McKee Branding — Woolly Canyon 2015

Beautiful day for the last branding of the season. At this stage of the game, we don’t know until we wake up in the morning how we’re going to feel about getting a horseback or roping in the branding pen. I’ve long been demoted from the ground crew wrestling calves when I’m not roping, relegated to visiting and watching the action from along the fence — which suits me fine.

Followers of drycrikjournal will recognize Kenny and Virginia McKee in nearly all the photographs of our brandings, and yesterday was our turn to try and repay them for their help all season. To be of help becomes increasingly important as we age, especially in this culture, and it’s been gratifying to see the next generation of cowboys mature as cowmen, horsemen and human beings. We’re truly grateful to be among them and this cattle community. Robbin was able to take a few photos between vaccinating calves that highlighted a day of fun while we got the work done.

 

11 responses to “McKee Branding — Woolly Canyon 2015

  1. A very nice series of images that help those that don’t do this understand some of the roping process. I particularly like the close shot on the saddle horn, hands and rope.

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    • Keeping the reins, rope and dallies sorted in your hands has to be second nature, as action around the saddle horn is usually quick and a good place to lose a finger if you’re not careful. All aspects of the branding pen are acquired routines we respect and try to maintain for as long as we can. Thank you, Tim. Glad you liked the photos.

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      • You’re welcome and thank you for the additional information. Most of us don’t realize the skills required and the potential dangers involved. You may find this National Geographic presentation done photographer Robb Kendrick who uses a 19th-century tintype process for his luminous portraits of modern-day cowboys in western U.S. and Mexico. https://youtu.be/ZmXsgtdEwbI It is long but worth watching.

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    • Thank you, Tim for the link: an insightful perspective on many levels.

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  2. Like a christening . . .

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  3. Eamon started roping at eight, and could hardly wait until he was big enough to rassle. I try to stick to vaccinating and castrating. Sent from my iPhone

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  4. It has to be ever so gratifying to see the next generation stepping up to take the ropes, so to speak. This must not be a particularly easy life, but a wonderful one I think. And in all aspects of life, us oldsters must step aside to keep the cycle going. These photos are fabulous!

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