Howdy 'n Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride! You can contact me at gtyyup at wildblue dot net. See ya on down the trail!
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gathering in the Forest

~When things get ya down, go for a ride.
You can think better in the open.~
~J.P. Harder 1898~

We don't live too far from the forest, but we rarely get time to go there to ride. Last Sunday I got a call from Ty asking if I could help gather and move pairs on Tuesday in the forest...what a treat!!! I'll be there!!

Ty and I were up at the meeting spot by 8 AM, but the other riders were already out on their horses. We rode up to the top of the hill where the boundary fence was and found Glen. We all split up at that point. I took the fence line since I hadn't ridden up in this country before, and I could keep my bearings.

OH my gosh...the smell of the pine trees was incredible!!! I don't think I'd been in the trees since February when I drove to Portland. I love my sagebrush ground, but trees are nice too!

Ty and I met back up at a two-track road by a cattle guard as planned. I didn't find any pairs, but Ty found a few pairs. We started them out moving north along a fence line.

Along the Fence Line
Moving Along the Fence Line
Ty headed out toward the ridge to the west to find some more pairs, and I kept the herd going on north. Cows will be cows of course and instead of staying on the fence line, they took off toward the northwest as they topped the rise...and took off at a run down the a cloud of dust.

Colt and I just kept up a good long trot down the hill following the dust cloud!

Off in a Cloud of Dust
I caught up to them when they hit this two-track.
Beginning last summer, and infestation of White Pine Butterflies started killing the pine trees. At that time, it was just a hundred acres or so...this year they have devastated thousands of acres...and at this point, the government is letting it go unchecked. Right now they are in the worm stage...there are literally thousands of these inch long green worms crawling on every pine tree...spinning their sticky, silky threads...sucking the life out of every tree.

Death in the Forest
The trees on the hill on the horizon are ones that have been
killed by the butterflies vs the trees in the foreground that they haven't touched yet.

Cows are creatures of habit and have a pretty good sense of direction too...they knew exactly where they needed to go, and we came out in Cabin Meadow where Glen and his dad Ron were waiting with the pairs they had gathered.

A clean, fresh spring is piping water into this hand hewn log water trough.

Log Trough
This log trough will out last metal water tanks by decades.

Cool Drink
Colt enjoyed a cool, fresh drink!
The government requires that the cattle owners fence off all of the meadows to prevent over grazing and protect the riparian areas. The meadows are very beautiful.

I liked the capture of Ron riding his horse through the meadow (he'd gone through the gate to check the spring. He's 76 years old and still puts a good day's work in the saddle. I hope I can do that when I'm his age!

Riding Cabin Meadow
Riding the meadow

As we were waiting for Ty to get down with his bunch, one cow took off out of the herd. She headed back up the hill lookin' for her calf (which may or may not have been in the herd). I went after her, and every time I got in front of her, she'd blow past me. There were too many rocks and trees in the way to keep her from getting past us. But, I kept trying. Pretty soon I'm in the middle of a small herd that had been missed.

I got them all together going down the hill (including the renegade cow). But, pretty soon, the herd split. Again, with the rocks and trees, it was impossible to get them back together. I followed two pair down to the meadow, met up with Ty and he went back up for the others.

We finally got everything gathered up and started them down the road toward the new field.

Workin' Dogs 'n Horses
Buckaroos, good horses, and good dogs...teamwork.
L-R is Ron, Ty and Glen

Glen brought two horses...he rode one and the other one just followed along...totally loose, not lead. His second horse was a young two year old, so when the work was easy, he'd switch to the young horse and his older horse would just tag along...Glen's quite the horseman!

Tag Along
Taggin' Along

Well, those boys all got to go back up on Wednesday and do it all over again (I had to work at the Post Office). We had found maybe half of what was up in that field. It usually takes two days to get them all flushed out. And still they usually find a few pair down at the meadow as the snow starts to fly that are finally wanting to head for home...and hay!

Thanks for comin' along for the ride!!


The Kissin S Ranch said...

Sounds fun!!

Mikey said...

Oh man, do I want to be there! That is a FABULOUS area. Love that water trough too, never seen one of those!! Great post to read, makes me want to go with you!!

Reddunappy said...

Beautiful, I so want to do that, hmm Bucket list?

Cheyenne said...

I really enjoy these posts of yours, they are really brilliant! Thank you for all of the words and pictures!

C-ingspots said...

Wow Karen, I sure hope you realize just how blessed you are getting to do that. Someday...

Crystal said...

Wow that sounds like fun! And that water trough is the coolest!

Cowgirl Rae said...

On those days I always ponder the pretty trail horses in their classes....... as I'm crashing through trees over rocks and logs, dodging branches trying to keep my hat on my head and both reins in my hand, the horse between me an the ground and doing my best to not say out loud exactly what I'm thinking.
There is no time for pretty execution of obstacles and precise control of gait and form.....and I LOVE every second of it.
Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to our next gather next month.

Rhonda said...

Enjoyed this post! I liked that log water trough and the horses that just trailed along "loose." :) I also wnat to say I really enjoy those quotes that you head up your posts with!

jeannette said...

Know a few people who love horses -nothing is too much for them -I applaud you! Love the next to last pic!
Also stopped by becauseI couldn't give a reply to your comment, because my computer died last weekend and took a week to get a new one -sorry.

dr momi said...

I so enjoyed that ride with you!

lisa said...

Great! That would of been a great ride to experience, lucky you!

Maia said...

What a great day. Loved your pictures.

Mary said...

I would totally enjoy sitting down with Ron and a cup of coffee and just chat for a while. Good for him! It's folks like that, that keep my hopes alive that someday I will be back in the saddle. Thank you for sharing your ride. I hate those Moth's. I remember quite a few years ago in the Bend/Sunriver area they had a terrible pine beetle problem. It's so sad to see the forest practically dissapear before your eyes.

5 Starr's Farm said...

Hi Gtyyup, Beautiful country, what a nice place to run cattle.

Shirley said...

Some day you'll look back and say,"those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end.."
Love the photo of Ron in the meadow.
The log trough must be cedar.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Beautiful! I especially like that log trough, and the tag-along youngster.

We have something killing the forests north of here. It breaks my heart to see whole mountainsides dying. I guess it's nature, but I don't have to like it...

thecrazysheeplady said...

This was fabulous! Love the horse switching and the water trough.

Dreaming said...

Thanks for taking us on the ride!
The log trough is incredible. Glen's horse is incredible. The scenery is incredible!

Hadn't heard about the white pine butterfly - how awful!

Barb said...

Oh how much fun is that!!! Some days being hot sweaty and dusty while smelling of cow dust, wet horse and pines is just heaven on earth. I'm so pleased you took your camera with :)

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