Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bank Full

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Water, water everywhere. It's been raining on and off the last week or so but last night, the sky opened up and it just dumped on the ranch. We woke up the next morning to find a little water in the ponds. OK I lied, the ponds were so full they were spilling over. We had waterfalls roaring over the rimrock, racing through the canyons, we have water in the sod waterway which is something Nathan remembers only in childhood, ponds that I didn't even know existed are full and there are little springs seeping out of the ground all over the place.

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We've had water in the lower pond just about all year with our unseasonably wet year but this was the fullest Nathan or I have seen the pond. So full that it ran over along the side of the berm and down the canyon.

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Closer inspection of the dam itself showed that the water was finding other ways to escape via some rodent tunnels. On the pond side of the dam the only indication is this small hole with a swirl of water and a sucking sound.

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But one the other side of the dam it is pretty apparent that that's not the constructed outfall spilling all that water.

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Here Nathan and my uncle Mike survey the damage. My aunt Kate and Mike were out for the weekend in hope of catching a good view of the Geminid meteor shower. I think we can guess how well that turned out though Kate did catch a few meteors through the clouds.

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As for the dam, not too much we can do right now; it doesn't appear to be very structurally compromised at this point but we will have to watch and see. Come summer time we've got one more project on the never-ending list.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ranch guests: Ian and Lauren part two

Our ever delightful friends Ian and Lauren took a detour on their annual winter trek to visit Ian's folks to spend some time out at the ranch. They both have high stress jobs complete with long hours and a two hour commute in California traffic. We like to think they enjoy the slower pace of ranch life.

Even though it dipped into the single digits and snowed, they are always enthusiastic about chores and visiting all the animals.

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The three little pigs were a bit confused about the snow and skeptical to leave their hog house but came out for a visit anyway.

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Some warm breakfast cereal and pets are usually a good enticement.

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Chipping ice on the water bucket

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After feeding the pigs it was time to check on the cattle and make sure they had water. They had water but they had also let themselves out of the pasture by plowing through a low spot in the fence. Time for an impromptu rodeo and fence repair. The dog lives for impromptu rodeos and will start to make this weird high pitch whine-yelp when she sees stray cows until you tell her it is OK to go get them. She happily obliges!

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Here Lauren faces off with Butterfly. Don't let her small stature fool you; Lauren has a serious knack for showing the cattle who is boss. One wave of those red mittens and Butterfly turned right around and headed back through the fence.

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Lauren showed off her power over the cattle again later when we opened a gate to move a calf back in with the herd. The cows know an open gate means it is time to go through said gate but Lauren put the kabash on that notion and single-handedly kept the entire herd away from the gate with a few flicks of her mittens. She's maxed her "Moving cattle" skill, we will have to get her in the sorting pen next time.

Ian and Lauren may think that they are for a relaxing time filled with the nostalgia for a simpler time. Really though they are ranch hands in training, they just don't know it. Come see us again soon you guys. Lauren's got some cows to sort :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Not forgotten

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Dear blog (and delightful blog readers),
I have not forgotten about you and have actually missed you very much. I am so sorry I have neglected you. If it makes you feel better, my email is very neglected too - I have about a two to three week backlog there as well, I still have to tell D I found her socks and Jarom that I will bring his hat. For the blog I have great photos to share of our friends Ian and Lauren and their recent ranch visit as well as more snow photos from when temps dipped into the single digits last week.

I will return to regular posts soon, but it might be a week or so, so hang in there. Perhaps you could try your hand at the Guessing Game post or read through the archives (can you believe the blog is almost a year old?) to tide you over. I will be back soon.

Cheers!