Monday, June 28, 2010

To the Top of a Mountain

Our adventure the other day took us to the top of a large hill on the ranch. This hill has been calling my name since we moved here. So, Colton and I decided to climb it. I would guess it is a 1/2 mile or so to the top. A nice hike. Colton enjoyed it too. At the top there is a supposed Native American Burial ground. Also 1/2 way up there is a "rock chair" which probably was a grinding stone used by the natives. I did my homework and it looks like the Pend d' Oreille (pronounced: "Pond-a-Ray"), and Salish tribes were the most prominent in this area. So, it is a real possibility I suppose. Still an amazing view from the top of this hill. I am very proud of Colton for climbing it so willingly. He even ask frequently if we can climb "the mountain." We have since moved cows to pasture up there, but as soon as they are moved to summer pasture we will definitely be making the trek again. I think it may be one of my favorite spots on the entire ranch. An who knows maybe if I hike up there enough this summer, I will get back into a reasonable shape :o)

View of the hill we climbed - It really is quite big, this picture doesn't do it justice.

Colton taking a rest in the Rock Chair.

Rock chair / Native American grinding stone.

Colton: King of the mountain!

View to the west

View to the east

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Working with Daddy

One of the very greatest blessings of working on a ranch is that Colton can sometimes go to work with daddy. It is a wonderful experience and Colton loves it. On one recent occasion Alex and I got to tag along to. The task for the day checking the irrigation ditches, diverting water, and over all just enjoying a nice day out on the ranch.

Kyle walking the ditches

Kyle putting in a diversion tarp.

Kyle Cleaning out the sprinkler line in the alfalfa field.

Colton and Kyle on our driveway

View of the Ranch from the road. The wheel line in the alfalfa field.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Drummond Ranch Rodeo - June 2010

This past weekend Kyle was able to live a life long dream of attending a Ranch Rodeo. I have to admit it was a lot fun, and very different from any rodeo I have ever attend.

First of all most of the events were different, or varied from the norm. Second, everything was done on teams. Either co-workers on a ranch or an assembled group of cowboy/cowgirl buddies out for fun. The teams consisted of 4-5 members, some very organized teams and some who...well... flew by the seat of their pants, or so it appeared. All got the job done though.

The first event was Team Branding:
Calves were down in the corner, behind a chalk (flour) line. One cowboy rode in and roped a calf and drug it to the "fire" which was a paint bucket. Two or three of the team members laid the calf down, and the "brander" ran over and laid a paint brand on the calf in the designated area, ie. left shoulder, right hip etc... I think they had to try in do 3 calves. Fastest time wins. Surprising thing about this event - They could rope the calf any way they wanted. Around the neck, hind leg's (most optimal catch), or around the barrel (how many where caught.)

Next Event Team Doctoring:
A bunch of numbered steers down at one end of the arena behind a chalk line. The team starts at the other end runs down, past the timer. The announcer gives the number for which steer they are to get. 3-4 team members stop at the line. Only one cowboy crosses to sort out the steer. He chases him out of the hold area and attempts to rope him around the horns. Meanwhile the other team members have the dual purpose of keeping the other steers back over the line. As the steer they are after is sorted out, they follow suit, if the heading cowboy catches the horns, the next team member heels the steer. Once roped the other 2-3 team members dismount. One is armed with a paint stick to "doctor" the steer with. The others remove the head rope and put it on the front legs. The steer is doctored and then released. Fastest time wins. I really liked this event.

The third event is the crowd pleaser, it is wild cow milking. I have yet to figure how or why this would be done on a ranch. But, it is entertaining none the less.

Object: Get a wild cow to hold still so you can get a few drops of milk in a cut-of pop bottle.
Again, cows at one end of the arena, cowboys start at the other. The announcer gives the number. One cowboy sorts out the cow. (By the way these are not Holsteins, and where not very happy about being milked to say the least. ) The cow is roped around the neck, hopefully (a lot got caught around the barrel.) The other three cowboys dismount, one grabs the head, one grabs the tail. The object to slow the cow down enough for cowboy #3 to get some milk into the bottle. The "milker" then runs to the judge pours out the milk and the timer stops.

During a break the kids all went out for a Calf Scramble. Colton included. Object being, chase a calf around and pull the ribon off his tail. While Colton didn't win, he sure had fun trying. All the kids where so dang cute. I was so proud of Colton for going out there.
Fourth and final event is Stock Saddle Bronc Riding:
Same as regular saddle bronc riding except the tack... and the showing off. The cowboys use their own stock saddles which adds to the difficulty I am told. As to the showing off... If the ride is going good they might try to make a loop with their rope, and there was one guy with a bull whip - though his ride didn't go that smoothly.

Best part about the rodeo: The tack. Kyle was in heaven. There where a lot of riders who follow buckaroo tradition, so we saw hackamore (bosal's where we come from), we saw two rein rigs, and horses straight up in the bridle. There where also a lot of "hybrid" buckaroos and some with more of the simple Texas influence too. So very interesting to see each rider express his/her individual style. The hats where also awesome. I personally love a cowboy hat as much as the next gal. But, their is something so unique and nostalgic about seeing a cowboy/cowgirl in a traditional flat hat.

It was a beautiful day too. A great day to spend with the family. Alex was a great sport only waking to eat. Colton made a friend, and we even found some swings. Can't wait for our next opportunity to attend a Ranch Rodeo.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sorting Pairs

Yesterday and today is very busy on the ranch. They have begun sorting out pairs into groups to take to the summer pastures. It was pretty amazing to watch them gather them all, and even more wonderful to see my handsome hubby on a horse. He rode Rusty, who is Mr. H's other horse. Rusty is a nice old gelding with some personality. Probably my favorite horse on the place. Kyle and him were working pretty good by the end of the day. Though Kyle did say that he is not as handy as he would like. I guess all the more reason to get he colt going.

A few notes about sorting: We have to sort the pairs (mama and babies) into groups to take to I believe 3 different summer pastures. While there is a good sized chunk of land here at the ranch there is not enough to support the the close to 300 cows (Includes, cows, calves and bulls) So they gather them up, load them into trucks to haul them to pasture. Then in the fall they will drive them home horseback as there are no loading chutes out on the range.

Tie Dye Day

Well, the granola in me rose up yesterday. I satisfied the urges by Tie Dying pretty much every white thing we owned. Plus a couple shirts for Mr. and Mrs. H. A pair of Kyles socks, some shirts for Colton and a whole lot of baby clothes. I never will understand the urge to put babies in white. Colton totally got into to process and dyed quite a few things himself.
To justify the desire to see clothing dyed as many colors as possible I invited some of the girls from the valley over. We had a great time. Everything turned our wonderfully.
The shirts and stuff Tressa and I Tie Dyed.

Colton and Kadin having a serious toy repair disscusion.
(While Tressa and I Tie Dye'd)

Fabric for a Ring Sling I am making

Fabric for another Ring Sling I'm making

Jamie created these beautiful onesies.