On the Ranch Journal
|Cris Paravicini has lived and ranched
in Wyoming all of her life. These are excerpts from her diary of daily
life on the family Pearson Angus Ranch northwest of Daniel...
February 3 - Snow
Saturday, February 3 My gosh! The weather is changing! Got one whole inch of fluffy snow today. Feels sort of like the winter we've been missing.
Sunday, February 4 We've been hearing about some wild horse deaths
about 100 miles to the south of us. Someone's been wantonly shooting them
and just leaving them lay scattered in the sagebrush. What the heck goes
through someone's mind in a case like this? Poor horses. I surely hope
they didn't suffer.
Tuesday, February 5 Many coyotes are howling tonight. Some big time yipping is happening to the south, out in the swamp, and another pack is loudly answering the calls right across the river from the corrals. The Green River has finally frozen completely over in a few places. Yikes! Easy traveling for the busy little varmints to breach the perimeter of the ranch outbuildings. The dog herd howls and bays, repeatedly, answering the call of the wild, and then they nervously trot from one corral to the next, sniffing the cool breeze as I throw up hay in the feeder for the little calf's (no name, yet!) mom and Heidi. What a commotion, with the coyotes high-pitched barks and yips harmonizing with the deep-voiced, howling, cow dogs! Real surround sound with super woofer enhancement! Kind of made me want to throw back my head and howl with 'em. Well, I did just that, and it made the dogs stampede to see just what in the heck was wrong with me! Must have hit a sour note, or something!
Saturday, February 10 EeeeeHaaawww!! Just a little cowboy yodel there to greet y'all. Tonight was the Daniel Social and boy did we warm the walls of that old schoolhouse! Tons of good-hearted folks were on hand to celebrate the unveiling of the new book, the new bell, and the town of Daniel's 100th birthday. The high school rodeo club helped us out with the evening, while also earning some money for their summer events. Lots of country desserts to auction off, much "shooting the bull and the breeze," and dancing the night away. The Legend band's music was spectacular, featuring a guest fiddler and a guest vocalist and yodeler. AaahhhHaaaaa!
Monday, February 12 We hit the trail this morning and rounded up the Horse Creek cattle and headed 'em home for the calving season. They seemed very scared of something and kept looking over their shoulders, wild-eyed. My hyperactive dog herd is usually well-tolerated by the herd, but today everyone seemed very much on edge. Many of the cows threw their heads up, looking toward the willows along the creek as if expecting a ghost to jump out and say "Boo!" or worse. Even the two crippled cows hip-hopped home in record time - almost as if their lives depended on it! When I later compared notes with Rudy, he had observed the same agitation in them. Hard to say what's stirring them up this time...One can never go to sleep around here; always something wanting a "piece" of the action.
Wednesday, February 14 Valentine's Day! Husband surprised
wife with a new Wyoming Cowboy coffee mug that holds three, super-charged
cups of coffee at a time!
Thursday, February 15 Boss in hospital...Blood clots in both legs...Quite a serious business...
Friday, February 16 I decided to name the "not so little
anymore" baby calf - Sparky - because she is such a live-wire...darting
and flitting here and there, bucking and bawling, playing with the dogs...Nice
to watch such happy energy...
Sunday, February 17 Went to the niece and nephew's fantastic ice skating show. They showed off all their newly acquired steps, turns, and slip-slidings to the tune of Rawhide! Head 'em up; move 'em out! My cousin teaches ice skating to one and all - great and small - then puts on a grand finale - four years running, now...
Wednesday, February 21 Boss dismissed from the hospital...sent
home with one of those "dream machines" that does your nighttime breathing
for you...What a deal!
Thursday, February 22 Cow moose and her yearling calf journeyed
by the cow feedground this morning, then turned onto Bunchgrass Boulevard
and proceeded southward onto Waterhole Drive...right under the dogs' noses,
they trotted... Apparently, the snow bank blocked their view with the breeze
blowing in the wrong direction for the canines to take notice...just as
well...quite "scents"ible, in fact... Yep, of the whole crew - cows, hay
feeder, moose, and dogs - let her slip right on by with nary a raised hair...
I'm the only one who wasn't minding my own business, and thereby, recorded
it for "history." I saw the same lady moose and her kid later that
afternoon in my neighbor's yard - enjoying a bale pile smorgasbord...
This cow moose and her yearling calf nonchalantly trotted
by the feedground today, headed for our neighbor's ranch
Friday, February 23 Three-year old nephew, Joe, stopped by to
help me do some of the daily chores. I told him I danged sure couldn't
handle it without his good help. So, we fed the chickens, threw up hay
in the feeder, dumped out a few horse pellets to the pests around the barnyard,
then fired up the four-wheeler and headed to the meadow to chop waterholes.
Saturday, February 24 Brilliant, turquoise blue skies smiled warmly upon our "perma-frost". About two inches of fresh, fluffy snow came to visit during the night, then quietly held its breath to see what we'd say about it all. We applauded its efforts!
Sunday, February 25 "Pulled hens' teeth" today and talked Rudy into going with me to an especially great Pinedale Fine Arts poetry reading with Anthony Zerbe and Roscoe Lee Browne. A dramatically different way of portraying life's inevitably human ways through gifted con"verse"ation. And of course, it definitely was a bonus to get to see actors from favorite movies like Star Trek IX-The Insurrection and The Cowboys! Really nice when talented folks come to our small town to share their craft. We appreciate their efforts!
Tuesday, February 27 Went to Daniel to collect the mail...Heard blackbirds for the first time this spring! Most welcome music to my ears and soul. Wished I could shoo some of 'em into my car to take upriver with me, but they'll soon migrate to the ranch where I'll be waitin' and watchin' for them.
Wednesday, February 28 What happened here! Fifteen below zero at first light! Yikes! This is not good, but it did eventually warm up and turn into quite a nice day, except...I took on the terribly uncowgirl-like job of defrosting my freezers and doing some much needed domestic "spring" cleaning before calving season officially takes full control of life.
Where did that story go?!? The stories from earlier front pages aren't gone. We just move them to the monthly journal pages to make room for the latest diary entries on the front page. See the Journal Index for a listing of all previous front page journal entries!
|The Pearson Angus Ranch is located approximately 2 miles
northwest of Daniel, Wyoming, and 11 miles west of Pinedale, where she
lives along with her husband, Rudy. Historic old Fort Bonneville, built
in the late 1800s, is located next to her family's ranch. Cris is a writer
and photographer for The
Sublette County Journal newspaper, where you can find more of her
accounts of life on the ranch. Cris can be reached by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted,
Cris Paravicini, 2000. No part may be reproduced without permission of
the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online, 2000.