Our end of February-beginning of March rains, two and a half inches overall interspersed with some 70 degree days, have been a game changer. Nearly doubling our seasonal precipitation totals, the ground and rejuvenated green absorbed the moisture and then offered dust in a matter of days only to be settled by another quarter inch on Sunday. Remarkable.

We scrambled in-between getting our Wagyu bulls together for their trip back to Caldwell, Idaho, on Friday, having addressed their work here since December 15th. As part of our contract with Snake River Farms, we rent their bulls for about a tenth of what a 2-year old Angus bull would cost, plus we don’t have feed them while they’re drawing unemployment nor are we fixing fence behind them. But last minute coordination of a health certificate from our vet, a brand inspector and a truck before we had them gathered was chancy as the cattle had already moved up the slopes to the taller grass on the ridges.

With more rain forecast for most of the next 10 days, Terri and I and burned several years of downed Valley Oak limbs and trees yesterday around our shipping corrals. Casualties of the 2012-2016 drought, it was a challenge to get them to the burn pile, but not without a touch of melancholy as a 400-year old tree, once a regular roost for Bald Eagles, went up in smoke.



3 responses to “Challenge

  1. Very glad to hear your regeneration tale, Duff. We’d been away from our little ‘rancho’ here in San Martin for 10 days house/cat sitting for friends up above Truckee. Came home yesterday to splendidly verdant yards, paddocks, and hills…and it’s still sprinkling…and more’s on the way. Gratitude

    Also: Once again, you cause me to ‘see’ differently. Talking about 400 year old oaks having been the ‘roots’ for eagles. Maybe a typo for ‘roost’, but it makes the elemental connection of animal, plant, soil. Thanks!


    • Intended ‘roost’. You’re welcome, I’ve been living in the same place for so long that the elements seem always to connect in memory or in fact, even if some are just recently discovered. Memory, as you know, just waiting for a trigger.

      From the top of the Valley Oak, the pair of Bald Eagles listened, and perhaps were entertained, by the profane disagreements between my father and I years ago. Rolling that stump around, it all came back to me, except for the Eagles unfortunately.


  2. I can understand being sorry to see the tree go, John.



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