Lisa from California surprised us Thursday
morning at camp and ended up helping us bring in the herd and also move
cattle on Friday. It was an incredible week filled with many wonderful
The Holistic Range
Management meeting was well attended. We were very fortunate to have such a
capable and knowledgeable crew on hand when lightening struck and began a
small fire near the ranch one afternoon. Manned with shovels, axes and
some tough soled boots, the “shoe-sole brigade” had the fire out within a
half hour, and all of the hot, sage roots tended to and squelched not long
afterward. Many blessings indeed!
The writers had their
annual retreat which was also a great success. It’s been lovely getting to
know all of these folks over the years and always a joy to have them with us
Four orphaned kittens
ended up at the ranch this spring. Aron took in one of them while the other
three were adopted by Cottonwood’s notoriously elusive old Tom cat. “Tom”
has lived at the ranch for many years, and, despite being born a
domesticated cat, has become feral over the years. Well, he must have been
quite lonely because Tom took in the three abandoned kittens and began
raising them in the old bunkhouse. Eventually he took them down to live in
the old willow tree by the creek for a month or so where he taught them how
to mouse and live outdoors. The mice don’t stand a chance anymore. Even
when the hay crew began swathing, there wasn’t a mouse in sight. The
bunnies and chipmunks have had to relocate to safer havens but so far seem
to be doing fine.
The wrens have been so
thick this year that they’ve driven the goldfinches out to the trees near
the teepee/tent area. One pair of wrens felt so comfortable that they built
their nest in the overhang by the lodge back door. The robins continue to
build their nests at the lodge on the ledges and in the wagon wheel light
over the deck. It’s always fun to watch the babies grow till they finally
leave the nest.
nighthawks also seem to be everywhere. It’s not unusual to find one
sleeping in the lodge willow right off the deck or in other trees close by.
They especially love perching on Kim’s old satellite dish. Sam & Shirley
had hummingbirds again at their place; Annie also was able to tempt them to
visit her feeder on a daily basis. Sage hens abound again this year. They
especially love Horace’s hay fields. The mule deer buck still lives in the
ranch pasture although he’s a little more elusive this year than last.
Maybe it has to do with all the new kittens in that area. We also had baby
lambs that seemed to be anywhere and everywhere you looked. We were very
grateful when Calvin, the horseshoer, took all but four of the lambs with
him back to Utah. And when Calvin returned a few weeks later, he went home
with a wonderful female puppy. Can you say, Dr. Dolittle?
Speaking of puppies, we
have three new puppies at the ranch this year. Aron has a male border
collie pup named Dip. McKenzie also has a border collie puppy, a female
named Cye (who looks very similar in body type and coloring to Terry’s old
buddy Dub). And Beau has a female Australian Shepard/Border Collie mix
puppy named Ash. Ash came to Beau just before the June Horse Drive so she
became socialized in a big hurry. Beau was lucky that Ronnie or any of the
other guests didn’t pack Ash in their duffle bags when they left for home.
Ty’s friend Danny is
working for the Forest Service this summer on the mountain at the Pole Creek
Ranger Station. We’ve been fortunate to have him join us every once in a
while for breakfast or dinner and to hear stories of daily life in the
wilderness. Although Danny hasn’t seen an increase in the elk or deer herds
this year, he has been amazed at the overwhelming number of antelope that
he’s come across.
Tom visited for a few
memorable weekends. One of his visits fell over the Fourth of July
holiday. Since Tom had to leave on the Fourth, we decided to celebrate the
holiday on the July 3rd. Jerry and Melissa were also staying at Cottonwood
over the holiday. We decided to have a parade. Aron and Sam assembled the
team and hitched them up to the chuck wagon to lead the parade. Melissa
saddled up Razor and was our lone rider. We pulled the old gray horse
trailer off the hill, decorated and spray painted it. Horace, Renie, Terry,
Kim & Kenny rode in the trailer while Bill and Lil towed them with the
“flame” truck. Agee and Jerry climbed in the Jeep and towed Piper, Ty &
most of the dogs and puppies in the old WWII Jeep Willy. Tom and Alecia
hitched up the Hummer to one of the old John Deere tractors from Horace’s
Treasure Yard and towed it while Beau steered the tractor. Annie & Em drove
4-wheelers. Everyone dressed in their best red, white and blue and
decorated the vehicles as festively as possible. Even though there were no
spectators (everyone was in the parade) it was quite a memorable event and a
whole lot of fun. Our only mishap was with the old Jeep Willy after it had
been towed for about one mile. It first threw the front right tire tube and
then eventually the entire tire fell off. After a lot of laughs, we tossed
the tire on the hood and finished the last mile of the parade (digging quite
a trench with the bare rim the rest of the way). It was a truly Happy 4th
Our July Horse drive was
also an incredible success. Another great group of folks joined us from
around the country and the world: California, Nevada, Michigan, New Mexico,
Virginia, Ohio and Germany. We had a wonderful time once again with
Cottonwood friends Norm, Ellen, Annette, Bob, Carole and Jack. It’s always
very special sharing time with them and catching up on all that is happening
in their lives. They all brought good friends with them to introduce to us
and to Cottonwood. Others came to Cottonwood on their own after discovering
the ranch on the web. We all had a blast together and the weather really
cooperated this year.
