Black &Amp&#59; White - Home on the Range Blog at - 202691

Home on the Range

Black & White 
Oct. 29, 2010 12:34 pm 
Updated: Nov. 1, 2010 8:44 pm
I brought this over from my blog. I thought you guys might like it.

Black & White

Ranch life is colorful, no doubt. There are so many elements to it that city people never have the privilege to experience, but in spite of its color, the time and rhythm of life seems often suspended.

We still do things the old fashioned way for the most part. Work is still a 24/7 obligation, as cows, and horses have to eat, drink and be doctored, regardless of the time or day. Brandings here are still done the old fashioned way, by gathering a hundred or so pairs at a time, and roping, doctoring and checking calves throughout the summer. It’s a family affair, but neighbors often step in and participate, both because its fun, and through goodwill. Neighbors are still like that out here, even though the nearest are over 20 miles away. A big feed is always put on afterward, a little fellowship, then the work commences again.

Winter brings more serious chores. Food and water sometimes need to be provided, and the herd monitored for sickness or calving problems, even in a blizzard. Calves may need to be pulled, or rescued, fence fixed, pipes repaired.

Family and crew work together for their common benefit. Not out of a sense of duty, it is just a way of life and the right thing to do. Kids are up at 4:30 every morning, and work just like the adults.

The kids here could all pull a truck and trailer full of horses at 11 years old, drive tractor, backhoe, and the youngest daughter, now 15, was operating a huge excavator yesterday. These are the modern concessions.There are no couch potatoes or video game addicts here. Kids learn very quickly that if you say you are ‘bored’, that situation is bound to be corrected.

They possess more maturity than a lot of adults and a strong work ethic. Compassion and consideration are learned young, through working with the stock and each other. The family unit is strong and healthy.

Life holds lots of risk. Injury can come quickly and without warning, to both ranch hand, and livestock. Occasionally there are disagreements, but they are usually resolved quickly, without too much ado. There is a wild element to life, yet it is oddly peaceful and serene at the same time.

Designer clothing, fancy cars, the newest electronics hold no appeal, and no meaning in this setting. A good horse, saddle and rope are more important and satisfying. Most everything goes back into the operation of the ranch, not consumerism. Keeping the animals and the land healthy is top priority, both domestic and indigenous. The land here is shared with deer, antelope, a variety of birds and wild horses. There must be adequate grass and water for all, or the ranch itself will fail. Farmers and ranchers are the best stewards of the land, not because it is stylish, but because they have to be. Their life and the future of their families depend on it.

The houses look pretty much the same as they did 50 or 100 yrs ago. Dogs congregate on the porch. There are no granite counters, no fancy floors. Everything is utilitarian and well worn. A pile of muddy and manure laden boots set by the doorway, along with jackets and hats, while stocking feet make their way to the long, homemade farm table, where an abundance of food is served buffet style.

With the exception of occasions when the kids go down to the hot springs at night, bedtime comes shortly after dark. Coyotes howl, owls hoot and there is an occasional barking of a dog and the lowing of cattle. The life and land settles, and with the breaking of dawn, the rhythm begins again.
Oct. 29, 2010 1:27 pm
Wonderful pictures and how true it is that kids flourish when they have resonsibilities that effect the well being of someone other than themselves. (I love pictures of old barns, color or black and white)
Oct. 29, 2010 1:30 pm
Love your blogs! Pictures are beautiful!
Oct. 29, 2010 6:10 pm
Wow! Words and pictures...simply lovely. Thanks, Petey.
Oct. 30, 2010 5:39 am
Great pics! I envy you your life - I know it would be very hard work, but the rewards are well worth it. We live rural, but are only 10 minutes from a grocery store. My sister lives in SD and it is so awesome out there. I think everyone should get the opportunity to appreciate the land as you know it. Very lovely. Thank you!
Oct. 30, 2010 8:14 am
there is somthing about the black and whites that bring out the life style to a "T". The last time my boys told me they were bored I was excited. They said "I'm bored," I heard "we finish our chores in a timely manner and need somthing more to do" so I added another chore to their list of things to do. Surprisingly enough I have not heard I'm bored in the past 2 years, go figure. Great blog once again Petey, keep the coming:)
Oct. 30, 2010 8:23 am
Thank you guys, I am glad you enjoy the pictures. I sure do enjoy living here where I can take those kind! It is a fantastic life, and although I know there are those who would not like it here, it suits us perfectly! :)
Oct. 30, 2010 12:20 pm
Gorgeous photos!
Oct. 30, 2010 12:34 pm
Petey, you are as talented with the camera as you are with the written word. I love your blogs because they are all a glimpse of a life that is something I can only imagine. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
Oct. 31, 2010 3:06 pm
Your story and pictures bring tears to my eyes for they are sooo Beautiful! The back of the horse bucking up is Impressive! To look at your tack room,is a wonder:):) A life time of use for the soul purpose of keeping the farm a float. Very Cool! What a treat for a City girl to see life through your Heart! Thank You for sharing it with us. Bless you and yours Petey ♥Patty
Oct. 31, 2010 8:39 pm
Looking at the tack on the wall reminds me of my childhood, horse-crazy daze. Thanks for bringing back the memories. Truly awesome pictures!
Nov. 1, 2010 8:44 pm
Thank you all, very much!
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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