Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.

What's your health score?
Just Take Your FREE Health Assessment: Click Here
Please DO NOT copy or reproduce my photos or writing in any way without my permission...just ask!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Fruit

Fruit? Yep, fruit...the subject for this week's Sunday Stills photo challenge. I hummed and hawed about what to choose as my victim...er subject...and as I mulled it through my head, sipping a glass of my favorite wine...hmmmmm...

I LOVE grapes...especially the
fermented kind...of course
it's only for medicinal purposes...

Check out the other Sunday Stills photo challenge participants by going here in the comments.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Between You, Me, and the Fence Post

Between You, Me, and the Fence Post...is that not a catchy ditty or what?!? Well, it's actually the blog name of the latest and newest blogger that I've had the pleasure to meet...in person...face to face!!!

Just today!

Please meet Sarah who in this photo is making fast
friends with lil' Silverbelly Stetson...momma Catnip is being
standoffish as usual in the background.

Sarah (blogger extraordinaire) and her husband Malcolm are long haul truckers. Sarah realized this morning that they would be driving by very close to our ranch...yea...like within 2 miles!!! After a couple of blog comments and a couple of phone calls, they were on their way to the Rough String!

L-R Sara, Rohan, me 'n Stetson.

While Sarah and I enjoyed chatting about blogging, the pros and cons of long haul trucking, farming and ranching, and the problem of dust and housekeeping in the west, the guys were getting acquainted. Not only did the two guys have trucking as a common denominator, but farming, ranching (including shooting varmints), and the rural way of life, which quickly bonded them as kindred spirits.

Pretty soon the two of them were out there in the alfalfa fields with .22 rifles shooting sage rats. The rats have just come out of hibernation and the guys enjoyed a few rounds of target practice. Believing that My Man's .22 was the better rifle, he had Malcolm use his rifle. But it seemed that My Man's rifle was dialed in for a left handed shooter (which non of use could figure out), but Malcolm didn't miss a one with my rifle (right handed)...so, go figure!?!

After the bullets quit flyin' the carnivores came in...including this beautiful National Bird...a Bald Eagle.

I took this photo from the front porch with the wheel line
and fence in the photo. Next time I'll get out there
closer and see if I can get a better shot.

As the afternoon went by all too quickly, it was time for Sarah and Malcolm to hit the road again. I drove them a mile down the road where they'd left their truck...which also held their precious cargo...three Chinese Crested.

Oh my gosh...what cute lil' girls they are!!!

Malcolm, Sarah, Carlie, Paris and Ella.

Cindy Sue wasn't quite sure what to think about
"The Girls," but here she is trying to
make acquaintance with Carlie and Ella is running
back to Sarah...just overly excited to see her mom!

My Man and I had the most enjoyable afternoon. Meeting fellow bloggers face to face is an absolute treasure. Sarah and Malcolm are wonderful people, and we hope that we'll be able to see them often in the future as they continue their travels throughout the Western States.

Happy trails to Sarah and Malcolm...return often~~


Monday, February 22, 2010

Faces of the Homeless

While at the Burns Horse Corrals Friday and Saturday, I took hundreds of photos. I decided that setting up a Flickr account would be the best way to share some of them with you.

Here is the link to Faces of the Homeless. I'm new to all this stuff, but I think there will be an option to view this set of photos in a slide show. I only uploaded 27 photos.

Why am I posting this?

I guess it just boils down to one thing; these horses need a place to go. Whether you think they should be rounded up or not, they already are, and they need homes.

They are beautiful, intelligent animals and deserve better.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ The Letter "G"

This week's Sunday Stills challenge was a challenge...for me anyhow. There wasn't a lot of "G" happenin' 'round here this week.

But the weather's been cooperating, and the ground was hard enough to get across it with the tractor to spread the annual fertilizer on our alfalfa fields.

So, my G is GROWING...another year begins of growing alfalfa...

A beautiful Sunday morning...7 AM to be exact.

My Man with his trusty side kicks, Cowboy and Bella Jo.

Enjoy more Sunday Stills photo challenge participants by clicking here and go to the comments.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Little Giant

While at the Burns Wild Horse Corrals yesterday, I was able to watch Dreamsicle show the other stallions that size doesn't matter.

