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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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rural America and the Local Post Office ~ Soon to be a Thing of the Past?

Good Tuesday to you all...another lovely day here on the high desert. It was a crisp 12 degrees this mornin'; sure makes you get through the mornin' chores in a hurry!

Good Mornin'!
Good Mornin' Sunshine!!
Today, I want to share a video with you that the Western Folk Life posted on their YouTube channel. They always have something interesting regarding life out here in the West.

I'm sure that if you live in the US, you've heard of the controversy of the proposed closures of hundreds of Post Offices...with the majority of them being in rural areas.

Kristin Windbigler did a wonderful job creating this video about the affect of closing her Post Office in Blocksburg CA would have on their community.

And really, it's the same story for EVERY rural Post Office that they want to close...somebody sitting behind a big desk in a big city pushes around a bunch of numbers (and gets paid a huge salary) figures that taking away services from the people who have the least in the first place is going to save them a TON of money...the numbers don't add up as Ms. Windbigler points out.

My 2 cents worth...I'm thinking that the farmers and ranchers of America should quit sending their products to the cities...maybe the way to the brains of the people who come up with these "bright ideas" is through their stomachs.

FYI, the Post Office here in Princeton is already a "contract" Post Office, and we were not on the "cut" list...but that doesn't mean we are safe from USPS to choose to not renew the contract in the future.

Half of Harney County gets their mail three days a week already as it is; Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'm OK with the idea of closing Post Offices for Saturdays...makes way more sense than closing hundreds of rural Post Offices.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Trees


PLEASE...if your blog is hosted by Blogger, turn OFF the nasty
new word verification. Here is a great site that tells you
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You may not even know that your comment section
is asking for word verification. Check and see.
Personally, I'm almost to the point where I won't leave
a comment if there's word verification...it's that bad.

OK...on to the day's post!!!

Inadvertently, I ended up with a sub-category for this week's Sunday Stills photo challenge...birds. Trees and birds do seem to be seen together quite often!!

Sunning in the Lilac tree
I think Lilacs are probably more of a bush than a tree, but this one is as big as a tree! It's right outside my kitchen window and is a very popular hang out for these lil' guys (who don't sit still for very long).

The Elm and the Owl
The Elm and the Owl
Looking almost straight up into one of our Elm trees, you can see papa Great Horned Owl perched in the tangle of branches (center about 1/3 from the bottom). He's waiting patiently while his mate is sitting on the eggs in their rock hole nest...one of our first signs that spring is around the corner!

Northern Flicker
A failed shot that I like...Northern Flicker woodpecker
I almost deleted this shot, but after a while I decided that I sort of liked it. I took it through a window from the house. This Northern Flicker was just passing through...thankfully. Last year they punched numerous holes in our barns...needless to say, I'm not overly fond of woodpeckers ;~)

Head on over to Sunday Stills and in the comments you'll find links from the other participants for more "tree" photos!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Pete French Round Barn

This is another photo taken during last weekend's cattle drive to Diamond that I posted about yesterday. We are lucky to have an awesome, historic building in our county. The Pete French Round Barn.

Built in the late 1800's, the barn was used to train horses to pull freight wagons during the winter months. If you like history, there is a very interesting book titled "Untamed Land: The Death of Pete French & The End of the Old West" that tells an accurate history of Pete French and how Harney County came to be one of the first cattle rich areas of the West.

Spring Storms in Winter
Spring Storms in Winter
Pete French Round Barn

I'm participating in Jan & Jer's Friday Fences blog hop...come on along!

Also posting for SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rural Thursday ~ Cattle Drive

Last fall we helped take Rancher Dan's herd to their winter feeding grounds...and now, before they calve, we're helping him drive them back down to Diamond...a two day trip (25 miles or so). Not a bad way to spend our weekend!

Riding into the Sun
The small butte in the distance is where we're headed
 for the over night stop.
On day one, we had sun, clouds, snow showers, wind...a lil' bit chilly when you're just sittin' on your horse following cows. My chin is still a bit raw from the wind and cold.

