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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Friday, July 29, 2011

Early Mornin's at the Rough String~Post #500

~No man can know the thoughts of a woman.~
~Martha Austin 1899~

Unbelievably to me...this is my 500th post! I had no idea how much enjoyment I would get out of blogging...or the number of wonderful people I would meet...or how much I had to say! I started in October of 2008 when a Dogster mom friend mentioned her blog (an awesome artist and her sidekick Rat Terrier Cloud)...I hadn't a clue what the word "blog" even meant!

Well, it didn't take long to figure it out and because of all of you it's been quite a ride!

I want to thank everyone for stoppin' by and reading about my snippets of life here at the Rough String, and I truly appreciate your comments! I will try harder to respond to your questions (I'm very bad at following up in that department and apologize). I've really enjoyed the photo aspect of blogging too...telling a story through photos...well, it's probably 'cause I'm a lil' more of a visual person.


Really what I want to say is...

I'm glad you're along for the ride!!

Well, it's Friday again, and I've enjoyed posting the past few weeks with a couple of blog hops that focus on farming/country life living/ranching. One is Dandelion House (but her blog has disappeared...I hope she finds her way out of the internet black hole pretty soon), and the other is Farmchick's Farm Photo Friday ~ Link Party. Please visit her blog...good food recipes and farm life abound over there!

So...on with today's post!!

This mornin' before the sun came up, we woke to the wonderful sound of a tractor and the squeak of the rake. There was moisture in the air and the heavenly smell of alfalfa filled our home. Ahhhhh...life doesn't get much better than that!!  We hope to be stacking bales out of our field on Sunday!! Second cutting is gorgeous...beautifully green...those dairy cows are gonna LOVE it!

Rackin' the Wind Rows
Hay Man Rudy's wife is at the helm...along with three dogs in the cab!
Now that's a Farm Girl!!!

As I make my way out of the house with a cup of coffee in hand, I enjoy the droning sound of the tractor and squeak of the rake at the end of each row, deeply breathe in the aroma (I'll need to remember these days when it's 0 degrees and the snow is blowin' sideways), and watch the sun come up over Hat Butte. The barn is the first stop...I let Colt out of his stall/run to graze on pasture for the day and clean up the manure.

Then I head for the garden. I know there's peas to be picked and hope they're not too ripe. I'm sure glad My Man and I worked so hard at expending the raised beds this past spring...I had room to spare for more plants...OK, next year I'll do that!

Mid-Summer Garden
The new section of the garden has bush beans, zucchini, tomatoes
cabbage, bell peppers and hot peppers.

Peas Anyone?!?
Oh good...the peas look like I'm not too late!

With a Cherry Tomato on Top
A basket full of peas with a cherry tomato on top!
I picked that one tomato before the birds ate it like they did the first few!

Sweet Onions...Yum!
Walla Walla Sweet Onions...my best crop of them yet.
I have another section just like this one.
We're gonna have onions comin' outa our ears!

Onion Seed
A volunteer onion from last year popped up,
and it has these beautiful seed buds on top...
guess I better pull that onion, it's ready to eat!

Yesterday was another yearly mornin' too...up at 4 AM to get Colt fed...myself fed...the dogs fed...get Colt saddled...Ty would be there by 6 AM to pick us up to help move cow/calf pairs.

Ahhhhhh....it sure felt good to be out movin' cows again!

These pairs are grazing on BLM allotments. They are rotated between three allotments so they don't over graze the land. So, we gather up everything from one field and trail them to the next one. Proper grazing management is essential for the continued healthy growth of grass for years to come. These allotments cover thousands of acres and gathering and trailing by horseback is the only way it can be done.

Colt loves his job!

As you can see by Colt's head gear, I'm still riding him in the two-rein, but am working more and more off the bit. He's doing well...I've got to have him straight up in the bridle by September...just a month away!

Move 'um Out
Colt 'n I have a lil' bunch moving west. Ty was off on our left pushing more
pairs up to us...our bunch kept getting growing.

Dog Days of Summer
One happy, cool Cow Dog! There are water troughs through out
the BLM allotments. They not only supply water to cattle but to
the native wildlife too...and occasionally a hot dog or two!

High Desert
The view across the valley...Steens Mountain is on the horizon on the right.
Riddle Mountain begins with the rolling hills on the left.
We rode back to the ranch house and arrived by 1 PM...and it was plenty hot by then. Colt got unsaddled and put into a paddock with Ty's horse Cole for a good roll and some cool water. Then a tasty lunch and a cool drink ended another good day in the saddle.

