On the Ranch Journal
Fattening Calves Before Winter Sets In
|Cris Paravicini has lived and ranched
in Wyoming all of her life. These are excerpts from her diary of daily
life on the family Pearson Angus Ranch northwest of Daniel...
December 1 - Feeding Cora Valley cattle
Friday, December 1 Started feeding the Cora Valley cattle. It
lies only ten miles away, but looks and feels more like winter in that
valley than here on the ranch. Three-year old nephew Joe helped check swamp
cattle via four-wheelers late in the afternoon...cold wind swept through
the cracks in our coats causing shivers and red cheeks as the evening chill
rolled through the willows...
Saturday, December 2 Brakes are gone on the big stock truck...need
it to haul peewee calves to the Riverton, Wyoming livestock market on Tuesday,
so we had to bleed the lines and replace the brake fluid. Now, all systems
- go...Hope the weather holds...South Pass can be treacherous this time
Sunday, December 3 "Tropical" twenties return to the valley by mid-day...Yea! Attended to the daily chores...fed calves, horses, sheep, barn cats, chickens, etc...opened waterholes...sawed more firewood...nothing like the warmth and scent of burning pinewood...sometimes we cut a willow stick and "fry" a steak or hamburger over the coals...pretty, danged, good eatin'...
Tuesday, December 5 We loaded the boss's truck with calves and
sent him on his way to Riverton
by 7:30 a.m...
Fattening Calves Before Winter Sets In
December 11 - December 20, 2000 Diary
I can remember when I was a small fry, and my dad and I would ride into the mountains about this time of year. We'd search around on our saddle horses, sometimes bucking belly deep snow, until we'd stumble onto just the perfect Christmas tree. We'd cut it, carefully, so as not to break any branches, then tie onto it with a lariat rope and take turns dragging it back to the horse trailer. When we arrived home with the tree, my mom always had freshly baked fruitcakes scattered across the countertops and kitchen table. What an exciting treat to find waiting after the great Christmas tree hunt!
Monday, December 11 Thanks so much to everyone who emailed concerns
about Rudy's eye injury. I'm happy to report that his vision is back to
100%! Close call, but everything worked out just fine.
Tuesday, December 12 Rudy's 48th birthday! Didn't do anything too special to celebrate - just fed young livestock, chopped waterholes, checked swamp cattle, hauled some set-up hay, and ate a grilled beefsteak and cherry pie (his favorite birthday cake!).
Wednesday, December 13 "President's Day!" Well, not really, but this year we can celebrate it early (or is it late?). After 35 or so days, we now know the name of our 43rd president!
Thursday, December 14 After feeding the cows, Rudy and I (and the dog herd) stuffed ourselves into the cab of the old Ford pickup and went to the mountains to cut a Christmas tree. We waded through knee deep snow that was as fluffy and soft as goose down. The dogs had such a grand time romping and playing in this winter wonderland; I swear they were grinning each time they dove under and came up looking like marshmallow snowmen. We sure look forward to this holiday trek each year.
December 15 It's a good thing we got our tree yesterday, because today,
there's a wooly blizzard upon us. Horizontal snows agitated by high winds
kicked butt all day and well into the night. Couldn't see past the big
evergreen, 50 feet away. Took a long time to feed the livestock. Had to
take extra time and roll the hay out in protected places like the good,
old willow patch. Storm left a "guess"timated four inches of additional
Saturday, December 16 Windy in the morning then settling into a mild afternoon. Heidi came out of the willows to get a drink at the stock tank. She seems to be punier, so Rudy and I put her into the barn with the ancient horse and gave her some antibiotics. Now, we'll just have to hope she pulls out of it. Seems like I have many elderly pets at the moment - Scoop the horse, Heidi the milk cow, Spur the little rooster, Lacy and Cindi the old cow dogs, Pet the sheep, and Stub the barn cat. Can't part with the old faithfuls before it's their time. They've all earned a peaceful, ranch retirement...
Monday, December 18 Heidi is holding her own and eating and drinking better. Not over the mountain yet, but the view's looking better. Keep hoping for better days for the loyal, old milk cow.
Tuesday, December 19 Went to Horse Creek with a caravan of pickups and wagons to haul round bales closer to home. Snow is deep and drifted in some spots along the way, but 4-wheel drive saves the day.
Wednesday, December 20 Just want to say "Thanks for all the support and good cheer during the past year and - A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR - from our outfit to yours! May you be warm and happy and surrounded with mighty fine blessings of love, luck, health, and lots of good grub during this holiday season and throughout 2001! CHEERS!!
Where did that story go?!? The stories from earlier front pages aren't gone. We just move them to the monthly journal pages to make room for the latest diary entries on the front page. See the Journal Index for a listing of all previous front page journal entries!
|The Pearson Angus Ranch is located approximately 2 miles
northwest of Daniel, Wyoming, and 11 miles west of Pinedale, where she
lives along with her husband, Rudy. Historic old Fort Bonneville, built
in the late 1800s, is located next to her family's ranch. Cris is a writer
and photographer for The
Sublette County Journal newspaper, where you can find more of her
accounts of life on the ranch. Cris can be reached by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyrights: Photos and page text content copyrighted,
Cris Paravicini, 2000. No part may be reproduced without permission of
the author/photographer. Page graphics copyrighted, Pinedale Online, 2000.