Bundled Up
My Man is bundled up. He looks much nicer than me though,
I was in my insulated bibs!

Day two was nicer; lots of sun and not as windy, but it was still cool.

Trailed out 2 Miles
Day two, the cows trailed out about two miles.

On day two, the cows trailed out almost two miles. Some were in a hurry to get where we were going, some were just getting tired. The road ahead T's in with another road in the upper right corner of the photo, and you can see the lead cows way out in the distance heading left.

The snow covered top of Steens Mountain can just barely be seen in the far distance.

Winter Warmth
Winter Warmth
This ol' barn is one of my favorite scenes in the Diamond Valley. Sunshine, hay, a barn...all the comforts critters need for winter on a ranch.

Almost Home
Almost there...on the home stretch.
We take off across a neighbor's field to cut out mileage. Shortly before we left the road, we spotted a cow who kept lying down.

I got close enough to see that she was about to calve. She held out for another mile. At least she was off the road. She had it along side the driveway.

Newborn on the Trail
Newborn on the trail.

Come join us on Rural Thursday's blog hop!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another Tuesday Tune ~ A Cowboy Song

Here's another awesome song...by a gal with a gorgeous voice, Trinity Seely.

The bonus on this video is the photographer, Mary Williams Hyde (friend her of FB, she's worth it); one of the best buckaroo/cowboy photographers around.

Her website Buckaroo Country, has thousands of awesome photos of the real, gritty, into the dirt kind of photos of working buckaroos and their talented horses. She captures them working hard and playing hard. Her site is well worth the small subscription fee...you get to see it like it really is!

Hope you enjoy...Happy Valentine's Day!

Today, I'm packing for the big city...Portland. My Man's in charge of all the critters; I'm sure they'll all be fine...but I'll miss them all so much!

I had a flu bug the past few days, but I'm on the mend now...thank goodness. With camera in tow, I hope to take some shots of things I don't normally see...tall trees and lots of people...ha!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spring is Around the Corner

There are baby calves by the hundreds hittin' the ground all around us...a sure sign of spring! Every rancher has their own idea of when they want their cows calving; some early, some later, and everything in between.

Rancher Dan asked us to help with a two day cattle drive on the weekend after next...Colt's been in hibernation since before Thanksgiving...it's time that he get back into the workin' mode!

Wind in the Mane
Wind in the Mane

It's been a bit frustrating this winter with lameness issues. First, Colt had a slight sprain in his front right. Stall rest, cold hosing, a poultice wrap and some bute got him mended pretty quickly on that one. Then he did something to his left foreleg...more stall rest and bute. Lastly, he got an abscess two weeks ago...more stall rest and bute!

Feelin' Frisky
Gus in the background would like to play some too!
He's on stall rest since he stuck his hoof through
the field fence and tried to cut his hoof off.
It not too bad, and it's healing very quickly.
I don't think there's going to be a scar either.

But Colt's sound now and seems to be fit as a fiddle...ready to get back into training...and working.


I find it much easier to let them blow off some steam in the round pen before I even take them into the barn for brushing and saddling when they've been off for that length of time.

And for those who questioned Colt's photo from yesterday's Wordless Wednesday...yes, he had quite the hair do (a photo from this same series)...but a lil' bit of Laser Sheen did the trick ;~)

Gus is gettin' into it now too! Look at his butt and tail up in the air!

The round pen was thawed out pretty nicely, but when I rode Colt out on the property, the ground was either too damp and he would slip, or the ground was still frozen because the sun hadn't hit it because of the rim rock. So, we kept to the cinder road the goes down to the other end of the property and did a long trot as much as we could.

Yesterday, I loaded Colt up, and we went to a friend's place who has an indoor arena...30 miles away. I'm hooking up with trainer Matt Goodson, and we're just going to ride together every other week or so.  It was really helpful to get my own brain back into training mode as we talked about different techniques and other trainer's philosophies. Not all trainers think alike which you well know. Matt and I are on the same page; open to new ideas but always putting the horse first.

