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.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Wild Bunch After Breakfast Club

~I smile a lot because it helps me to be happy.~
~Sootie Blackburn 1902~

Participating in Farm Photo Friday and Farm Friend Friday...check 'um out!!!

Another lazy mornin' at the Rough String...the "Wild Bunch" enjoyed their breakfast and has assumed the position...sleepin'...not a care in the world at this point!

The Wild Bunch After Breakfast Club

From L-R: Brego (Kiger Mustang), Rohan (Hog Creek HMA), Stetson and Catnip (Sheldon Wildlife Refuge).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

shushhhhhh...it's Wordless Wednesday...just listen closely....

Get more "Wordless" HERE!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Are We Moving Forward into Spring?

~I personally take things personally.~
~Jane Barkley 1904~

(I like that quote...it's so true.)

Well, I certainly hope so. But, I'm sure there will be more snow showers before all is said and done, but it's supposed to be 60 by Thursday! I'm waitin' to see, and feel, that!!!

Colt's been feelin' good...this was taken almost two weeks ago...a crisp, bright mornin' and the boys were havin' a good time before breakfast. But, we've got A LOT of work to do. My Mike Bridges clinic is coming up in a month, and we're not ready at all.


Life is springing up through the snow and cold...look at these cute lil' alfalfa shoots!!

Reaching for the Sky
Reaching for the sky.

The lil' heifer had a bout with scours last Saturday. We doctored her and locked her in the Mustang Barn on Saturday night because it was cold, snowin' 'n blowin'. Her momma woke us up at 5:45 AM demanding her baby back. We got the second dose down her, waited for a half hour, and turned her out with momma...the lil' girl went straight for the feed bag! Her stools are just about normal again.

On Sunday, we tagged the calves, and the lil' bull calf will soon be a steer (he got banded). So, it's official that "03" will be part of our herd...but we gotta come up with a name...any suggestions???

My tummy's feelin' much better...how do you like my new tag?

Catnip and Stetson were quite intrigued with the new lil' calves...

Catnip & Stetson
"Look! I think they're baby cows!!!"

Bella Jo has been eating her fair share of calf poopies...and she had to roll in them too...no kisses from her!!!

"What's wrong with calf poopies???!!!"

The snow still looks pretty in the foothills down Anderson Valley...soon to be a memory...

Spring Snow in the Foothills
Spring snow in the foothills.

It's already Tuesday...have a great week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Stills~The Color Blue

~When I get the blues,
I go off into the hills and scream.~
~Annie Pollard 1887~

Ah...the color blue...it's the photo challenge for this week's Sunday Stills...but no blue skies...

Well, I'm gonna sneak this one in...it's not blue sky but blue clouds. The sun was rising behind me, and the gray clouds illuminated to this dark, threatening blue hue. It only lasted few minutes, and then it was back to just an overcast sky.

Blue Cloud Sunrise
Blue Cloud Sunrise

When I saw the icicles hanging off the barn roof and the lighting was good, I climbed the fence to get a macro...not until I downloaded the photos to the camera did I see the the beautiful blue reflection of the old barn wood and paint.

Blue Icicles
Blue Reflections

Didn't get enough "blue?" Check out the other Sunday Stills participants!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two in a Row...What are the Odds?!?

~Cowboys beware, cuz I'm a 
buckin'-jumping wild woman.~
~Katie Warner 1888~

Well, I knew EllieMae was close to calving, and interestingly enough, she had her calf the day after Annabelle!?! We own two cows, and they calve that close together...really, what ARE the odds??

What's this White Stuff?
Hello world!

This time, we're blessed with a healthy lil' bull calf. He was all dried off from birthing, but EllieMae hadn't cleaned out yet at 7 AM when My Man found them. And then it started snowing...I didn't get down there until 11 or so to take some photos and we had a good half inch. Thank goodness it's pretty warm (34 degrees).

Day One
What's with this white stuff?

Then I went down to check on everyone this afternoon and look what I find...

Cow/calf on the Hillside
See EllieMae?

A View for the Cows
The lil' bull calf must think he's part goat!
He climbed...and she followed him.

Hidin' in the Sagebrush
"I'm tired after that climb...I'll just lay here and rest up.
Glad you could keep up with me mom!"

Well, he's gonna be a tough one!!

And the lil' heifer?...

You Don't See Me
Momma's got her tucked underneath a sagebrush,
and she's pretending I haven't spotted her.

Cute Lil' Calf Hooves
Everything about calves are cute...right down to their cute lil' hooves!

So, all is well in the "Cow Girls'" world...the beautiful cycle of life begins again~

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's a Goof Calf!

~It feels natural to be a mother,
but unnatural to be a wife.~

Participating in Farm Photo Friday and Farm Friend Friday...check 'um out!!!

The Lil' Heifer
The lil' heifer

No, she's not a mistake...but her sire is "Goof"...remember Goof from last summer? He spent a lil' bit of "workin' time" here at the ranch?

