On the Ranch Journal
The buckin' string
|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...
Tuesday, May 1 - May Day
May 1 May Day! Baskets of flowers! Sunshine! Long, warm days!
Lazy evenings! Happiness playing leapfrog! I think not! Great to dream,
though... Actually, violent windstorms have found where we live and
have been incessantly tormenting the countryside for several days,
and the thermometer is still giving us the cold shoulder, and it's
dry as a bone, and everything is normal in Sublette County!
Wednesday, May 2 Very cold, tornado-speed winds...blowing 5-gallon water buckets off corral posts...making drifts out of dirt, manure, and bits of old hay...rattling barn doors...lifting tar paper from rooftops, raising hair on the dogs backs...and stealing hats from irritated heads.
Thursday, May 3 Oh, wow! Ten inches of snow reported
in Southwest Wyoming with 4-foot drifts! Boss and wife are down that
way to help sister with calf branding project...had to abort and reschedule.
School cancelled...Interstate 80 closed! Oh, Happy Spring!
Sunday, May 6 Rudy started dragging poop in the Home Meadow. I escaped and drove to Pinedale for supplies; you know...a ton of dog food and a snack for the husband! My brother-in-law's brother and sister-in-law brought their kids to try their luck at milkin' the cow. Young Daisy May's first, little milkmaids (besides me). Thumbs up, smiles, and extra treats, little Daisy cow! You were so patient with the ambitious squeezing and pulling of your tender parts!
Monday, May 7 Over in the Cora Valley, the guys replaced an irrigation culvert (a flume, we call it), spanning the width of the Beeline slough. The ditch irrigates some high ground that's hard to get water across. As for me, I got stuck babysitting the drag tractor...Usefulness has many definitions...
Tuesday, May 8 Turned the water loose on the Horse Creek meadow. Will try to grow some wild hay on this plot of ground. Finished dragging "fertilizer" in two of the Home Place fields. Dogs helped out this afternoon. Huge mistake...Big Dog Bo, distracted by upset mama cow... Big Mama tractor driver distracted by tight-bagged cow... Ran up on Big Dog's leg before I even knew what happened... Big Dog yelped as he was sucked beneath the Massey's front tire... I ripped the gears into reverse... Very sick, scared feelings engulf the Big Mama... My poor Bo dog! But, lo and behold...one of us had "Angels in the Outfield!"...No damage done...only a slight limp...so very lucky... Like hitting a rhino with a tricycle, I guess. Finished that patch, called it a day, then crept to house...One small field left to drag...without the dogs!
Friday, May 11 Rudy hollered through the darkness, "You gotta get up and come help me." It was 4 a.m. I mumbled back from far beneath the feather comforter, "Which heifer is calving?" He replied, "Just hurry and get out here." I grumbled, "Yep." In the dining room, the incubator was humming along, and therein, was the cutest little chickie! Aw right! Now we're doin' something right! I didn't even mind being called out to witness this birth!
Later in the day (day 20), Chick Number Two needed help in the hatching. The success rate of the hatch was now in question. Number two is way too weak and sleepy!
By day's end, I decided to open the rest of the seventeen eggs. During the "operation," Chick Number Three slowly but surely decided to join the other two. About one-half of the eggs had been fertile, but the fetuses had died at varying stages in their development - probably due to the "desert" conditions in the incubator. Way poor percentage rate! I surely hope the kindergarten kids will have better luck; they are now "cookin'" 36 eggs in two incubators in their Pinedale classroom. Not one, real, mother hen volunteered to help out this year, darn it! And meanwhile back in my living room, beneath a glowing heat lamp, 3 little "Dixie Chicks" are scratching, scurrying, and bootscooting to the Cajun music on the tape deck. Dogs guarding chickens growing - and all - in my house! What'll it be next?
Saturday, May 12 Yea! After eleven hours on a big, monumental, round-trip, road event, we "helped" son John graduate from college! Comes away with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering (Environmental Option) (the mom simply holds a "BS" degree!). The world awaits!
Sunday, May 13 Mothers' Special Day! So let's celebrate! We sheared sheep...BIG, fat, pet sheep...lots of greasy wool...smells bad...a few keds (I call 'em ticks). Project sure cut a hole in a perfectly beautiful day. But, I can't think of thing we'd rather be doing! Uh, hummm!
Monday, May 14 Took the three "Dixie Chicks"
to town for the kindergarten kids to "babysit" for
a few days. Individual names for the three, little, feathered poultry
Tuesday, May 15 Willows are blooming and spilling
perfume into the spring air. I just love when they do that!
Wednesday, May 16 Wind blowing again...Rudy helped
our good neighbors with their heifer branding project. Our own is
scheduled for Saturday.
Thursday, May 17 Horseshoeing happening here
on the homestead...Pro horseshoer, JB Bond, tacked iron all the way
around two of our top cow ponies. JB recently won 3rd place in an
Idaho horseshoeing competition. Very good at what he does!
My how time flies
of May 18-24 Wow! Time flies...especially when it's (she's) running
from the wind and cold! Picked up the "Dixie Chicks" from
school on Friday. The kindergarten kids had lots of fun feeding the
three chicks worms, breadcrumbs, and grass. Now it was time for them
to return to the ranch...
Week of May 25-31 Although drought and skinny
times are heavy upon us, it looks like we might get a bumper gooseberry
crop. Now, go figure that. Will be nice to make some syrup and jelly
and wine with this sour, little berry. Lots of sugar required!
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.