Friday, August 17, 2012

Veater Ranch

A lot of my acquaintances at college are aware that I live on a cattle ranch, 
but when I show them pictures they are almost always in shock. 
It is never what they had pictured. 

Let me explain... first, we ranch cattle, but we live in the mountains. 
That means that we don't exactly have open, rolling fields of grass. 
In fact, what we were given was something more like steep draws and thick brush.
And if you know anything about cattle (or can picture having to ride a horse through brush while gathering...) you know that's not ideal.

But my dad had a vision that it could all be something better, something more useful. 
So he went and bought a bulldozer, and started clearing the brush and leaving trees. 
The government loves him for it (hello useable land!), the fire station loves him for it (less brush=less fire hazard), we all love him for it (brush isn't exactly a piece of cake to gather cattle in), and the cows love him (when there is less brush, the land can grow more grass).

So this is what he does. 
He takes his bull dozer, and pushes brush down these steep mountains into brush piles.  
(which will be burned when it's not so hot)
My little brother (who isn't so little anymore), comes behind him and sprays the regrowth to make sure it doesn't look the same again in 5 years.
[clearing in the mountains really takes a toll on this guy]

[Look at the difference between the cleared mountain in front and the brush in the back!]

The end result is really something beautiful. 
In the winter, we are surrounded in breathtaking green, 
and in the summer we find magic in acres and acres of golden oats.

At least that's my take on it :)
That middle Veater daughter

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summertime...and baby it's hot.

Last August, I wrote this post and forgot to post it and/or finish it when I left for school.
Seeing that it's about the same time of year and change in routine is seldom,
lucky me- it still applies!

August 2011
This weekend was  business as usual on the ranch.
George works on the bulldozer for five hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
[I think if he didn't set a time limit he might work alll day long...]
but during the summer, the work is a little slower.
dust clogs the filters, and dozing up and down a mountain all day makes machinery overheat pretty fast.
[ummm yeah, I would overheat too pushing trees around on those inclines!]
So breaks are necessary and often taken on these hot, summer days.

But this week was quite a treat.
drumroll please....
I learned to drive the bulldozer!
Do you realize how scary it is to have that much metal moving at your demand?
That thing can move like it's nobody's business.

Aside from the heat, and lots of wheat...
you can always expect to find pesky summer stickers here in the summertime :)

They took almost a year to fully remove from those shoes, I would have you know.
One of the joys of the ranch in the summer- bulldozing and stickers.

Taylor Ann

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A few things... and a welcome back!

Here [all of you that happen to read this] is how it all works.
I go to school full time through the fall, winter and this year... spring.
I have a blog of my own, and was also part of a project to work on another blog for school.
That, as you can probably imagine, somehow left this lovely little blog on the back burner.
And I apologize for that.
Now, moving on.

As I contemplated what I could post on a post dedicated to the "Veater Ranch", I first thought..
there are only so many pictures of mountains that people want to see.
but then I thought... the ranch is my life.
It's where I live. It's where all of the people I love are. It's my home.
So most of my stories are ranch stories, and can classify as ranch-blogging material.
[of course, I will also update you all on the progress being made in ways of brushing and other-such activities]

A few weeks ago I had opportunity to watch somebody experience the ranch for the first time.
It was a good refresher for me on some things I take for granted.
The sunsets are incredible, as are the stars.
The green of spring, the wildflowers, and the wildlife.
The breeze in the evenings and the glassy reflection of the ponds.
The immediate availability of off-roading adventures,
 and dogs that need not be confined to a yard and who obey cattle-gathering orders.
The sunrises and sunsets over the tops of the mountains.
I could go on all day.

We caught the last few weeks of spring and everything [as you can tell] was absolutely beautiful.
Although it is now summer and no longer green, the ranch remains really something to behold.
We've been doing a lot up here this summer: client dinners, graduation parties, photoshoots.

I'll keep on track and tell you about those sooner than later :)
Happy summer, reader.

Taylor, [the blogging middle daughter]