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Happy 2015

1/1/15, Valley Falls, OR - Happy New Years!  The past few weeks at home have been really great.  For the most part, the weather has been unseasonably warm, but fairly wet; however, in the past few days winter looks like itís finally here. 

I havenít done any driving lately, but have saddled up a horse several times and gone for a ride, to include one cattle drive back in the forest to pick up some stray bulls.

This is the current view from the closed-in front porch. I recently started building a bar on the porch to take advantage of the scenery while enjoying an evening cocktail.

A few weeks ago, I saddled up my quarterhorse Monty for a day and joined some friends to round up a few Bulls that were hiding in the forest since fall roundup. They were spied on the opposite side of Moss Pass, so it was a 15 mile day on horse back to find them and drive them back to the ranch.

Monty is turning into a good solid horse.  While still relatively inexperienced, heís game and is moving fairly well through some rough country. While driving the bulls on the back side of Gerenís ranch, we had to cross a deep and fairly steep wash, To go down a steep, sandy slope, a horse usually locks his back legs and paddles down the hill with his front feet while he slides on his haunches.  I got Monty started down the slope, but he chickened out a few feet from the top, tried to bail out and fell on his side.   Usually, a horse is shook up for a few minutes after they fall, but he waited patiently for me to climb back aboard.  A minute later, he slid down the wash like he has been doing it his whole life.

With a foot or two of snow in the high country, the deer have moved down into the meadow to field. Itís hard  to drive down the road and not see several herds.  When the rut was going on last month, the does weaned their fawns and cut them loose to fend for themselves. These weanlings form their own herds and itís common to see them right on the side of the road.  I have to keep a sharp out when I drive a vehicle so I donít end up playing Ďbumper poolí.

There are only a dozen deer in this picture, but thatís all my camera lens would capture.  I actually counted over 80 mule deer in this meadow.

Just before the last snowfall, we squeaked in one more picnic to the lake in the mountains.  While there was very little snow here, there was 8 to 10 inches on the road, 300 feet higher in elevation.

Iíll probably stick around home for a while and before I start looking around for a job in a month or two.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and had plenty of time to enjoy with friends and family.  Take care,  Bob

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