Cottonwood Guest Ranch



Cottonwood Ranch
HC 62 Box 1300, O'Neil Route
Wells, Nevada 89835  USA
Phone:  (775) 472-0817 or (775) 472-0453
Toll Free: (888) 269-2022
cottonwoodranch2000@yahoo.com
 

 
 



 

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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 creek water.

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 crazy characters.

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 them out:

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 Smith.

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 Cottonwood.

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 Tractor:

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 Tanagers
, Spring 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 as well!

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 environment.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!!!

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 participants:


The Cottonwood Water/Fire Truck:

Horace's Treasure Yard Float:


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 the Beautiful:"

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 grain:

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 calf 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 work project.

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.  

Tonight we're 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 well.

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
 
 http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102482679269&e=001yB0NoG8xQUBmbutmQa3-snn9X5Xt8pN8bwY3xDPLl7zQ3_WrRVrvdPGwrnRvGiVMWDFEiuIF6Tm8mRcenqdfDLVWjKSXxNdMK__q7zzFphhhWQ2H79E4DC5k30HEMkG0"Winter 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 permitting.
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 range. 
 
Our friendly owl still sits on a tree limb in our yard and hooting at us every night. http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102482679269&e=001yB0NoG8xQUBmbutmQa3-snn9X5Xt8pN8bwY3xDPLl7zQ3_WrRVrvdPGwrnRvGiVMWDFEiuIF6Tm8mRcenqdfDLVWjKSXxNdMK__q7zzFphhhWQ2H79E4DC5k30HEMkG0I 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

Ranch News
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.
----
Wedding Bells
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 practice run!

 
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!
 Who gives a hoot?...                                                                    owl
 
.....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!)
 
 
ranch snowy outside 
WINTER SHORT BREAKS
 
Our luxury 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.











 

kodi in the lead  

 
kodi in the lead
 
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 year.

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 delightful couple. 

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 ethic.

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 riding horses.

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 bride 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 old.

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!

 

August 2006
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 memories.

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 at Cottonwood.

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. 

The 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 of July!


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!


October 2005

The summer season is over and fall is almost coming to an end.  Some of the golden leaves on the Aspen trees are still clinging to the limbs but every day a few more leaves drift to the ground.  The Indian summers at Cottonwood 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 our Texas 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 Michigan 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.

 We’re happy that McKenzie isn’t going so far away to college this year. She transferred from the University in Reno to Great Basin College 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 Squaw Valley Academy 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 events.

This year we had guests from England , France , Belgium , Germany and Japan .  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 people to Cottonwood 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.

August 2003
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.

Dec 2002
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 for!

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 summer.

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 home.

God bless you all and best wishes for the holidays. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

July 2002
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 the roads.

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.

 

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