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, March 30, 2012

The Collection Fence

Over the years here, we've found numerous metal objects while working the ground or just walking through the fields and paddocks. Mostly horseshoes...some quite old, and some more recent, but we've found  lots of pieces of farm equipment and of course things that we've no idea what it was used for! One of my favs is a beat up ol' water dipper.

The Collection Fence
The Collection Fence

The metal hair pin lookin' thing close up on the right is an old gate hinge. Back in the day, it was hard to get hinges like we use now. The two straight edges were bolted to the fence post (there would be one at the bottom of the gate and one at the top), and the gate was built so the gate edge closest to the fence had a post that sat on a rock and the post swiveled in the round part of the metal. We see them quite often still in use today; they stand the test of time.

I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday and  Jan and Jer's Friday Fences blog hop...come on along!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rural Thursday ~ Calves, Woodpeckers & Owls

What a combination...calves and birds huh?

The mother cows and the yearling needed to be wormed and vaccinated, so we ran them through the squeeze chute. As usual, they were none too happy. But, they're done for the year!

The old squeeze chute...it's old, but still works good enough for us!

The process didn't bother Paddy or Tumbleweed...as week old calves, it's all about the milk!

Slurp, Slurp, Slurp
Tumbleweed has plenty of milk to keep her satisfied.
Her momma, Annabelle, is 1/2 Jersey.

Paddy and Tumbleweed are too young, but in about 3 weeks we'll get them vaccinated and branded.

The weather was fairly nice for a couple of days. After the busy day with the cows and other chores, I took some time to sit on the deck...first time this year to sit on the deck. My Man and I have two favorite spots to sit and chat...winter time it's the wood stove...summer time it's the deck. I've had plenty of "stove time"...I'm ready for "deck time"!!

As I sat, I spied these two Northern Flickers in an Elm tree. They're pretty, but I do hope they migrate on through...destructive lil' buggers!

Pair of Northern Flickers
Northern Flickers...yes, there's two...one is quite camouflaged.

On the Great Horned Owl front, momma is sitting on the nest...I'm thinking that by now the eggs should have hatched. But, it will be a little while before the lil' ones start peeking out over the edge.

Momma owl sitting on the nest.

Enjoy more Rural Thursday participants...come along on the blog hop!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fences ~ Western Dream Catcher

Ah the wind...don't ya just love the wind?  Me? Not really...

The prevailing wind in this case has been coming from the west pushing weeds from last fall along with it...until something blocks their progress...like a fence.

It reminds me of one of my favorite Louis L'Amour books (and DVD) Conagher.  Notes tied to tumbleweeds are found by Conagher and all the other lonely cowboys on the prairie...written by a woman expressing herself in the only way she knew how in a now lonely world after her husband is presumed dead when he didn't return from a cattle buying trip...he was never seen again.

Conagher is quite intrigued by the notes and seems to fall in love with the writer without ever meeting her...but of course he does.

As the pile of weeds grows higher, escapees make it over the top rail...and on they go along their journey...to wherever they may be stopped again...

I checked, but I didn't find any notes tied to these rambling wanderers. No, I'm not disappointed...I already have the best man I could ever hope for ;~)

Linking up with Friday Fences blog hop at Life with Jan and Jer.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rural Thursday ~ Spring Calves & Introducing Tumbleweed

I'm so jealous of all the spring flower photos everyone is posting...but we got newborn calves!!! Maybe you don't think like me, but I think calves just as sweet and cute!!!

Hi! I'm Tumbleweed!

We're all done calving for the year...our two cows have done us proud! Paddy, a lil' heifer out of Ellie Mae, was born last Friday, then Tuesday afternoon Annabelle delivered a heifer which My Man named Tumbleweed.

There's a story behind her name. We saw that Annabelle was close to calving, her water broke and it was quite obvious from the looks of her back end that delivery was soon. Camera in hand, we hung around for a while, but Annabelle just stood there and stared at us. Well, can ya blame her?!? We left her alone and went to feed the other horses at the big barn.

With all the evening chore done, we went back down to the cow paddock to check on Annabelle. She had found the spot she wanted to calve, which proved to be a precarious place to calve, and proceeded to deliver. Trying to keep out of her way but still get the moment on film, I got above her on the hillside (photos posted in yesterday's Wordless Wednesday).

The delivery went well, and Annabelle, being the good momma cow that she is, proceeds to lick and clean up her newborn. My Man, our friend from the TI Ranch and I are watching her from a ways away...and pretty soon, the lil' calf slides about 20 feet down the hill around a huge boulder through the sagebrush!

There was a narrow flat spot where Annabelle calved.
What a way to come into this world!

Between Annabelle licking the calf and the calf starting to move around, the calf got herself headin' into a downhill position...and gravity took over!

My Man to the rescue!

Everything probably would have been alright if we'd left the calf where she landed, but it was still a pretty steep spot, so My Man went in and picked her up and brought her down to level ground where it would be much easier for the calf to find its legs when the time came.

We left them to finish up...but My Man went down about an hour later just before dark...the calf, who has earned the name Tumbleweed, was up and nursing...the end of a great day!!

This was my first experience to see a calf being born. I've witnessed and assisted with dozens of horse births from working on a breeding ranch, but it was very exciting to see our own cow give birth!

So that's how Tumbleweed got her name!

The next mornin' our happy lil' herd is back into the normal routine...feedin' mornin' and night...ahhhh life is good!

