Below are some of our favorite photos from the ranch

The Southern Rolling Plains can be a harsh environment. Some people might say its ugly, but they haven’t seen an Open RX sunrise, or a deer walking past their bedroom, or a turkey grazing across the canyon. We take a camera with us even when we are working because this is a beautiful place. Some of these photos have been used on our annual Christmas card.

Supermoon rising over the ranch in the east – April 7, 2020. The sun was still setting in the west when I took this picture

Building Fence

Winter Snow

Thanksgiving at the Ranch

People ask if we are affected by the prairie fires. Generally not, but they can be very destructive. Below are pictures taken by Jeff Bonner of a fire in Gray County. The fire started in March 2006 and is shown in the first photo. The second photo was taken in August 2008. Nature is a great doctor!

However, in the fall of 2019, a fire started on the ranch east of us and expanded onto our ranch and the ranch further east. Here are two pictures of that fire, which eventually burned completely around our house!

Coming at us

Near the house

Fortunately we had nice winter and spring rains. At the start of the Spring 2020, the same pasture looked like this

Ellen and Cheyenne were walking on our road one morning and came across these new born fawns. We think they were born last night (July 14, 2011). It is surprises like this that add joy to every day at the ranch! Momma, fawn #1 and Fawn #2:

The great snow storm of 2011 was not too bad. Ellen was comfortable bundled up in bed! The animals survived just fine. Cheyenne had great fun in her first winter. The cattle were actually warm (they stayed in the canyons most of the time). Margarita (the horse) was cold, but she avoided going into her shed from some strange reason. The deer were very eager to come up to the house. Finally a couple of pictures of snow on the sunflower seed pods.

Cheyenne in her first snow — Feb 2011

Ellen feeding Margarita in a snow storm and Margarita waiting for her feed.

Wild hogs: 1) Cheyenne on the way to the trap; 2) and 3) The excitement when we arrive; 4) Weigh in at the buyer’s lot

Deer and turkey on the ranch

Cheyenne with deer in the background, above.

2010 was a great year for cotton. The farmers had a very good crop and record prices. You might want to read Ellen’s blog on cotton (see the blog page for December 2010 blog). Above are some photos of 1) neighbors stripping (harvesting) cotton, 2) a module builder that compresses the stripped cotton for transport to the gin and finished module, 3) a module truck picking up a module, and 4) modules sitting at the gin waiting to be ginned.

Older pictures from 2009 and earlier:

Big Skies

Conrad and Browser at the corral


Browser exploring a canyon

Carl Seal planting wheat

Another great sunset

A canyon

Turkey at the corral

Turkey tracks at the tank.

Browser at the tank.

Browser cooling off.

Another great sunset.

Deer outside our patio.

Indian Paint Brush

Yellow Cone Flower

A field of wild flowers!

Wild hogs. One is in a trap to be sold as wild boar!

Four wild turkey at the deer feeder (a photo from our patio).

Our new vegetable garden in April 2009. The fence is an 8′ deer fence. The black tubes are drip irrigation. We have corn; several kinds of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and lettuce; beets; okra; asparagus; and peas. In the Spring of 2020 we planted a peach, apricot, and persimmon trees in the garden.

Cattle coming up to the house for water. This is outside our kitchen window. This stock tank is filled from our 12,000 gallon cistern which collects rain water from our roof.

A wild hog at the deer feeder 30 yards from the patio. A cactus flower. A yucca flower.

Rainbow over the ranch in April 2009.

In April 2009 we went to the rodeo in Paducah and I took some fun photos. This series was the most dramatic. I was behind a wire fence, which look stout when I started. Picture 1, the horse is 30 feet away and coming toward me. Picture 2 he is still coming toward me and is 20 feet away. In picture 3, I can hear the horse snorting and feel dirt hitting my head that he is kicking up — I am backing up fast wondering will he stop before the fence or will the fence hold him. He turned just after I snapped picture 3!

In the winter of 2009, we had the largest snow fall that we have experienced at the ranch and neighbors tell us it has been a long time since we had this much (estimated at 5″)

In the Spring of 2007, we had lots of rain breaking a two-year drought. As a result, we had great wild flowers like these Baby White Astors.

A neighbor wrote Merry Christmas on a cotton module (below). The cotton stripping equipment dumps cotton into a module builder, which creates these large “blocks” of compressed cotton. A special truck called a Module Getter loads them for transportation to the cotton gin for processing into cotton bales.