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Live from the Ranch

This is the official Ranch Journal, a collection of short reports about daily life on the ranch. Postings are made by all ranch staff, but mostly by Tess Leach & Kate Matheson, Guest Services Managers, David Leach, Business & Marketing Manager and Jeff Gossage, Ranch Manager. (Banner photo 3 by Stephen Weaver)

Monday, Jun 30, 2008

We finally got our first little rain of the summer last night.  It has started out really dry and I think last night we may have had 2 or 3 tenths.  Hopefully this is the start of a new trend in the weather.
Today we are going out to move the big herd of mama cows from the north end of the Antelope Pasture to the south end.  There are about 600 head in the whole bunch.  
On Thursday we will brand all the calves in this bunch.  A lot are already branded so we'll probably do about 240 or so.  The crew from Chico is coming over to join us. 

Posted by Jeff G. on 06/30/2008

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008
Sorry it's been so long since I've written.  I guess we got really busy and writing got kicked out of the weekly routine.  
The growing season has started out pretty fair considering we have not had a single drop of rain.  The ranch is made up mostly of two kinds of country: Subirrigated meadows (some of which are also irrigated) and sandy upland type country. 
The subirrigated land is highly productive country that is lush and diverse with many different kinds of grasses and plants.  It benifits greatly from rain but is also fairly productive without rain because of very shallow water table.  You can dig a hole anywhere in these areas and hit water at a foot or two.  
The sandy country is very unique in that it supports grass and other vegetation under very dry conditions.  This type of country is what most of the ranch is made up of.  Since we only get about 7 inches of moisture annually, it is hard to believe that anything at all grows here, yet it does.  All the plants, grasses included, have extensive root systems that reach deep down where the sand is moist.  Even in dry conditions the sand stores moisture far enough down in the ground where it cannot evaporate.
Therefore, our range has a fair amount of green grass when other parts of Colorado have not greened up at all.  
Don't get me wrong though, we still pray for rain every day.    
Posted by Jeff G. on 06/18/2008

Sunday, Jun 01, 2008
I had the chance to catch up with Blake and talk about his grazing project on the Meadows and thought I would update everyone. After the first few days of the yearlings being in the temporary fence he found that they were relatively well trained to it so the result was he was able to make the fenced areas smaller thus allowing him to move them more often which results in more land being rested at one time. Also with the areas being smaller he is seeing more break up of the ground and the animals are eating the wire grass. This break up of the ground is VERY important in the absorption of water into the soil. This is a very exciting and labor intensive project that Blake is doing but it is good for the land. And that is the basis of what we are about. Have a great Sunday everyone. I will try to get some pictures of what Blake is doing and post them soon.
Posted by Anonymous A. on 06/01/2008

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