Terry brought Spencer
out to Cottonwood for a week in August. Spencer has wanted to visit the
ranch ever since his sister, mother & grandmother were here in July of
2002. Two ladies from Japan were at Cottonwood that same week and a couple
from Austria is expected the following week. September’s just around the
corner and our schedule is delightfully full. We’ll write again in the fall
to keep you updated on all of the current “ranch talk.” Until then, take
care and happy trails!
The summer season is over and fall is almost coming to an end.
Some of the golden leaves on the
trees are still clinging to the limbs but every day a few more leaves drift
to the ground. The Indian
are beautiful. The air is cold
and crisp in the morning and slowly warms as the sun climbs higher in the
sky. It is a quiet time, the
cattle have been shipped, the horses are turned out and the grandkids have
returned to college and high school. Even
cowboy, who was breaking horses for us this summer, had to leave to go back
to college. Alecia left the
first week of October to go back to her home in
for the winter. We were lucky to have her with us most of the summer. She
spent most of her time on horse back with the rest of the crew, taking our
guests out and moving the cattle and checking them. She and McKenzie and
Piper are our top cowhands. Alecia loves all of the animals and has a
special affinity for the babies and anything that is sick or hurt. The leppy
calf she named Moo followed her around like a puppy all summer. Moo
is missing her since she has been gone. We all miss her gentle presence.
happy that McKenzie isn’t going so far away to college this year. She
transferred from the University in
in Elko. She and Piper come home
when they can on the week-ends to help out on the ranch, catching their
horses early on Saturday morning and heading for the range to check on the
cattle that are still out. We
love having the kids come home on the week ends, it
is far too quiet when they aren’t around.
One of the last events
we have in the fall is when the
kids come to the ranch. This
year they really found out what cowboy life is all about. The day they
arrived the neighbors cattle got into our riparian area and, instead of a
short breaking in ride, they had to ride out on the range and gather the
cattle and move them back through the broken fence.
They came back in, tired and a little sore, but feeling pretty good
about accomplishing a really important job.
We don’t allow cattle to graze the riparian areas, so it was vital
to get the cattle out of there as quickly as possible. The last day the
Academy kids were here we had a day of arena games, so Piper came out to
help out for the day. They had a
great time barrel racing, pole bending and taking part in lots of fun
This year we had guests
. It is always such a treat to
meet folks from other countries. One
thing we learn is that folks are pretty much the same no matter where they
are from. They are warm and
friendly and always so appreciative of our Western way of life. They are
always amazed at the vast empty spaces out here.
We had a great season
this year. The horse drives were
exciting and fun and all the participants were such great people. All the
folks who stayed at the ranch and joined the crew moving and gathering
cattle were a joy to get to know. We
always feel that our circle of friends is growing and growing each year.
What a privilege it has been to be able to welcome so many wonderful
over the years.
It’s interesting that
we seem to have more birds that hang around close to the lodge and the ranch
buildings each year.
We have a pair of
resident owls that have been around for several years now.
They seem to have decided the people on the ranch are pretty harmless
because they swoop down just over our heads when they are hunting, and perch
on limbs or the roof tops just above us and watch us come and go with their
great yellow eyes. Of course we also have a lot of little cottontail rabbits
and chipmunks running around that I’m sure are the main attraction.
Earlier this summer we
had several night hawks living in the trees in the yards who ignored the
people coming and going and perched on the archways and limbs around the
houses to take their daytime naps. The
hummingbirds still visit Sam and Shirley’s porch to help themselves to the
nectar Shirley provides in the feeders she puts out for them.
Several robins built
their nests on the lodge decks wherever they could find a handy ledge. The
sand hill cranes stop by to visit the pond on their way to the meadows where
they live in the summer. We even
had visiting pelican stop by for a day or two.
