Photos & Captions

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We’ve been branding almost every day.

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Within the last week I hauled hot lunches out to feed the branding crew at Willow Creek, Kinsey, the Schueth Place, and Froze-to-Death-Pasture.

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My cooking days are done for this branding season; the ladies at the various cow camps will cook for brandings closer to their homes than mine.

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My cousin and her family came along to the branding at Kinsey.  My cousin’s husband, Adam, who I love to tease, wrestled a calf for the first time ever that day.  In this picture my dad is teasing him, too.  But for all our ribbing, I have to admit that I believe Adam has all the inner makings of a cowboy, and if ever the whole sugarbeet farmer thing doesn’t work out, he always has a job as a calf wrestler here at the PV.  (As far as I’m concerned anyway.  Which, as folks are always reminding me, is a statement that doesn’t count for much!)

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My kids played with their second cousins at Kinsey.  Looking down this draw toward Starve-to-Death Creek might be one of my favorite views on the PV.

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Beau has been riding a new horse.  His name is Pistol, and he belongs to Beau’s buddy Stacey.  They made a trade.

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Beau has been busy counting cows, trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules day by day, and trying to keep all the crew members at least medium-happy.  Not a job for the faint of heart.

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This past weekend, our colleagues from the Wyoming Ranch, the Q, got rained out and so took a mini-vacation and drove up to visit us at the PV.  It was their first time here and we enjoyed sharing part of our Memorial Day weekend with them.  We all talked a lot about what it means to be a Kroenke Ranches cowboy and manager.  We came to few conclusions.

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Our family attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the local Rancher Cemetery.  The veterans always drive in for the presentation in their retro convertibles.

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Asher and our niece, Taylor, placed a poppy under the flag for each veteran buried at the Rancher Cemetery.

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The wild roses bloomed last week.  We would generally consider this to be troubling news, as the belief is that the wild roses bloom at high water — meaning the Yellowstone River is as high as it’s going to get this spring.  Meaning mountain snowpack is depleting and there are no gully-gusher rains to look forward to.  Meaning we have a dry summer and low river levels ahead of us.  Of course, that could all be an old wives’ tale.  But there must be some truth in it or we wouldn’t all keep believing… right?

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The buckles are in for the ranch rodeo scheduled for June 24.  Usually about this time of the year I am panicking over all the things I need to do to get ready for the ranch rodeo.  This year I don’t seem to have the brain capacity to identify what’s not getting done and so, as the result, everything is coming together just fine as far as I can tell.  It’s actually a happy way to be; now I understand why so many people exist in this state.  Happy happy happy!

© Tami Blake

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