Thanks for ridin' with me...have a great Friday and a fantastic fun-filled weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Robin~Round Two!

~If you can reason with a man 
you might be able to get along with him.~ 
~Edna May Randall 1907~

The two of them are back at the same nest in the wood shed that they built earlier this spring.

Ruffled Feathers
One Ruffle Feathered Momma Robin!

There were 4 pretty blue eggs again (here's photos from my post back in May), but it looks like there's only three babies. That nest sure fills up in a hurry...they grow like weeds!!

Young Robins
Overflowing the Nest

This was the best pic I could get of the babies in the nest...I was duckin' 'n divin' to keep from gettin' scalped by momma Robin!!!

I'm sure these lil' ones will be out of the nest within the week...now, to keep the dogs from gettin' 'um...

I'm linking this post us with FarmChick's Farm Photo Friday!!
Check out some other great photos!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

~When I'm finished with a man, I never look back.~
~Virginia Barry 1900~

Alfalfa in Bloom
Alfalfa hay in bloom.

We're getting close to begin our 2nd cutting of hay. For the dairy quality that we strive for, it's best to have no more than 10% of your plants in bloom. This year we just aren't getting the 90-95 degree days that are normal. We've yet to hit 90 I believe! I'm not complainin' 'bout the weather at all...I like these 75-80 degree days, it sure is strange though. But, what the cooler weather means is that we're way ahead on irrigating, so we've stopped...we'll see how much it continues to grow in the next week or so.

Hope everyone has a great Friday and a super weekend...and go on over and check out some other sky photos from around the globe at SkyWatch Friday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

RattieRanch Dog Tells it Like it Is!

Lil' Miss Cindy Sue was insistent that she get to  
be the blogger today...how can you argue with her 
 cute lil' face 'n that flop ear?!?

Hey!!!!! Howdy everyone...RattieRanch Dog aka Cindy Sue here!!! Finally...mom's lettin' me do the talkin'!!! 'bout time don'tcha think?!?

I've been havin' a pretty big summer. We've had lots of ranchin' 'n farmin' to do...'n I keep mom 'n dad on the straight 'n narrow! I just wish we didn't have to get up so early in the mornin'...it's still dark out!!! I need my beauty sleep!

Oh well...I'll make up for it in the winter when we're not irrigating. You know, that's my main job... besides keepin' the couch warm... "head irrigation helper." Yep! That's me!

Head Irrigation Helper

There's a slight problem when the alfalfa gets real tall...but that's when my ears come in handy! I know exactly where everyone is at all times...even if I can't see 'um!

Radar Up

Here you can see my dad movin' the #1 wheel line...they all got numbers so we know which one is which.  In the afternoons, I get right out there in the field. The wet alfalfa sure cools a pup off on the hot days.

But, I'm no body's fool dog...In the mornin's when it's cold out...I stay on the edge of the field!!! I can see if they're doin' their jobs just fine from that vantage point too! I let mom 'n dad get all wet and cold...BOL!!!

Movin' the Wheel Line

But, even when the alfalfa gets really tall, I can always tell where home is...I just have to look for the rim rock and there's home!!! Hey...look closely on that hill...

The Ranch

Look at those lazy critters! Rohan, Stetson and Catnip. All they ever do is laze around and eat and sleep. They should be doin' a job like me!

Fat 'n Sleepy

After we're done with the big field, we head on over to the smaller field. This field is my favorite. There's lots of deer tracks to sniff and bunnies to chase too!!! But, I smell lots of coyote stink...gotta be careful 'bout them no good knivin' @&%#$* OOPS! Didn't mean to say that...well, yes I DID mean to say that...they're NASTY!!

I suppose a lot of you have been wonderin' how I've been since the Coyote Attack...well, as you can see, them two coyotes didn't do me any permanent damage...just maybe wounded my pride a lil' bit. But, I sure appreciate how y'all helped me get better. I'm fine as frog hair now!!! Who made that sayin' up...it's stupid isn't it?!?

What a Lil' Bit of Water Will Do!

Well, that's all I've got to say for now, so I'll head on back to the couch while mom does inside stuff. Hopefully mom will let me back on here again sometime soon!

Hugs 'n lots of wet, sloppy Rattie kisses to y'all xoxoxo

Cindy Sue~

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Stills~People

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge  is People. I actually realized this week that I enjoy taking candid photos of people...finding angles, facial expressions and body positions that make the photo interesting is fun. It actually may be my favorite thing to photograph.