Every morning the little
mule deer buck that lives in the meadow below the barn comes up to help
himself to the clover in the house lawns. Sometimes he is caught in the
truck lights at night before he bounds away.
He seems to ignore Moo the leppy calf, who also likes to visit the
lawns for a snack.
As sad as it is for
summer to come to an end, we always look forward to the beautiful snows of
winter. This year we will be welcoming new friends to share in sleigh rides
and snowmobiling here at Cottonwood Ranch.
Wow! Cottonwood has been
a very busy place this year. We have been very busy remodeling the lodge.
We have learned a lot about construction these past five months. It is
going to be beautiful when it is finished. We are hoping to have a grand
opening in November. We also have had guests at the ranch for our horse
drives and ranch stays. Everyone has been wonderful working with us with
all the construction that is going on. Our June drive was a very fun trip.
We loved having Jack, Les and Ken back from New York and Lori, George, Josh,
Kristie and Mark back from Florida. The country was so green in June this
year. We had some beautiful spring rains that gave the earth a much needed
drink of water. The horses all came off the winter range looking very
good. They had a very easy winter last year, and with all the spring grass
they were feeling and looking good. We missed Varl terribly this year, but
he continues to recover from his accident last September. I am sure he will
be with us next year. His bypass surgery went well and he says he is
feeling much better. We want to thank everyone for their prayers for Varl
this past year.
Our family week was so
much fun. George and Lori’s daughter, Taylor, was here along with Kristie
and Mark’s daughter. Josh’s friend, Jenny came too. What a doll. She was
so much fun and became a great rider! Walter who helps us with our website
joined us along with Candy who works with Lori at the 911 center. I want to
thank everyone that came for the family week for being so flexible with all
the confusion that goes along with remodeling. It worked out great and just
think, if you come next year it will all be done!
The Smith Family all
headed for Montana right after the family week for our yearly family
vacation. Our youngest sister, Kristin, got married at her beautiful home
in Corvallis, Montana. She is a remarkable woman. She had all of us at her
home and guided us on some wonderful adventures throughout the week before
her wedding. We all pitched in and helped her get ready for her wedding on
Friday and on Saturday, July 5th she wed her best friend and
partner. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding. Her two sons gave her away
and Rick’s two children gave him away. They had a joining of families and
there was not a dry eye in the house. It was very touching. On Sunday, we
rushed back to the ranch to get ready for our July horse drive. It was a
great horse drive. We had to start a day late, because we had to move
yearlings onto the meadows. It worked out well. We got back from the horse
drive on a Friday, instead of Thursday. We also had the pleasure of having
some familiar faces from last years July drive. Annette and Ellen joined us
again from California and Norm from Michigan brought his daughter. We also
met some wonderful folks from Ohio and California.
Our Mother/ Daughter
pack trip was a blast. We got to meet some of Tom and Alecia’s dear
friends. Audrey and her daughter Samantha came from California and Camille
and her daughter, Scarlett and her mother Camille joined us from Michigan.
We had a wonderful trip and had a new record leaving Emerald Lake camp for
Jarbidge. We got into Jarbidge and had a wonderful dinner and danced until
our feet hurt.
While we were on the mountain, the ranch was as busy as ever, putting up
hay, moving cattle, fixing fence, working on pipe lines, putting out mineral
and all the other ranch work that goes on here daily.
We want to thank everyone that helps keep things going on here at the
ranch. Terry, Craig, Jerry, Lori, and George, thank you so much for your
continued support. You are all such wonderful friends. I hope everyone is
having a wonderful and safe summer. Take care and keep checking in.
From all of us at Cottonwood.
Winter is not far off. Its amazing how fast the spring and summer flew
by. We had so many wonderful guests. Old friends and new came to Cottonwood
to enjoy the horses, the adventures, the ranch and the wide open spaces and
beautiful mountains that are so unique to our corner of our beloved Nevada.
The holiday season is here! And we started it off with a wonderful
Thanksgiving here at Cottonwood. All of the family were here except Kris,
Rick and the boys. There were 24 of us, including our precious great grandson
and his great, great Grandmother, Nonnie. We have so much to be thankful
While the kids and grandkids were here we gathered the cattle off the range
and put them in the meadows. Its nice to have all that expert help. This
family was raised in the saddle and it is a joy to see them all on
horseback. We also gathered the horses, which is exciting for the riders and
a thrill for us all to watch the herd come thundering in. We checked out the
colts to see what we will need to have trained or sold. Its always fun to
see the young colts and the yearlings. They are so wild and beautiful. We
also took time to shoot trap, a favorite sport of the family and one that
the men and women and girls and boys all excel at.