Riding with Matt also gives me a lil' bit of a push (mentally) to get out there and do something with my horses. Living where we do and being by myself so much, I find I loose enthusiasm...that's when I need a kick in the back end to get goin'!!

So, this is my Rural Thursday...check out the other participants in the blog hop and see what they're up to!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tune ~ Up On The Divide

Expressing Montana
"Up on the Divide"
by Martha Scanlan

I shared this video on my FB page, but it keeps rolling around in my head so much it won't stop!!

Martha's voice is soft and somewhat magical...the lyrics come straight from her heart.

Since it looks more like spring than winter 'round here, this song is fittin' for the time being.  Enjoy!

If you were lookin' for my Cowboy Music Playlists, I've moved them, and you'll find them in a tab underneath my header. I also started a new one through MixPod...I like it!! Give it a listen if you have some time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Doggie School Days

As I sit down to write this post, I realize I haven't the slightest idea of how long we've had Red...break out the photo software and search back through photos...ah ha...November 20...so it's been about 2 1/2 months!

We've been going to an informal "doggie school" on Saturday mornin's. We're doing basic obedience and beginning agility...and other FUN games!

Below is the class from last Saturday; three Aussie's, two Corgi's and a lab...oh yes, then there's Cricket...

Every pup in the down/stay command

Cricket is a Jack Russell Terrier...who's still too young to stay still long enough...except when she's in the crate!!

Cricket...isn't she cute or what!?!?

Cricket's really good at the Search Game though!!  We put out 5-6 paper plates and randomly hide a piece of hot dog under a couple of them. We give the command to "search" and the dog has to touch and search each plate to find the hot dog. Once they do, we ask them to sit...then go on to the next plate. All the dogs LOVE this game!

Look at Fire the Lab and Max the Corgi...they're just as
intent on the plate as Cricket is...well, so is Red
in the foreground on the left!

Spice is taking a quick nap.

This is Pepper. She's Red's BFF from when he lived with B & B.

Bailey...she is getting pretty good at working cattle in the chute I hear.
She may have short legs, but she's fast!

Fire...such a pretty girl. Her owner and our teacher is training her
for bird hunting.

And Red of course...Mr. Happy!

I tried some action shots, but I've yet to figure out the right settings for indoor/action (all I got was a blur)...I'll try again next week.

Happy Monday everyone...have a great week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Fences~Bygone Days

Come along on today's Friday Fences blog hop!

Back in the Day
Back in the Day

This ol' fence is the last section that is still standing from the corrals that were behind our house. I've always wondered what it looked like back when it was a working ranch with hundreds of cows and calves...I can hear those cows from yesteryear bawlin' through the wood planks.

Note the rock crib on the right; rock cribs are still built today. It's easier to build a crib than try to sink a hole in this rocky ground! The left side butts up against the rim rock which goes straight up 20 feet or so at that spot.

Happy Friday everyone...and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mornin' ~ Through the Kitchen Window

19 degrees this mornin' and not a cloud in the sky. An occasional puff of wind will move the lilac tree branches.

It's still half dark; the eastern horizon is slowly changing hues...mainly orange. The silhouette of Hat Butte stands there waiting patiently for the sun to rise and shine on its rocky bluff.

All of the dogs have been outside to do their mornin' duties...except the Princess Cindy Sue who is still tucked into her bed all warm and snuggly with her fleece blanket. Soon she too will have to brave the cold mornin'.

The first lil' bird shows up in the lilac tree...not long after, another and then another join him. They seem to be thinking of spring lately the way they've been fluttering in and out of the bird houses hanging in the lilac tree.

The view from the kitchen window.
Bird feathers and all from when they fly into the window!
Silly lil' birds.

It's still early...another half a cup of coffee will do as I watch the light grow stronger.

The beginning of another blessed day is upon us~time to go...critters to feed.