Yesterday, My Man, Colt, Cindy Sue and I drove down to the Roaring Springs Ranch for our local cutting club competition. It was a beautiful day despite the thunder storm that drenched us for a good 10 minutes first thing...then the sun came out nicely!

I'll let the photos speak for themselves~

Who's Thinkin' What?

Through the Fence


Sittin' 'n Thinkin'

Good Ride

Enjoyin' the Ride

OH...BTW...Colt & I rode in two classes. We rode up into the class above "our class" and it was disastrous...I didn't have my head on straight...totally my fault...we scored a 60 (the lowest score you can get except for being disqualified with a no score). But, I really learned from my mistakes and we won our class with a 70 1/2 score!!! Colt did awesome!!!

Then last weekend was the annual Harney County Ranch Hand Rodeo...I didn't get very good action shots (just the one below), but I enjoyed the people shots...

Catchin' Some Air

Cool Cowboy

Waitin' His Turn

Old & Young

OK...this next one may not look like people...but he was watchin' the rodeo like the rest of us...he thought he was people!!!


Check out the other Sunday Stills participants by going HERE and you'll find links in the comments.

Have a great Sunday!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

SkyWatch Friday

~Life could be just a series of fates.~
~Annabella Ransom 1900~

Today, I'm sharing a couple of views from the ranch with SkyWatch Friday! And, today SkyWatch Friday begins its 5th season...amazing!

Perfectly clear blue skies are nice...but I think a few clouds always adds a lil' more interesting aspect to a photo. Hat Butte is shadowed by this afternoon cloud.

Mid-Summer Clouds
Mid-Summer Clouds

A local rancher brought a nice big herd of cow/calf pairs to graze the property across the road from us (these are just a handful). I'd much rather see this kind of new neighbor than seeing new houses going in! I love seeing and hearing these cows all day!

New Neighbors
A few of our new neighbors!
Enjoy your Friday...and have a GREAT weekend!! We're off to a cutting show tomorrow at Roaring Springs Ranch...see ya Sunday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Of Bulls and Owls

~I wonder if all women spend their time
cooking, sewing, and tending the chickens and pigs.~
~Sarah Brown 1900~

Come on!!! Hop along with Deborah Jean's Dandelion House FarmGirl Friday blog hop!!!

Goof's gone home...never to return to his Cowgirls again...as he loaded into the trailer, the Cowgirls look a lil' forlorn.

The Cowgirls

Number Three and Black Calf will miss him too...the two of them loved to hang out with Goof. I think they must have known that he was their daddy!

Next year, Number Three will be bred, so we'll need a different bull other than Goof to cover the herd.

This Bull Will do Anything for a Pan of Grain! 2/2
The difficult job of loading Goof into the trailer...NOT!

How do you Lead a Bull? 1/2
Come on Bully, Bully...right on over here to the trailer!
Ha...and in he stepped...and off to home he went! Thanks for the visit!


Earlier this year I had made my mind up that I would be keepin' better tabs on this year's Great Horned owletts. Well, the days go by so fast that before ya know it...they're flyin'!!!

I Can Fly!
Look at me!!! I can FLY!!! (photo taken 7/8/11)

On June 26, I hiked up toward the base of the rim rock to see if I could find the owlets and take some photos. I found one of the parents stayin' cool in the shade of the rocks and grass...

Hiding in the Rim Rock
Hiding in the rim rock and grass is one of the parent owls.

Then I finally spotted the other up on a ledge (quite a way up). I didn't even see the owlet until I downloaded my photos onto the computer that evening...what a nice surprise!

And here is the other parent...and...OH Look! It's an owlet too!
Doesn't he look cute with all that fluffy down?!
Mother Nature provides them with good camouflage!

Last evening I saw one of the owlets fly onto the top of the chicken coop...so, they are gettin' around pretty well.

This mornin' I decided to see if they were in the elm trees in the yard...sure enough they were...it just took me a while to spot them because the leaves and branches are so thick.

Two Owlets
"You lookin' for us?"

I decided to get on top of the house roof and see if I could get some closer shots. Both parents flew over to another tree...but these two (of the three) owlets tried to stay still and quiet...


Mother owl closely watched my every move...I've been dive bombed before by the owls for gettin' too close to their owlets, so I didn't want to upset her. I stayed low and moved slowly.

Mother Owl
Mother owl is definitely givin' me that "Don't mess with my kids" look!