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…
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.
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.”
I call this “A Bowl of Sunset”…as I look SE from my barn when the sun is setting, at the right moment the shadows and contours of the hillside make this bowl of light. It changes colors with the type of sunset, so you don’t know what you’ll get to see until it’s there. Mother Nature is always full of surprises!
I chose a sunrise…At -15 F, my sunrise shoot didn’t last long…and I got impatient (besides my fingers getting frozen) for the sun to do something spectacular. I gave it up with this final shot facing north…the sun is just hitting the top of Windy Point.
Gosh, it’s a coin toss…and Rastus wins! We took a hike to the top of the rim rock behind the house…maybe a 60 feet drop off. But I love the view, and Rastus of course had to get right on the edge! But, the background is really cool!
Here in the high desert of SE Oregon, until you get to some pretty high elevations, you don’t find native trees…hence where the name “the sage brush sea” comes from (we are at 4200 feet). Early day homesteaders planted a lot of the Chinese elm such as the ones that are in our yard that the owls live in.We are thankful for those trees during the hot summer days.
Occasionally you’ll find a Juniper struggling to survive…such as the single, tiny tree on Hat Butte in my photo. Interestingly enough though, the Juniper is not a native plant and is considered a weed by many. When soil conditions are right, they will take over…sucking up 30 gallons of water a day…wiping out the native grasses for wildlife and cattle grazing.
This is an old house and out building across the valley from our place. I don’t know how old it is, but there is a house number on it above the front door, “82”, which is most likely from when they numbered the postal routes by route number and then house number…which has all changed now. I took the photo from the end of the drive way and framed the house with the barbed wire fence. Places like these always make me wonder who lived there and what happened to them.
The last day of the clinic and I pack everything up and head for home. It was a really good clinic. I always enjoy the learning and the other people and their horses…fun times!
We rode a loop out on the desert everyday with our horses in their two-rein gear…a good way to get the feel of rein position (since you are literally holding two sets of reins in one hand). It takes lots of practice!
The snow-topped mountains in the distance along with The Three Sisters mountains off to our left out of the photo were breathtaking. Central Oregon is truly beautiful.