Our herd.

Next year, Number Three (the yearling heifer in the middle) will give us a nice calf too. And what are we going to do with Paddy and Tumbleweed? My Man and I have decided to keep both of them as breeding stock for our herd...and that will be about as many head of cows as our grazing land can handle.

We're truly blessed~

I'll leave you with this cute lil' video...Paddy is very excited to have a new playmate!

Thanks for stoppin' by today! I'm linking up with the Rural Thursday blog hop...come on along!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What I Would Rather Have...

Another snowin', blowin' spring mornin' here today. I'll show you what I'd rather have...

I'd rather have this...

Apple Blossoms

Than this...

Snow on the Apple Tree

And I'd rather have this...

Summer Iris

Than this...

Coming Up!

But it all comes with time...I'll be patient...it'll be worth it don't you think?!?

Paddy sure doesn't seem to care one way or the other. My Man feeds the cows on his way out in the mornin'...in the dark at 05:30...Paddy was kickin' up her heals in the blowin' snow. Just like she did when I caught her on video yesterday afternoon.

This is just a quick 11 second video...

She's just so cute...she can brighten anyone's day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Mornin' Moos ~ It's Spring!

Beautiful sunshine greeted us today at feeding time...though it was about 18 degrees with a bit of a breeze...it was sharp on the face!

No matter...we welcome the first day of Spring!

Mornin'!! Don't ya just wanna kiss my cute lil' nose?!?
Paddy was nice and warm. She hunkers down in the tall sagebrush. My Man says she runs and bucks like crazy; she's a real spit fire. I've yet to get to see it...I need to leave the pack of five dogs at the house...there's too much chaos when I get out to the cow paddock.

Hidin' in the sagebrush 'n soakin' up some sun
She's also ready for her ear tag...if I could find the tags and the punch. I put them somewhere so I'd find them when we needed them...yeah right...don't tell me you've never done that!!!

I spent yesterday sorting through and organizing the mud room (which tends to be the 'catch all' room)...nope, didn't find them there. So, I guess I'll try the tack room...silly me if I put them in there.

Below is Annabelle...she's next to calve.

Peek-A-Boo Cow
Who me?

She was hidin' in the sagebrush like they do when they're thinking of calving. But, I don't think she's quite ready yet. She's bagged up nicely, but she's not soft in the back end yet. Today I'm thinking she was just gettin' out of the wind.

Happy Spring Equinox everyone...and have a great week!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bella Jo...The Fence Jumper

A lil' Sunday funny~

Bella Jo is quite the athlete...this is a 4 foot fence she's jumping over...with a sage rat in her mouth that she caught in the field...sigh...

I think she'd make an awesome agility dog!!! Yes, she's still up for adoption!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Meet Paddy!!

Yep, we got a calf yesterday!!

Hi...I'm Paddy

Ellie Mae didn't come in for breakfast when My Man fed, so I went out after it got light to check on her. Nothing was happening yet, but I knew it would probably happen before the day was over.

I worked at the Post Office for half a day starting at noon and as I was driving out, I checked on her again...

Up 'n nursin'

...and there they were...the lil' calf was still wet, but was up and nursin' at 11:30 AM. Ellie Mae still had the placenta hanging out, but everybody was doin' good.

Number Three and Annabelle were right there givin' her moral support I guess...maybe Number Three was watchin' and learnin' for next year...poor Ellie Mae couldn't get any privacy!!!

And, YEAH...Paddy's a heifer!!! So, she'll be added to our herd...that'll make four!

Well, I named her Paddy because of St. Patrick's Day...she wasn't born ON St. Patrick's Day...but it's close enough for a cow don't ya think?   ;~)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Fences ~ The 'Ol Homestead

Yes, this photo is almost a repeat from a post earlier this week of my Journey Through Time. But, the composition here is a bit different...one I shot specifically with Friday Fences in mind!

Step Back in Time~2
 ~ Stepping Back in Time ~

Come along on a fun blog hop around the world!!


Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finally Winter ~ And It's Almost Spring!

While Nancy over at A Rural Journey  had amazing 80 degree weather and Lisa at Two Bears Farm is getting ready to plant her garden (our gracious hosts at Rural Thursday blog hop), we are finally getting some winter!!

About six inches of snow fell Wednesday night, and as I'm typing this on Thursday mornin', it's all gone...and it's still raining. What we have now is lots of mud!

Without much moisture to speak of all fall and winter, we can't complain...we really need snow pack in the mountains and some good spring rain on the desert. The spring grasses will grow nicely for the grazing ranges. The ranchers need to feed the cattle...and our lil' herd will do nicely on our grazing hill too.

But, the snow was pretty while it lasted!

Gus is waiting patiently for breakfast.

Gus, Snow, and Rimrock
Gus in his camouflage suit...he blends right in with the rim rock.

Snow Dog
Snow Dog Red!
Red had snow balls stuck in his fur bigger than golf balls...that had to hurt! I took a bowl of warm water and got them melted off...the mud room was quite the mess!

Have a Seat?
Have a seat?
I'll try to remember this shot when it's 100 degrees this coming summer!

All Puffed Up
All Puffed Up!
This lil' guy is stayin' nice and warm.

Just Another Day
Papa Owl
And papa Great Horned owl is still waiting patiently in the elm tree while momma owl sits on their nest.

Please come join us for a rural blog hop across America!!