Tag Archives: photography

Supreme Champion Heifer

 

 

Imagine how surprised Robbin and I were when we got a phone call from Mike Rivas yesterday informing us that a heifer we raised was judged as the champion in the Commercial Bred Heifer Division. Frankly, we had forgotten all about her, one of two we sold last year after they were weaned to be entered in this year’s fair competition as bred heifers.

“Buttercup” didn’t make our cut for replacement heifers because she was a little younger than the rest. Our sincere congratulations go to Kyle “Mitchell” Davis who has been working with her since May 2018 and overcome any size constraints due to her age. She will sell at the fair this afternoon. Thanks Kyle.

 

RECALLING ROBERT FROST

 

 

With evening G & Ts
we will stare
across the creek
at black hills,
white ash remains
cut by cowtrails—
pink phos-chek trim
between blond dry feed
until it rains
                              gray,
until it rains
                              green.

We map the burn,
watch the weather,
hope for ground soft-enough
to drive steel posts
for five barbed strands
of Red Brand

because good fences
make better neighbors
for a long time.

 

FIRE DESIGNS

 

 

Ashes, white on black
slopes, drought-dead Blue Oaks, final
portraits of a fire.

 

POWERLESS

 

 

It’s black early yet,
few lanterns glowing
across the quiet canyon,

drought-killed Blue Oaks:
roots simmering
in the rock-hard ground.

The wind will turn
the burnt to gray
until the rains

bring a fresh green
start—nothing
we can change.

 

Creek Fire Mop-Up

 

 

It could have been several thousand acres of fences and feed. Robbin, Bob and I thank the entire CalFire crew for their professionalism, the pilots for their impressive air support, the dozer operators cutting breaks and blading existing tracks in the dark for what seemed to be well-over a dozen 4×4 engines, the water tenders and the often-overlooked hand crews with boots that still remain on our otherwise inaccessible ground. It was impressive. Thank you all!

 

Creek Fire Photos: Burn Area, Phos-chek, Hand Crews, Hose Lays

 

Click photos to enlarge.

 

 

Double click to see CalFire personnel in upper left hand corner. 1 mile hose lay.

 

 

 

7:00 p.m.: 756 acres, 80% contained

 

Creek Fire: Mid-day Update

 

Air support concentrating in the canyon across from the house, in the form of a turbo-prop tanker and helicopter, returned mid-day as winds picked up. Obvious concern was burning parts of Blue Oaks rolling down the north slope to the bottom of the canyon and igniting dry feed on the opposing south slope. More paint was laid at the bottom of the south slope while the helicopter dumped water on dead Blue Oaks that remained burning.

The real heroes are the many hand crews who have encompassed the burn with a 4-6 foot space cleared manually. Though there are 3 dozers still on the scene, they are limited to existing roads due to our mostly inaccessible terrain.

Meanwhile, we’re staying out of their way.

 

Wildfire Invasion

 

The fire started on the neighbor’s about 2:00 p.m.

Blading a road for 4×4 engines on the west flank at 7:10 p.m..

Last phos-chek dropped at 8:00 p.m. on our place. Hand crews and air support, planes and helicopters, kept the fire contained.

Coming off the mountain at 10:00 p.m. Dead Blue Oaks, as a result of the four-year drought, burning.

CalFire Incident: “Creek Fire”, 600 acres.

 

LOOKING WEST FROM CHUKCHANSI

 

 

Night stalks the day,
tracks the last light
over the edge
of our horizons
a slice in time away

from calvy cows
that graze the gloaming
before bedtime,
rest upon the hard
clay ground of home.

Among the gray hairs,
walkers and wheelchairs,
our game of chance:
the heartbeat’s thrill
with wild circumstance.

 

TO WATER CATTLE

 

 

Before we traded ranches,
your mother witched a well
that artesianed into a trough
to water cattle, that overflowed
to fill a pond twenty-four seven
without turning a wheel.

Before we traded ranches
you had tenants
that wanted more
to irrigate cannabis
with a pump and gas generator—

pulled granite sand and pebbles
to dam the crack
where water ran underground
from Sierra peaks
to the wellhead freely.

Married now to a generator,
storage tank and pump,
I pack gas and oil,
carry electrical testers,
tools and spare capacitors,
for a second well we drilled
too deep for solar
to water cattle in a trough
that never overflows.