It all started with a lil' tift.
The bay with the blaze in the left corner
is Slider who never seems to be
bothered in the least throughout the whole episode.

Dreamsicle and the stallion are having a conversation.

Then these two other guys want to see what
all the fuss is about.

The two new guys seem to be having a chat too.

Then some positioning takes place.

Two of the stallions move on out of the way.
Slider is still there on the left...he must be
emergency back up for Dreamsicle.

Big Sorrel seems to be challenging Dreamsicle.

Big Sorrel kicks and Dreamsicle shows some teeth.

Big Sorrel looks a lil' worried...he may be thinkin'
that he shouldn't have messed with the lil' guy!

More chatting takes place with some squealing and
fancy foot work.

Dreamsicle seems to be saying
"Get out of my face."

Some body shoving.

They seem to have come to an agreement...

And as quickly as it started...it ends.
Dreamsicle just wants to hang out
with his step son Slider.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Official Harney County Greeter

Recently at the visitor's kiosk just off Hwy 78 at Princeton, we've had a self appointed greeter on duty. The kiosk describes the Diamond Loop Scenic Byway which goes past the Round Barn and on down to the community of Diamond.

That's him...just off to the left. Let's get a closer shot...

Hmmmm...I can't say he looks overly friendly.
But, he reminds me of a few WallyWorld
greeters that I've seen!
If I were a visitor from the city, I'm not sure
I'd want to get out of my motor home!

Shhhh...Really, it's a secret plan by the locals
to keep them city folk from hangin' 'round too long!

When we drive by the kiosk at night, we just have to be real careful to go slow. It's open range out here and we'd have to pay for him if we hit him! (Not to mention that he'd probably total the rig!)

I know I promised photos of wild horses from the South Steens HMA. But, plans changed today and Tracey couldn't make it. So...we'll do a rain check and get some photos later this spring.


On the Wild Horse front for Dreamsicle and family, things are looking up, but it's a long, steep hill. I actually spoke with Ginger Kathrens who is the famous producer and cinematographer of the Cloud series and formed The Cloud Foundation. She is being instrumental in helping us get in contact with people who know how to get things done.

We're very excited and optimistic. Keep those good thoughts coming!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Don't Take My Home"

This video is just too good not to share. The photography of the wild horses is stunning and matched with the magical music of Mary Ann Kennedy...nothing could be more beautiful~

I love my Quarter Horses. I love my mustangs. They both have a place in this world. It's very hard for me to watch the BLM gather hundreds of wild horses at a time as they have done just in the past few weeks in the Calico Mountains of Nevada. The Cloud Foundation has covered the gather quite well on their web site.

There are pros and cons to these decisions to gather the wild horses...kind of depending on which side of the fence you sit. But in the end, it's the horses that take the brunt of it all. The question I pose is: "Will there be wild horses on the range for future Americans to see and enjoy?"

And even on the local level here in Oregon, just last week, our favorite stallion from the Big Summit Herd Management Area (HMA), Dreamsicle, was captured with his 2 mares and their fillies along with a 2 year old stud colt.

This photo of Dreamsicle is from last June at the
annual inventory of wild horses. He and his
band visited our campsite every evening.

This photo from last June shows all 6 horses that
were captured this past week. Currently they are at the
Burns Wild Horse Corrals waiting to be processed.

The Big Summit HMA lies in the Ochoco National Forest and the horses are not governed by the BLM but by the Forest Service, and the FS works with the BLM when horses are gathered. The BLM does the processing of the horses and offers them for adoption to the public.

I am on the board of directors of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, and currently we are fighting to get Dreamsicle and his family back. The COWHC had met with the FS regarding this gather, and the FS has gone back on their word. They were supposed to gather only bachelor stallions (not whole bands) and they were to gather horses that are outside of the HMA (they have gotten through a fence). Dreamsicle and his band was where they were supposed to be. The FS did just the opposite of what was agreed. Sounds like typical government policy doesn't it.

The HMA maximum number of horses is set at 60 horses (which was a number that was basically pulled from the sky back in the 1970's). Currently there are approximately 75 horses that belong in the Big Summit HMA (some are inside the boundary and some are outside). According to all studies on genetic viability, a minimum of 150 horses is needed to have a genetically healthy herd. The COWHC has been working hard to get the herd number increased and bring in new blood from other HMA's to rejuvenate the gene pool...but to no avail so far.

