Springtime activities are in full swing, but at 15 degrees Fahrenheit this morning I felt bad for this lil’ sweetheart…but calves are tough! Born before dawn, she was cleaned up, standing on her wobbly legs, nursing and trying to jump and play at 7:45 am.
Up bright and early…8 AM hunting cattle in the Hill Field BLM grazing allotment for the 3J Ranch…what a spectacular view of Anderson Valley where I’m blessed to live.
In the center of the photo there is a black butte…the beginning point along Hwy 78 of the Buzzard Fire from last summer that burned 395,747 acres of grazing land. Luckily no homes were destroyed, but a lot of ranches lost cattle and calves and were left without feed for their remaining stock.
As you can see on the ground in front, this side of the valley escaped the devastation, and the cows in this allotment hadn’t even made it up to this elevation (approximately 4750 ft) to feed on the plentiful bunch grass. The high desert is an amazing place.
Last week I spent two days at Crowley ranch gathering and moving pairs. Fall is when most ranchers gather their pairs from summer pasture, sort the mamma cows from the calves then ship the calves to auction yards. Yes, the clouds were threatening rain, but we were lucky this time.
The cow boss usually runs three border collie cow dogs at a time. I can only handle my one! It was great fun and can’t wait to go back in the spring to help turn out the newborn pairs to summer pasture…and the cycle goes on and on…
The late afternoon shadows from the rim rock are quickly creeping over the alfalfa field, and the wheel line waits patiently for its call to duty in the spring. Our house against the rim rock is in the shadows by 1 PM in the winter time. We’ve had some beautifully sunny days lately…we pray for more snow.
In my book, barn wood is a color 😉 The weathered wood goes hand in hand with the dry high desert winter colors. This is the Pete French Round Barn which is about 10 miles down the road from us. Riddle Mountain is in the background. When visiting the Round Barn, it’s a MUST to see the Visitor’s Center; they have the best gift shop in Harney County!
For a little history…quoting from their website:
“The Pete French round barn is one of the stops on your (Jenkins) tour. It was here that cattle king Pete French trained horses (for driving) during the winter months. The inside of the barn is uniquely made from juniper posts and lumber that was hauled from over 60 miles from the north. The round barn was built in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s, the date is not certain. The barn remains much as it was in Pete French’s day with some minor repairs to the outside and roof. The (Jenkins) family donated the Pete French Round Barn to the state of Oregon in 1969.”