Western Wednesday ~ Gathering Pairs at Crowley Ranch

Moving Pairs

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.

Searching for Pairs

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…


Dec 8 – Sunrise/Sunset

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.


Dec 7 – Winter

Ha! The challenge subject couldn’t have landed on a better day! 4-6 inches of snow last night and 10 degrees this morning…wind chills into the minus.

The pups and I went for a quick winter walk after breakfast. It’s not nearly as cold here as a lot of places, but 13 degrees and a wind chill of -3 is cold enough for me! The forecast for tonight is -12 with wind chills down to -25. Brrrrrr…Thank goodness for the barn…and the wood stove in the house!

This is my “Wild Bunch.” L-R Stetson, Catnip and Rohan. We adopted Catnip from the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada, and of course she was pregnant, which produced Stetson. We also adopted Rohan, and he is from the Hog Creek HMA out of Vale, Oregon.

This is an easy question for most horse people…so, for everyone else: Are these guys warm or cold? How can you tell?


Dec 5 – Barns and Fences

With these cold temps, I just prefer stay home than travel to find a subject! This is my barn (nothing fancy, but my horses appreciate it!)…the well weathered side, and the panels of my round pen.

I took some photos this morning, but I liked this late afternoon shot better. The sun was just going down and highlighting the rim rock in the background…as well as highlighting the “mare’s tails” clouds in the sky (that’s what we call them here anyhow). I’m also finding that it’s much easier to take photos with my Nikon CoolPix when the weather is so cold…the camera likes the pocket next to my body warmth!


Dec 4 – Macro/Details

My Canon PowerShot has a macro setting and this is what I used, but this is not a true macro in my opinion (and I was right on this leaf!). We’re in that cold spell like a lot of you and I took a few shots around the barnyard and did chores…and had to come in for more clothes! But, I chose this tattered leaf that is caught up in the weeds with snow…I liked the details of the leaf.


Dec 3 – Texture

The affects of weather can be seen many ways…the amount of moisture seems to make the most difference. In this dry high desert, old implements and structures hang on for many years for us to enjoy their slow aging.

The weathered side of our barn shows what happens when newly milled lumber is used for siding and painted (we didn’t do it!)…but, it always makes a good rustic background for horse portraits!


Nov 28 – Thanksgiving/Gratitude

Thanksgiving is probably my most favorite holiday…a time to celebrate family, friends and blessings. Just as this cloud has opened up and is pouring much needed precipitation on the dry high desert, I feel that God has poured blessings on my household; good health, wonderful family, and living a dream my husband and I never thought possible.

I hope your Thanksgiving Day was as blessed as mine.


April 6 ~ Photo A Day #96

Another typical spring day…sun, hail, rain, wind and back to sun again. I helped another rancher, the 3J Ranch this time, sort out cow/calf pairs on this particular day. We had just gotten blasted with rain and hail…Colt’s ears are still wet.

Holding Herd

We gather the herd and put them in a corner of the field. There is a fence that’s nearly invisible on the backside of the cows, and we set up pickup trucks and trailers to make “wings” on the left and right. Then we wait for the cows and calves to “mother up” and then push that pair out of the herd (these are calves that have been branded).

What is left are the cows with calves that have not been branded, cows that still need to calve and dry cows. We drive the branded pairs out to summer grazing range land; the rest go to a smaller field to wait as the rest of the cows calve.

March 21 ~ Photo A Day #80

This was taken with my phone camera about the same time of day as the photo on March 20. The spring snow squall behind Hat Butte made another dramatic landscape shot.

As I stated when I started this Photo A Day project, there will be many photos of Hat Butte…it’s right out my kitchen window and the most prominent land mark visible from anywhere on our property.

Another of the many faces of the ever changing Hat Butte.

Spring Snow Squall

March 20 ~ Photo A Day #79

Spring Equinox…I don’t expect too much for this event in our area. The grass in the yard is just now starting to look a little bit green…coming out of its brown state from winter. Anything really “green” is still a ways away.

But we were supposed to have some much needed rain of which we only got a short dampening with hail, strong winds, and a bit of thunder. The skies were in turmoil most of the day.

Spring Turmoil

Our alfalfa field, still in dormancy,  leads up to a sun-highlighted Hat Butte with Beaver Table in the background trying to hide in the dark shadows of the grey sky.

Welcome Spring~