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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Please DO NOT copy or reproduce my photos or writing in any way without my permission...just ask!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stackin' Hay 'n Cuttin' Cows

~I wonder how many more times I'm 
goin' to fall for the same kind of cowboy.~
~Bell Floyd 1900~

Yesterday was a busy day getting the 1st cutting out of the east field and getting the irrigation goin' again. Hay Man Rudy ran out of moisture by mid mornin' and wasn't able to finish the west field. But, he did get it finished today...so guess what My Man and I'll be doin' when he gets home from work tonight?!?

Me 'n My Co-Pilot
Me 'n my co-pilot!! I drive the semi truck while My Man loads the trailer.

In the Mirror
A lil' bit of mirror action.

Thank Goodness for Tractors
The backhoe was had a bad hose, so we had to borrow Hay Man Rudy's
tractor...it was terrible for My Man to have to sit in the AC
with the Sirius radio goin' ;~)

Oops...look what got baled up! It wasn't a rattlesnake, just a bull snake.
He did not survive the accident.

Takin' a Break
Cowboy 'n Bella Jo were snoopervising...they did a good job too!

Stackin' 'um Straight
Even though the hay got rained on (about 3/8 of an inch), it dried out
just fine...and the dairy can't wait to get it. We were very lucky.

Mustang Barn & Arena
I climbed up toward the rim in search of owlets and
thought this made a pretty picture.
We're almost into July...it's never been this green in
the 6 years we've been here!

Thirsty Alfalfa
The thirsty alfalfa plants are glad to get a drink. So, we're back
to changin' wheel lines twice a day. 
We did find a rattle snake in Colt's irrigated pasture when we were adjusting the hand lines. Of course Colt was dying to stick his nose on the dang thing...we escorted him off of the property!

Join Fresh from the Farm's "Farm Photo Friday!"

On Saturday, the local cutting club held their 2nd cutting of the season. We missed the first cutting, and we haven't had an opportunity to practice herd work, so I was pleased with Colt's performance even though we lost a pushy cow. We haven't done this since last September!

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Stills~Black and White or Sepia

~A fearful woman never feels free.~
~Judy Forte 1899~

It's been so busy lately that I've missed quite a few Sunday Stills photo challenges. But, I've been wanting to get some shots of my pretty Irises and thought they might make a good subject. There was some nice lighting this mornin' so, I went out in the yard and took these in my slippers! Their shadows on the side of the house seems to add an extra dimension. I opted for the sepia look which I applied in PhotoShop Elements.

Iris' Shadow
Iris' Shadow

Morning Iris Shadows
Morning Iris Shadows

Check out the other Sunday Stills photographers by clicking HERE!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Malheur Wildlife Refuge 'n Ranching

~When I try not to say bad things about someone, I feel better.~
~Vera Loader 1872~

Participating in:
Check 'um out!

The Malheur Wildlife Refuge is one of the highlights of Harney County in SE Oregon. There is an interesting mix of uses in the area since private ranches boarder the refuge and the water level goes up and down through the years. In the 1980's, homes were flooded so badly, that many gave up their land and moved to higher ground.

"Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established on August 18, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt as the Lake Malheur Bird Reservation. Roosevelt set aside unclaimed lands encompassed by Malheur, Mud and Harney Lakes “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds.” The newly established “Lake Malheur Bird Reservation” was the 19th of 51 wildlife refuges created by Roosevelt during his tenure as president. At the time, Malheur was the third refuge in Oregon and one of only six refuges west of the Mississippi."

With regard to the flooding this year:

"Considering the amount of water remaining on Steens Mountain to the south and Snow Mountain to the north, the Refuge is predicting that Malheur Lake will increase in elevation to 4098 feet – a rise of 4.5 feet since the beginning of the year! At this elevation Malheur Lake will extend across 81,100 acres."

Malheur Lake
Standing at the southern end of Harney Lake looking north 
toward Burns Oregon, you can feel the amazing expanse of land
and water that the Wildlife Refuge encompasses.

Flooded Fields
In this "finger" of shoreline of Harney Lake you can see the fences
of a local rancher's field. Natural meadow grass is cut for dry hay
for cattle and then grazed in the fall.
It's questionable if they will get a hay crop this year.

Giving Way to Time
The ol' tree at The Narrows stood for decades even though it was dead.
It finally gave in to Mother Nature a few weeks ago.
This location is where Harney Lake, Mud Lake
and Malheur Lake come together.