Please wish us good luck in getting our Dreamsicle and his family back home.


On another "wild horse" note, there is a big weekend coming up here in Harney County. The Colorfest Wild Horse Adoption is taking place on Friday and Saturday at the Burns Wild Horse Corrals. More than 100 wild horses are up for adoption using the silent bid process. They are calling it Colorfest because of the multitude of different colored horses that are currently available...pinto, dun, black, appy, roan, palomino...you get the idea.

Photo courtesy of BLM.
More photos of horses available
for adoption can be seen here.

The COWHC will have a booth set up along with wild life artist Michelle Severe and also Andi Harmon who is just now completing her book "Oregon's Living Legends." If you're planning on attending, please stop by and say howdy.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be going up into the South Steens HMA with Tracey (Desperate Horsewife) from Mustang Diaries and Mustang U searching for wild horses to photograph. Hopefully we'll get some good shots...of course we'll share them with you!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Macro Monday~2/15/10

Signs of spring...well at least in the Willamette Valley! Last week while in Portland, there were lovely flowers, like these pansies, growing everywhere. My friend's lawn is even ready for it's first mowing of the year!

Not so here in Harney County. You couldn't even buy a pansy if you wanted to...not one store has spring flowers yet...they'd just freeze and die anyhow.

But, the sage rats are starting to stir...and I know this because Bella Jo caught one and was playing "toss the rat" in the yard with it!

Enjoy your day off today for President's Day...and if you're into Mardi Gras, tomorrow's your big day!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Valentine's Day

Ahhhh...another exciting edition of Sunday Stills photo challenge!

And Love is in the air!

This week's challenge is of course Valentine's Day. Ed said creativity was a must.

While in Portland this past week, everyone at our training conference was entertained by the local residents at the motel, and they have a lil' story to tell~~


It was inevitable...

Check out the other Sunday Stills participants by going here and go to the comments!

Enjoy your Valentine's Day with the ones you love! I am!



Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bloggers, Bloggers...Everywhere There's Bloggers!

I'm back from my training in Portland...and as usual, it's great to be home!

Cindy Sue and Bella Jo are happy to be home too, but they had a great time at Doggie Day Care! Bella Jo has another BFF...and that would be Daisy!

Daisy had to be on a leash for the first day.
It was a rocky start for her as she'd had a bad
experience with other dogs and was a lil' on
the aggressive side. But with Nancy's
gentle guidance, the two girls were
getting along great!

Nancy's in love with Bella Jo...if I ever need
to re-home her, Nancy's on the top of the list.
But, if Bella Jo ever comes up missing, I'll know
where to look first ;~)

After the first full day together, which was nothing
but running and chasing, they were too tired
to do much else but sleep. They were inseparable!

Miss Cindy Sue, finally started to warm up
to Daisy on the last day and was trying
to get in on the play time too.
But her favorite place was on the leather couch!


Then the blogger dinner! A lot of readers have probably already read and seen the photos from Thursday night's blogger meet 'n great dinner.

Here's the line up:

The lovely Jocelyn & 20MC

Reddunappy & me

Good food, great beverages and fantastic
company...we couldn't have had a better evening!
We chatted horses, horses and more horses. The
evening went by way too fast!

There are some other bloggers who would have liked to meet too, but couldn't make it. So, I want to suggest a plan. I've got to go back for another training in May.

Let's set a date...May 20
Where: Old Spaghetti Factory, Clackamas Town Center
Time: 6:00 Happy Hour; 7:00 dinner

Who's in??? The more the merrier!!!


OK...there's one more blogger that I got to see, and she works for the Field Office that I work for! A couple of months ago, she left a comment on my blog, and we put two and two together. It's funny how small the world gets sometimes!

This is Daphne aka "squirrelgurl" at
Notes from the Squirrel Nest. Daphne did a presentation
at my training class on the last day. It was
fun to see her and get to chat horses for a while!

Happy Valentine's weekend everyone...don't miss Sunday Stills tomorrow...it's a cutie!