Tag Archives: culture




We have left our mark on this ground:

the house, the pipe, the horses,

cattle, shop and barn—and the avenues


between them—that were not here

forty years ago where the deer lay down

beside the road. Our tracks everywhere


we worked details into grazing hillsides

and raising calves you’ll never see

before they are erased by time’s storms


and someone else’s appetites and dreams.

Our short moment among the mortar holes

and pictographs that will outlive our presence.




Small world here, an eddy

in the cutbank of a raging stream

            like Roaring River

before it dumps into the Kings—

Río de los Santos Reyes,

            or like Cloud Canyon

our honeymoon camped

            upon soft needles

            in the moving shadow

            of a huge Sugar Pine—

            Cement Table

apart from the foaming current

and thunderous cascades

of man’s designs.


Small world here making circles,

gathering cattle to brand

around the weather,

putting crews of neighbors

and meals together

for a picnic:

            bring your horse

            for a slow dance

            of wide loops,

            tight ropes

            and camaraderie—

            we are family

            chasing seasons

            for a lifetime.


Small world here in the darkness

of a moonless morning, stars

like glinting diamonds set

in black velvet, a universe

unfolding beyond reason.

(Some) Branding Pix @ Paregien Ranch 2014


A beautiful day for a branding with friends, Teri heels a calf for her Dad.



Sid and Javier


Robbin and Lee Loverin


Tony Rabb


Kenny McKee


Break time between teams, we try to keep the work slow for us older people, time to visit, have a snack and a beer.


Clarence Holdbrooks and John


Virginia McKee, Craig Ainley and Kenny McKee


Bev Drewry, John, and Maggie Loverin


Teri Drewry and Lee Loverin


Bill Drewry


Brent Huntington sets one up for Teri


And the oak tree, one of two in the branding pen that keeps the pace subdued. Clarence renamed it “The Release Tree’.


Bill leads one for Teri.


For our first branding of the season, everything was just right. A good place to start on the ranch before the ‘forecast’ rain, still on for Thursday night and Friday, makes our road too slick to travel for who knows how long. Good to get the calves worked before they get too big.

In this ever-modern and high-tech society of work saving devices, we are yet a throwback cattle culture trading labor within our small community. Miles off the asphalt, the branding corrals become another world apart from the latest media hysteria, an opportunity, we like to think, to talk about important things.

Proud, pleased and exhausted, Robbin and I collapsed on the couch.