The BIG Guy "Goof"
The BIG guy...Goof!

After yesterday's post with the photo of the "Cow Girls waiting"...Annabelle didn't make us wait much longer! My Man found the calf this mornin' when he went down to feed. But I'm suspecting that she actually had her yesterday afternoon.

Last evening at feeding time, Annabelle was really agitated with the dogs, which she usually does when she has a calf by her side. I looked through the sagebrush, but didn't find a calf. They can be pretty hard to see, and Annabelle didn't look like she'd calved, but I had been gone all afternoon into town. So, I think she had it just after I left (noon) and she was all cleaned out by feeding time.

Stayin' with my momma.
Well, it just goes to show ya that they like to be sneaky; I should have looked more closely for a calf yesterday. But the lil' one is strong and obviously quite healthy! We're grateful for that! And the bonus is that it's a heifer...and we're going to keep her to increase our lil' herd!!

"They're already talkin' 'bout me havin' calves...Let me grow up first!!"

Annabelle is half Jersey, and boy can she produce some milk! This lil' one sure got her Jersey eyes...sooooo cute.

It was cloudy and spittin' snow on us as I tried to take some photos, so they didn't turn out too good. But you know me...there will be more to come!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Waiting, Watching 'n Wondering

~I would love to be more gentle with myself,
but I don't want to end up a weakling.~
~Mary Lowe 1892~

Waiting...for the "Cow Girls" to calve. EllieMae, on the right, should be first...any day now!
I thought it was going to be Annabelle who would calve first, but EllieMae looks much more ready.

I mentioned the "Cowculator" a couple of posts back...and it's a spreadsheet that I got from Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center. I just use the simple part of it...plugged in the average breeding date and it gives me the average calving date, which came up as April 10. But, with a herd of just 2, that gives us a wide range of before or after dates too.

Watching...things just seem to look better to Bella Jo from the top of the dog houses!
I hope she's watchin' for coyotes.

Wondering...Stetson is always wonderin' when
he's gonna to get his next meal!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Snow Tails~

Snow Tails

Go HERE to see more Wordless Wednesday! Happy Hump Day!!

Come along on the blog hop~

Monday, March 21, 2011

We've Got New Renters ~ I Think

~You can't shoot a man because he cheated on you,
but you can leave him.~
~Lori Yates 1887~

Day number two of spring...and there are a few things lookin' like spring!!

I think we have renters!
This lil' one has been going in and out of the new birdhouse all mornin', but I don't see them bringin' nestin' materials yet. I took these photos from inside through my dirty kitchen window. I like where the birdhouse is located though...I can watch it from my desk in the kitchen! I hope they decide to stay.

We got another first sign of spring today:

The first Robin of the year!

He wouldn't show me his face...just his behind!

But sadly, this is what the bigger picture looks like here today...

Other than the birds, it still looks like winter...
...well, I'm not complainin' too loudly...many people have piles of snow. But I keep seein' daffodils on other blogs!!! My rhubarb is pokin' their heads out though!!!

My Man came in last evening and said that Annabelle was gettin' a pretty big bag, so she should be calving before the end of the month if my Cowculator is correct.

Well for now, I'll just keep catchin' up on my inside chores...daydreaming 'bout t-shirts, palm leaf hats and ridin' in the sunshine~

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Stills~Canine Companions

~If anyone told me I could be this content out in the wild west,
I wouldn't have believed them.~
~Elizabeth Clayton 1887~

The photo challenge this week at Sunday Stills is "Canine Companions."

We've got four at our home, but we celebrated Cowboy's 12th birthday this week, so he gets the spotlight this week. He's a St. Paddy's Day pup! We've had Cowboy since he was 12 weeks old...as I've said many times before...it was his cute white eyelashes that stole my heart.


Enjoy more canine photos by going HERE!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cattle Drive to Diamond~Day 2

~I think love is the answer to a lot of things.
Like feeling lonely.~
~Lessa Kurry 1882~

Day two of the drive starts early again; on the road by 7 AM. It's my turn to drive (sharing fuel costs), so Pat drove over, and we put his horse in my trailer with Colt, and we head down to the hay lot where the cows and calves spent the night.

We knew that there would be at least one newborn. As soon as we got to the hay lot the day before, one cow headed for a corner and proceeded to have her calf. We checked all the other cows and calves, and she was the only one that had calved.

The lil' guy got put into the trailer to ride for the day. Momma was concerned, but she went back to the herd and out the gate we headed...in the right direction again...that's always good!

The weather wasn't nearly as nice as the day before, but it wasn't too cold...just threatening rain clouds. After about 2 miles we got a pretty good soaking, but after that the rain held off for the rest of the trip! When we got into the Diamond Valley the wind whipped up pretty good, and the cows at the back of the line got ornery, but that only lasted for about a mile and a half, and they lined back out again.

Just like the day before, any of the calves that were getting tired got heeled and put into the trailer. Remember the newborn? Well, he turned out to be a sneaky lil' feller...while the next calf that got put into the trailer, he saw daylight out the back of the trailer door and made a run for it!

