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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)

11th Annual Artist Gathering
We've just finished up our 11th annual artist gathering at the Zapata and are beaming with anticipation for September's show. This year we had 29 artists from Colorado and Wyoming, the largest group yet. The weather cooperated well and blue skies and 80-degrees gave way to thunder and lightening storms on two separate occasions which will surely make for some great work!

Perhaps our favorite part of the event are the nightly shows. After dinner, each person brings out three or four of his/her favorite pieces and displays them around the room. Often times a couple of different people will have captured the same scene or event, and it's really neat to see their different perceptions. 

Many of the artists have promised to send along some pictures from their gallery after the weekend-- be it snap shots of their work . I'll be sure to post these just as soon as I get them so stay tuned!

Posted by Tess L. on 06/30/2010

A Nice Hike
We all spend so much time on horseback here at the ranch that we sometimes forget about the wonderful hiking that can be done right around the ranch. Some of our interns are headed out tonight for a night of camping under the stars and a nice day long hike tomorrow. It reminded me of this picture that we took while hiking at Zapata Falls a couple weeks ago that I wanted to share with everyone. It is nice to get a perspective of the valley from up in the mountains. The view of the Sand Dunes from above makes you realize how massive and unique they truly are. Zapata Falls can be a nice short hike or a longer day hike if you want to make it up to Zapata Lake.  We encourage our guests to take the opportunity to do a little hiking while at the ranch; you will get some of the best pictures. For those who are on horseback all day, it is a great way to stretch your muscles out after a long day in the saddle and catch a great sunset.
Posted by Asta R. on 06/26/2010

The First Ranchlands Music Series
If you've ever stayed at the Zapata Ranch you probably know about our sister ranch in Colorado Springs, the Chico Basin, that we work very closely with.

Two weeks ago the Chico opened up the beautiful Bell Park with its first ever concert and camping and with the concert being a hit, they've decided to open up the park for all types of events and more concerts. Tess and I actually had our wedding at the Bell Park and even though I'm bias, it was a really, really beautiful setting. The park is in a huge cottonwood grove with a view of Pikes Peak, a lodge pole band stand and a bar that we built under a tree with the limbs acting as a sort of roof. It's pretty cool. So needless to say, the concert was a blast and everyone had fun dancing the night away and hanging out around the bonfire.

The very first, groundbreaking band was Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans. The band was just nominated as 2010 AMA Emerging Artist of the Year, were recently signed by New West Records who are home to Kris Kristofferson, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, were the producers of the Crazy Heart soundtrack and many more and they just played at the Olympics in Vancouver. They are a band on the rise and really put on an amazing live show.

We're excited to have many more concerts to come and if you didn't make it you can click here to see a clip of Corb and the band playing and you can click here to be invited to future concerts and events.

If you have a chance, listen to some more Corb and start supporting some rocking music that's as clever lyrically as it is with the band setup and unique sound they put out.

Posted by David L. on 06/24/2010

The Green Fire Film Project
 We just learned about The Green Fire Film Project which when finished, will be an hour-long film celebrating the life and legacy of Aldo Leopold. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Leopold is considered by many to have been one of the first people with a "green conscience." During his time,  he worked extensively with US wilderness systems and today, through his writings and work, continues to inform and inspire people to live alertly and as part of the larger global "community." Take a look at the Green Fire video this far: CLICK HERE.
Posted by Tess L. on 06/23/2010

Bottle Feeding

We have 2 little bull calves living at the corrals right now that we are bottle feeding. They are adorable and love attention! Demetrius (not pictured) has been in for a couple weeks now- I found him while we were moving yearlings. He had been orphaned and was happy to get a ride in the front seat of the pick-up and a big bottle when we got in. He loves to suck on fingers and kiss your face! Edward is our latest addition- he was found yesterday while moving the yearlings. Our very observant guests, Yve and Ali, saw him laying by a brush. Carlos, Yve, and Ali went out to pick him up and gave him his first bottle- he also took to it very easily. He happens to be a very unique looking calf too! This picture is Ali and Yve giving him his morning bottle today- a very grateful little calf. Thanks to Yve, Ali, Julie, and Rosemary for all their help with cattle work this week- it sure has been a busy week. We are all off to brand at the Chico tomorrow!

Posted by Asta R. on 06/17/2010

Big Crowd
The bison have been gathering in big, impressive herds lately, which has been fun to see. It seems like the individual characteristics and mannerisms become magnified in these big herds because of all the wallowing in the dirt, playing around etc. is being seen on such a larger scale. The whole herd kind of brings the field to life with some eating and swooshing their tails, some playing and some wallowing pushing big dust clouds into the air. So you can imagine a few hundred of these instances making a pretty cool spectacle.

This picture is of a big herd in a field just north of the old Medano headquarters. The grass is a really pretty, deep green and all of the vegetation has been beautiful lately. You can even see sporadic green patches in the mountains from little meadows and grassy areas.
Posted by David L. on 06/15/2010

Summer is Around the Corner...
One of the coolest thing about the living on the ranch is watching the seasons change. Spring brings color and birth for plants and animals alike and Summer enhances this color and fosters growth. Fall tints the landscape golden, closes out the peak of our guest season and gives way to Winter, which offers moisture and rest. It's a healthy cycle. I took this picture last week while out with a tour.  The bison are shedding their winter coats, revealing their grey undercoat which gets lighter as the summer progresses. 

The wild irises that blanket the Medano come out with the end of spring, and have just passed their prime.  Stay tuned for a picture of them next.
Posted by Tess L. on 06/07/2010

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