Monthly Archives: July 2018




Since the four-year drought when we had to leave the gates of each mountain pasture in Greasy open to secure water, we haven’t had a decent count on our cows. Drought-killed trees and limbs on fences haven’t helped us manage our numbers either. But we do know how many calves we branded in Greasy.

As we’ve gathered to wean and harvest our crop of calves, all but one calf was accounted for as of last Thursday, a calf that may have died sometime after branding. Nevertheless, Robbin and Terri left early Friday in the Kubota with a bale of hay, salt and mineral to look for tracks, to insure we got all the calves.


Evening wine, and
I still want to celebrate
the last marked calf

on the books, in
the weaning pen, out
of the brush and rock

with cows behind
the Kubota and a bale
of hay, Robbin and Terri

on the cellphone calling
for a gooseneck, for Bob
and I to haul him home.

Two frozen bottles of water,
four beers with lemons, cool
reward in an insulated pouch.

                         (iPhone selfie: Terri Drewry)


@ The Sip ‘n’ Dip



Though offerings from the blog have been meager while we’ve been weaning calves, we seem to have had lots of visitors in the last six weeks. Our latest, my niece Katy and four month-old daughter Lennon were photographed by her husband Neal Lett @ the Sip ‘n’ Dip with his iPhone Thursday afternoon. I couldn’t resist posting it.





Moonrise at her throat, a glowing pendant,
hair spilling into the creek as she sleeps, and
when the light leaves, her dark silhouette

begins to breathe as the hills come alive at night.
Native women dance where they have worn
the ground to a powdery, fine dust, easy to inhale—

their chanting rises with the moon as coyotes answer
from the canyons these past ten thousand years.
Temporary, we become lost in the landscape—

our souls, the depth of our flesh absorbed,
secreted in her creases for safekeeping as we wait
just beyond the reach of certain change.





I wonder through pipe fencing
to blond feed and green sycamores
to the pinkish hillsides dotted

with blue oak drought survivors,
why—or does it make a difference
in the long haul to God

knows whom or what! This is
our moment to spend on what
is important to whoever

we think we are—our
chance to stand for something,
for someone, somewhere.


Last Bunch



We hauled the last of this year’s calves out of Greasy this morning to ‘soak’ in the weaning pens before taking the steers to town next week. The heifers will join the rest on the irrigated pasture to be Bangs vaccinated and then sorted for replacements. Despite one of the driest beginnings to our rainy season, they’ve all done well due to our March and April rains. Including some late slicks that missed our brandings in Greasy, these calves averaged over 700 pounds.

We’ve done well, too, weaning our English calves in 30 days, 20 of which were over 100 degrees. It’s been saddle at 5:30 a.m. to beat the heat. Our thanks to Bob, Terri and Allie for their cheerful willingness to help get the job done. (iPhone photo by Terri Drewry)