Wyoming Cowgirl - On the Ranch

On the Ranch Journal
by Cris Paravicini

July, 2001

Lonesome and Dove
Lonesome and Dove
"Boy meets girl..."
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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...

July 1 - Bulls meet the ladies
July 2- Parity
July 3 - Hot as heck
July 4 - July 4th
July 5 - Meltdown
July 7- Cooling off a smidgen
July 8- Tiny rain showers
July 9 - Doing a rain dance
July 10 - Rainbows are cheering

Story: All Trappers' Eve
July 15-21 - Old Timers' Picnic
July 22-28 - Paint goes to the Doctor
July 29-August 4 Getting ready for haying

Journal Diary
July, 2001

Bullls meet the ladies

Sunday, July 1 Scattered more bulls to meet the ladies...


Monday, July 2 Somewhat slower pace this time of year on the ranch, so I "farmed" out my muscles to Shenefelt Services to help them wash windows and clean carpets... Seems this "parity" concept that I recently read about in a highly regarded, Montana-based, agriculture newspaper spells out many ranchers' plight/battle cry quite well, indeed. It quotes "Mr. Webster" as defining parity: "An equivalence between ranchers' current purchasing power and their purchasing power at a selected base period" or "the quality or state of being equal or equivalent." Well, it goes without saying that the dollar earned and the dollar(s) that must be spent hasn't been equal, or even close to it, for over 20 years. In other words, the price of buying equipment, fuel, groceries, labor, feed, and insurance - hence, the cost of doing business - is far from this parity business. I, however, really doubt that we'll ever see the "$140.75 per cwt. for 550 calves" that the ag paper's publisher says we should be getting to balance the "teeter totter." So in a nutshell, if we're to survive these tough times, we gotta rustle up all the extra work (take-out jobs) when, where, and while we are still able-bodied. Sort of...turn out your old saddle horse once in a while and make hay while the sun shines.

Hot as heck

Tuesday, July 3 Whew! Hot as heck. Nearly 95 degrees! Hardly a puff of breeze. I'm melting like butter, right down into my boots. In this heat, even the mosquitoes and the horse and deer flies are losing interest in eating!
Helped mow other folks' lawns all day. Still in the mood when I got home, so did mine, too, then tended the regular chores.
Near sunset, half-hearted storm clouds tried to hold a powwow on the western horizon. Cross your fingers for rain. We desperately need it...

Fireworks in Pinedale4th of July

Wednesday, July 4 Firecracker hot...again... A friend stopped by for a visit, so we grilled a juicy beefsteak and slapped it on a plate beside some French fries, cornbread, and a garden salad - then we all enjoyed a great visit! Good friends, food, shade, and tipping our hats to the American flag on Independence Day will make any day perfect!
At dark-thirty, we piled into the Jeep and headed for Pinedale to watch an awesome display of fireworks. The moon was full tonight, but even in its competitive nature to share the bright night, the awesome pyrotechnics commanded the northern face of Pinedale. Oh geez, about half way through the show, I caught the scent of a skunk. Didn't stumble upon his exact location, but we guessed the little fella must have been spooked out of hiding by the repetitive "Boom! Boom! Boom!" of the skyrockets. Our hearty thanks go out to the local volunteer fire department, the town and county governments, and any other folks who might have donated time and money to make us smile.
Thundershowers swept through the area both in the late afternoon and sometime after midnight, but only dampened the dusty ground. Lightning struck repeatedly in the mountains, and I fear that fires will soon ride down hard upon our county...


Thursday, July 5 Another meltdown today! And I can now smell sage and pine smoke. Sh--, we're burning up again! From atop the bluff, I can see several billowing smoke columns to the West and Northwest of the ranch. Looks like the Beaver country and the Hoback Rim are hosting a big wood and wildlife barbecue.
After checking the Pindaleonline.com site, my fears are confirmed. These POL folks do a great job each year in keeping us informed during fire season. Thank you! And my hat's off to the men and women Hotshots and firefighters who come from all corners of the country to lay their lives on the line and fight our towering infernos. Damned drought! When will it end?

Cooling off a smidgen

Saturday, July 7 Cooling off - just a smidgen. Light misting of rain. Come on, Mother Nature; I know you can do it!Baby Robin

Tiny rain showers

Sunday, July 8 More "tiny" rain showers. I've never seen so many miniature rainstorms that leave a person so blasted dry.
Despite the strange weather, baby birds are now fledging. A baby robin was near my lawn sprinkler this morning, and he seemed pretty upset with his situation. Apparently, his first big step had promptly separated him from Mom. His little mouth curled downward in a forlorn display of "empty nest syndrome." I could hear his mom chirping encouragement, nearby, and in his juvenile voice he answered back - panicked. Lucky for him, the dogs were off irrigating with Rudy, so "we're" safe for awhile.
The wild roses are in full bloom. Their sweet, romantic scent is just like the expensive, tame Baby blackbirdvariety, but around these parts they're free for the cutting, inhaling, and enjoying. And my super, flourishing crop of dandelions is still blooming! How I love these little drops of pure sunshine! Many people scatter herbicides to destroy them, but I think they add a pleasant splash of color to my drab, come-as-you-are lawn. The tender, young greens are really good and healthy in salads, too. And my dear grandma used to make great dandelion wine from the flowers. I guess it was pretty potent stuff, too!Wild roses are in bloom

Doing a rain dance

Monday, July 9 More rain showers. Yes, baby! Keep up the good work. We're all doing a rain dance!
And...rebuilding gate braces at Cora and getting a brand inspection on two steers bound for hamburger helper tomorrow. Our local inspector and his wife - good ranch neighbors and friends - both have a dreaded summer stomach flu that's been harassing the valley. But Bob - tough, dependable, and dedicated guy that he is - drove up to the ranch, anyhow, and took a look at the two beeves ownership brands, then drew up the proper traveling paperwork.Pure sunshine
The pigs are really growing and gentling down a bunch. Twice each day I change their water and make sure the feeder is full of pig pellets. I pull green grass and weeds for their "salad" requirements, and sometimes toss in some cooked spud peelings and old cornbread and pancakes. On hot days, if you're really quiet, you can sneak up to the pen and find them fast asleep in the shade. The pair is best buds and shares the same "bed," just like a couple of little kids. What a kick to see how they wrap their legs up and over and in and out of each other. I've named them Lonesome and Dove after one of my most favorite western movies of all time: LONESOME DOVE, starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones.

Rainbows are cheering

Tuesday, July 10 Hallelujah! Real rain is falling, rainbows are cheering, and the tired fires are "reining" in and turning away! Gone, for now, in a puff of dampened smoke! Yes!
Our good neighbor and buddy, Joe, drove down from the Merna country to partake in a musical jam session. It was a great way to spend the evening! Should do this sort of thing more often..

Getting ready for haying

July 29-August 4 Getting our moods, mentalities, and equipment geared up for the grinding hay season. Gotta get out there and round up whatever grass chanced to grow. Looks like the crop will be real short this year. What a bad year to need to buy a baler and a rake. Will just have to bite the bullet, cinch up the belt, and do the best we can to pay for 'em.
   A young bull moose ambled through the yard about breakfast time. Guess he smelled my mom's biscuits, steak, and gravy and couldn't resist trying to join the hay crew. He was much quieter than the one that had ripped through here a while ago. Hung out for just a while then jumped the fence and headed down river.

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: cowgirl@wyoming.com.

Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted, Cris Paravicini, 2001. No part may be reproduced without permission of the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online, 2001.

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