Have a great Friday and a super weekend!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mistake Lake to Frazier Lake

~I'm rough and tough and I don't wear bloomers.~
~Nellie Braken 1887~

It actually felt like summer yesterday...upper 80's and sunny!!! A few thunder clouds came through late in the day, but nothin' too serious.

Colt and I spent the day gatherin' 'n movin' pairs. It had its ups and downs, but all in all, it was a pretty good day.

Gretchen and I started at the north end of the field, and the gate we needed the cows to go to was south west. But, this time the cows had their direction all screwed up and insisted they were supposed to go south east...and there was nothin' stoppin' 'um!

Bossman Dan trailer'd his horse to the south east corner and was workin' on gettin' his bunch movin' west when my bunch came over the top of the ridge and down to Mistake Lake (which of course caused his bunch to quit on him)...once we got them all gathered there, we were able to get them movin' off west.

Mistake Lake
Mistake Lake

Once we got the herd movin', I took the herd and Bossman Dan headed back up to the ridge to see what Gretchen had goin'.

Down the Fenceline
Movin' the herd west along the fence line.

I think there was somethin' 'bout the Summer Solstice (or I suppose you can pick any ol' excuse), but the bulls were quite feisty! This type of Bull Play went on all day. It wasn't just this pair...all the bulls were full o' bull!

Bulls Bein' Bulls
Colt hates it when the bulls get to fightin' like this.
They can move so fast, and they don't care who or what they run over.
Colt and I keep a wide berth.

As we approached this narrow spot along the fence line, those two bulls got into it again and just about took out the fence. I saw the Hereford bull up on his back legs and fell backward; I was afraid he was going to impale himself on the t-post. They loosened up the fence pretty good and one calf somehow ended up on the other side of the fence. Big Hereford seemed a lil' sore after that bout. But, everything else was OK.

A Tight Spot
Gettin' through the tight spot.

We gathered up everything into this SW corner. But, the cows on the other side of the fence belong to another rancher. So, they had to be driven out of the way while we crossed through their field to our herd's new field.

Normally, the water in Frazier Lake isn't this high, and we don't have to cut through the other rancher's field. But this year from the heavy snow pack and wet spring, the gate that is normally used and part of the fence is all under water.

Holdin' Herd
Holdin' the herd. See the water in the background? That's Frazier Lake; our destination.

Once we got everyone to the new field, it's time to get them to mother up...Ha...all those mother cows had on their minds was eatin'! Can you blame them with belly high grass?!?

We probably spent an hour and a half trying to keep them all together. The cows just wanted to drift off up the hill...and the calves were trying to go back the way we came through the fence...we finally just let them be...and Bossman Dan will go back today to sort out any problems.

Home on the Range
These were definitely some happy cows with all this feed!

But, hey...it was a good day. Even though Bossman Dan gets frustrated and say it's not fun and games with stupid cows some days, I think it's GREAT fun ;~) Guess I'm still a newbie...

Frazier Lake
Frazier Lake...with its fence line under water.
And after a day in the saddle...burgers 'n fries at Hotel Diamond...what a great way to end the day!


Last Sunday, My Man and I headed out with Colt at 4 AM for the Lake County Spring Cow Horse Classic. It was a really fun day...sunny skies, great people and fantastic horses! I entered Colt in the hackamore class. They offer that class for horses up to six years of age...so this will be Colt's last year.

As usual, we were so close to winnin' the buckle...came in second, one point behind the winner. But, the winner, Robin Shine, was well deserving of that buckle!!!

Circlin' up the cow.

My Man took a video so the above shot is a still from the video. I have so much to learn about doin' the fence work with the cow, but every time we go out and do it, we both learn a lil' bit more...that's all we can do! I was very proud of Colt...we just keep on keepin' on...

Friday, June 17, 2011

First Cutting & Springtime on the Hill

~There's something about riding a horse that gives me freedom of spirit.~
~Robin Pearl 1880~

Participating this week in:

This wet, cool spring has been good on our electric bill as far as pumping irrigation water (we only irrigated 5 days since May 11), but it's been hard to get a really good growth. We came to a point where we had to decide whether to irrigate or cut it...last week we decided to have Hay Man Rudy cut it on Thursday of this week.

