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…
We often go from summer to winter without much fall. So far we’ve had a couple of weeks of fall…the tomatoes and flowers haven’t frozen yet! Tonight it will be down to 33 degrees Fahrenheit…or cooler. Winter will be here soon enough~
This is one of the juvenile Great Horned owls having a morning grooming session. The family of four live in the trees in our yard. Soon the two owlets will fly off to begin their life on their own. The parents will stay…they’ve been here since we moved to the ranch 10 years ago.
Dry Lake has a little bit of water and ice. Last fall is was completely dry. Some years the water is up to the sage brush line and the water floods the Pete French Round Barn (shoot a color day). Riddle Mountain is in the back ground.