Ode to the Crew 1: Six Pix

We set the ‘point and shoot’ on the branding table, the following were shot by several different people.


There is no easy tribute to good neighbors necessary in the branding pen, whether horseback or on the ground. Trading labor is part of our culture, and the work’s not done until everyone’s calves are branded and vaccinated. Towards the tail end of the branding season, our last bunch of calves were big, which makes Robbin and I happy of course, but it also means harder and more dangerous work for everyone.



Our gather to brand in Greasy began Sunday, over a week ago, interrupted by welcome rain that kept us from finishing the process until last Tuesday — some cows and calves had spent eleven days in out Gathering Field waiting for yesterday. Additionally, wood had to be cut for the branding and cook fires, and the weeds in the corral, nearly two-foot tall, had to be addressed with a weed-eater before we were ready.



It was a long day, shirtsleeves weather, warm in the mid-70s.



Always some exciting moments, even though everyone tries to be respectful and gentle with the calves, some were a handful, pushing 500 pounds.



Calm and steady, we have acquired an efficient routine of ropers and ground crew. Divided into two groups of ropers so arms and horses have time to rest between bunches, there’s always time to visit.




9 responses to “Ode to the Crew 1: Six Pix

  1. I remember that life . . . Long ago now, but I remember . . . Thanks for the pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could remember how I came across your blog but no matter. I appreciate the view into this world that is so different from anything I’ve experienced. It gives me a whole new understanding. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So happy, of course, you did, and I yours, Susanne!

      Not only are we trying to document the evolution of this ranch with the hope that it may help those who follow us, but as important to Robbin and I, is to convey what our part of this culture is about. We think our community is unique, but know that similar circumstances and activities are replayed on ranches all across the West, if not elsewhere in the world. As a practical matter as well, we think it’s essential to know where your food comes from, how and where it is raised, and the people who manage nature’s varied and renewable resources. Thank you 🙂


  3. “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I imagine that branding being done in the old traditional way is a good excuse for socialising but eventually a nice new cattle crush will mean you can get the job done with fewer people and therefore fewer neighbourly get togethers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the above discussion. I oft wondered if there were “modern” ways of doing the job. Instead of gathering firewood, fire up the generator to power the laser branding iron, 3D printer to make ear tags and a drone with a hypodermic

    Liked by 1 person

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