As soon as the dew had dried, which wasn't until mid afternoon, the beautiful sound of tractor and swather engines filled the air echoing off the rim rock.

Hayin' Time Again/1
Hay Man Rudy doin' what he loves to do!

Hayin' Time Again/2
Beautiful green rows of fresh cut alfalfa...destined for a dairy
in the Willamette Valley.

Dualing Swathers
Dueling swathers...we hire our neighbors, a husband and wife team, to
cut, rake and bale. For the amount of acres we grow, it's much
more cost effective for us to contract it out.

This week, I took a couple of rides with Colt up on our hill. I hadn't been up there since last fall...it's absolutely gorgeous up there...the grass and flowers are abundant and the critters are quite happy!

The Welcoming Committee
The Welcoming Committee...more commonly known as The Wild Bunch;
two previously wild horses and two burros.

Hey! I Know You!
Brego the Kiger Mustang rushes up to Colt and I to say Howdy!

Our Lil' Herd
The happy lil' herd. This spring grass sure has put some growth on
our calves! It seems like they were just born a few weeks ago,
but it's been almost three months!

Enjoyin' Life
Goof. Doesn't he look purdy with yellow and purple flowers?
He seems to be enjoying his work/vacation with our Cowgirls.
But, neither Annabelle or Ellie Mae have come into cycle yet.
Goof looks bored ;~)

Spring Wild Flowers
Spring flowers are in full bloom.
There are a lot of Indian Paint Brush in bloom too.

Enjoyin' the Ride
Colt enjoys our outings up on the hill.

Cindy Sue the Trail Ridin' Rattie
Cindy Sue gets lost in the tall grass. In the 5 years we've been here,
this is the best spring grass we've had.

Lookin' Downhill
Bella Jo of course is in her element...she ran a coyote off for us too.
Gotta protect lil' Cindy Sue.

Spring Grass in the High Desert
I think I'd enjoy being a horse or a cow up on our hill...how 'bout you?!?

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend! Head on over to SkyWatch Friday and FarmGirl Friday and see what everyone's up to!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gardening and More Gardening~Whew!

~Hard work makes a woman haggard and thin.~
~Gail Bailey 1910~

I started another part-time job...like I really need another one. But my dear friend Sam who died last month worked at the Princeton Post Office. It worked out that it would fit my schedule and it's usually only 1-2 days a month and when our Postmistress is on vacation. So, I've been training this week, hence a late post about our busy "gardening" weekend...two fun-filled days of gettin' down in the dirt!

This was the size of my raised vegetable bed for the
past two years. It was REALLY crowded.

With Cowboy's help and approval, I laid out a plan. Cindy Sue seems to be very happy
about the layout...Bella Jo and Abby obviously don't give a darn!

Instrumental in the construction phase is My Man...what a sweet guy.
But, he tends to like those home grown tomatoes ;~)
First drill the hole through the rail and then run a 2 1/2 foot length
of re-bar through to hold in place.

Then with the handy-dandy lil' tractor, layer dirt and compost. Thank
goodness for the tractor...we'd be lost without it!

Set in more rails...layer more dirt...and then the rain moved in.
We waited a while to see if it would just be a shower, but no such luck...it was a steady rain. But before it turned everything to mud, I went out and planted the section we had finished...in the rain.

The next mornin' we finished the last section, and
 I planted, and then laid out the soaker hoses.

The final touch...a fence to keep the critters out!
Well, it works pretty good except for the dang sage rats.
I think that's who nipped off the leaves of some
of my peppers and my zucchini plant...grrrrrrr.

With that completed, it's off to the front yard.

Last summer we put in the front deck, and My Man
built the flower trough for me. We've finally gotten to good
enough weather to plant! So, I needed to get soil into
the trough and put in the bedding plants I had bought.

Ahhhhh...things are starting to come together!

Last fall I made this flower bed. It's going to be much easier to take care
of rather than mowing. I'll get the soaker hose out and it will be easy.
But, I've got a lot of blank spots that need plants. I've been gathering
starts of heirloom plants from neighboring ranches. It's
been a fun project. I also ran out of bark mulch and need to
get a few more bags to get it covered. I'm excited to watch
the flower bed develop as the perennials expand year after year.

Here is a link to the post from last summer showing what the front yard looked like before the deck and the new flower bed.

Well, after all that, My Man said I should go ride a horse...well, twist my arm!!!

Come on Colt...let's ride!