And run he did...in the opposite direction of the herd! I kept the herd going while Pat and Bossman Dan went after the lil' runaway. He had shot through the fence along the road and took off over the lava beds. I had the herd about two miles down the road by the time they got caught back up. The lil' feller was unharmed and safely locked into the front section of the trailer with the middle divider closed!

Almost Home at McCoy Creek
The last half hour of the journey...comin' home to McCoy Creek.

Keepin' 'um Together
These meadows will produce chest high meadow grass hay this summer.

Head Count
Checkin' the head count...yep...we got 'um all!

Lettin' the Calves Out of the Trailer
Calves are let out of the trailer to mother up...everyone's happy!

Motherin' Up
Checkin' the herd...makin' sure everyone's mothered up.
Well, that's it...the end of the story, but not the end of the work. Branding comes up next, then moving the herds onto summer pastures, gathering them up in the fall again...the wheel keeps turning.

I'm so lucky to be able to help neighbors. I learn something every time I go out...as does Colt!

Thanks for comin' along for the ride!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Farm Photo Friday

~Let no man put a stop to anything we feel.~
~Elizabeth Holmes 1882~

I'm going to play along with Farmchick's meme on Fridays...it should be fun!

"If you like looking at photos taken on the farm, ranch, garden or out in the country please join in on the fun with Farmchick's Farm Photo Friday!"

Today's photo is pretty much self explanatory:
Don't Mess With Momma Cow!!! The sweet lil' calf had scours, so Dan and My Man roped it and were doctoring it.

I wonder what exactly those two cowboys are each thinkin' as momma cow is givin' 'um the evil cow eye!?!?

Don't Mess With Momma Cow!

Happy Friday...enjoy the weekend!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cattle Drive to Diamond~Day 1

~If you live past birth, you'll make mistakes.~
~Rebecca Travis 1901~

Sometimes there just isn't a lot of time to make a plan and then work the plan. Farming and ranching are a very "spur of the moment" type of occupation. My Man and I get a phone call Friday night, and we help work cow/calf pairs out of the herd for two days. Then he has to go to the "real job" and I get to help drive the remaining single mother cows and pairs for two days going approx 27 miles. So, it's been busy to say the least!

With the weather being wet, I used my old Fuji camera, so the photos are not what I like, but it sure is a lot easier taking photos one-handed!

Monday morning came early to get Colt fed and myself ready. My friend and farrier, Pat, picked me and Colt up at 7 AM. We met "Bossman" as Pat calls him (the ranch owner) down by the Round Barn where we will be driving the cows to that day, and load our horses into Bossman's trailer and head back up to where the cows are at Princeton.

There were three cows with newborn's and a lame cow that we kicked out of the herd and got everyone else gathered up at the gate to go south. The air was cool and crisp with a lil' bit of wind...but the sun was shining! The gate opens up and the cows take off down the two-track at a brisk pace...in the right direction...it's starting out to be a GREAT day!!

Across the Desert
Crossing the desert.

At the end of the two-track we cross a gravel county road and cut across the desert. With the snow and rain we've been having, the ground was thick and deep...mud. Colt did NOT like that feeling at all. I think he thought he was going to get sucked in, but he did a good job like the good boy he is.

Then we got back onto a paved county road and continue south. By then, some of the calves were getting tired. They were carefully caught and put into the trailer to ride the rest of the way.

1/4 Throwing the Loop
Pat throws the loop.

2/4 Catchin' the Heels
Nice catch of the heels.

3/4 Concerned Momma Cow
Momma cow gets quite concerned as you can well imagine.

4/4 Tired Calves Get a Trailer Ride
The trailer is brought up and the calf is loaded to ride the rest of the way.

Momma cow runs back up to the herd looking for her calf! Pretty soon, she just falls in line with the others and occasionally looks for her calf...but she knows she needs to keep going.

One of my favorite parts of the ride is along Dry Lake. My Wordless Wednesday post has a nice view of the lake and the Round Barn.

Skirting Along Dry Lake
The cows and calves are nicely lined out down the county road.

The cows know exactly where to go. They've made this trip (back and forth) for many years. It's nice when they line out and set a good pace. It's really hard when the cows spin in circles and won't go forward...good lead cows keep the rest of the cows coming along.

Traffic? Well, yes, there was some...maybe a dozen cars/pickups the whole day. The thing you don't want to do is plan a drive on a holiday weekend...then you have a mess!

Arriving at the Hay Lot
Happy cows! Hay is waiting for them when they arrive at the overnight lot.

Another wonderful rancher has a lot with water that's located about half way. I guess everyone uses it, and it's greatly appreciated.

Mommas & Calves Reunited
Even happier calves are very glad to see their mommas!

Then the big moment...the calves are let out of the trailer...it's so cute to see them mother up again.

We went about 14 miles this day (Monday)...the weather couldn't have been better!!! Tuesday, we finish bringin' 'um on home (of course another post).