Last year it was snowing at Thanksgiving. But this year the weather was
amazingly warm. That was nice for riding, but its time for the snow to
start. We need a lot of snow in the mountains for the grass to grow next
The lodge is undergoing a major remodeling. We are adding more space and
redoing the interior. When its finished we will have a more efficient
kitchen and a beautiful new dining room, an extended great room and more
bathrooms and prettier bedrooms. So it is going to be very busy around here
this winter. And, of course, the care of cattle and horses in cold winter
weather is a demanding job, so we have plenty to do in the next few months.
It is amazing how fast the seasons go. It seemed just yesterday that the
kids came home from school for the summer. It is such fun to have our
teenagers around. One of our greatest joys has been to watch them grow
through the years into such accomplished riders. They are up first thing in
the morning, wrangling and catching horses to spend the day in the saddle,
checking or moving cattle or out fixing fence. And they are always full of
laughter and enthusiasm. So we are sad when fall comes around again and off
they go; back to school and new adventures.
One of the reasons the holidays are so precious is that we all gather
together again on the ranch to share this wonderful place we love and call
God bless you all and best wishes for the holidays. Merry Christmas! Happy
What’s Happening This Week at Cottonwood
It’s been a busy time since the June horse drive. We brought the mares and
colts in. The colts are all wobbly long legs. There are about twelve of them
right now and all adorable. There’s quite a variety. We have thoroughbreds,
quarter horses and draft crosses.
Mike brought four young horses home from Idaho that we had sent away to be
trained. We are anxious to see how well they will do when they are ridden.
Gary, the young cowboy from Arizona who is riding the ‘colts’ looked them
over pretty good. They are all tall leggy horses that look like they will
really cover country. That is what we need out here to cover the range that
needs to be ridden checking cattle and fences. There are three sorrels and a
beautiful light brown in this bunch.
Gary wrangled on the brown horse that came from Idaho. He behaved pretty
well. A little high strung, but that’s to be expected at this stage. I think
we will name him Wrangler.
Thinking of the perfect name for each horse is a challenge. We have one
sorrel horse colt, and two sorrel fillies to name from the horses that were
just broken this past year. Any suggestions out there?
We took some time to go for a ride to look at wildflowers. We were looking
for bitterroot specifically. After driving over several miles of mountain
roads strewn on both sides with hundreds of varieties of wildflowers, we
finally topped a hill and there on a rocky hillside we found hundreds of
bitterroot in full bloom. We hated to even drive down the road; the
wildflowers are so thick this year they are even blooming in the middle of
Gary caught a sorrel colt that just came back from being trained. Must have
missed a lesson, he put on quite a rodeo for a little while. Gary stuck with
him and before long he was loping around the corral pretty smoothly so he
rode him out to check the cattle. We named this horse Clipper.
The crew has been working on fences and the pipeline. Derek and Josh drive
posts, McKenzie and Piper put on the clips, and they get it all done pretty
fast and it’s ready for wire. Kenny got water to the troughs where the
cattle will be going next.
McKenzie took her quarter horse colt out to ride herd today, he took a quick
turn and turned right out from under her. Before she knew it she was sitting
on the ground. Those quarter horses are pretty quick. Piper rode a colt
called Strawberry. The boys have been breaking her.
Another day, another cowgirl ‘bit the dust.' Piper got bucked off her own
colt, Fancy. She said something spooked Fancy and she jumped out from under
her. These girls better join the rodeo. They are excellent riders, but you
never know what’s going to happen with colts.
The boys have been putting in a new fence to split what we call the
‘Choke-a-Man’ pasture in order to better control the grazing in that area.
We will be moving the cattle in there soon.
We had an HM team meeting Tuesday. Folks from Bureau of Land Management,
Forest Service, Nevada Wildlife Department , Stewards of the Land, National
Resource Conservation as well as several other groups came out to look over
the range. We always have folks from California that are interested in the
condition of the range. There have been great improvements in the condition
of the land with the holistic grazing that we have been doing for the past
seven years. The grass is beautiful this year. We are grateful for the
winter snow and the rains we have had. The wildflowers are still absolutely
gorgeous. The hillsides are covered with purple, yellow, and white flowers.
There must be hundreds of varieties out there. It is fun to try to identify
them in the Wildflower book. Everybody is very pleased that the bitterbrush
and service berry shrubs are coming back after the burn two years ago.
The cowhands continue to ride and check the cattle. They are moving them to
a new pasture today.