Mirror KB Ranch
Tales of the Twin Wranglers
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December 26, 2008
Temperatures continued to dip below zero much of last week. On the night of the 21st when we got up to let Sage & Otter out at 1:30 am the thermometer read a bitter minus twenty-five degrees. Goin' back to bed we wondered at what depth it might continue to plunge. As mornin' dawned we climbed out a bed, lunged into our flannel shirts, jeans an' boots, then went down stairs to peek out at the thermometer. Wonder of all wonders...the mercury hadn't plummeted at all, but had actually risen to show that we were at a balmy eight degrees below zero.
Christmas at the Mirror KB was definitely white....snow is about two feet deep. On the 22nd we gave in an' decided that we had to plow the lane an' a trail out to the hay barn. We didn't put the blade on the tractor, but just used the tractor bucket to push the snow 'round, so we didn't do a top notch job...but it's good enough to get our four wheel or all wheel drive rigs in an' out to the main road.
Then we had to shovel the snow off the top of the hay stack so that we could get a new bale down to feed out to the stock.
Kim shovels snow off of the 4x8 bales of hay stacked in the barn yard
Sage helps Kari put hay out in the south pasture
Christmas was rather quiet here at the ranch. It was just us two wranglers an' the beasts this year, but it was nice. When we decorated the Christmas tree we decided to use only the toughest, least important ornaments that we figured would have a chance of survival should Sage knock the tree over, or in the least snatch an ornament off the lower branches. She never did tip over the tree...even when she'd squirm up under the bottom branches to lap water out of the tree's reservoir.
Leavin' the ornaments or wrapped packages alone was another matter. Sage was fascinated by the ornaments an' would move from one to another, givin' each one a poke with her nose so that it would jiggle as if she'd given it a little tickle. Generally she left the ornaments alone, though on a few occasions we had to remind her to "leave 'em". Same with the packages under the tree.
In keepin' with family tradition, Christmas eve we had meat fondue - from ranch raised beef - along with French bread, then we headed into the west livin' room to see what Santa had left for us. (Somehow Santa has always managed to visit our home while we were busy eatin' Christmas eve dinner....he's such a sneaky ol' elf!) Anyway, Sage was like a little kid, rarin' to open all the presents under the tree.....
Sage attacks a present...is this package from Santa
or the wranglers?
Yikes! what was that odd squeak?
Wow, this is my very favorite present -
.......while Otter was a bit less enthusiastic 'bout the Christmas festivities.
Otter yawns with enthusiasm...or is he beltin' out a Christmas carol?
Okay, that was a yawn
Christmas day we an' the dogs went out to play in the snow. From a wonderful lady over in Delaware the dogs each received a red snow suit to keep 'em warm in our subzero temperatures. Even though it wasn't below zero on Christmas day, we just had to take a photo the two dogs in their snow suits - they just looked so darn cute. Then we all played in the snow with a doggie soccer ball that Santa brought 'em.
Reckon you could say we had a doggone good Christmas!
December 19, 2008
Yee-gad, we've pert near let another month slip by us since we last threw a loop into this blog/diary. Our only excuse is that we've been keepin' much too busy with not only our regular ranch chores but also with writin' an' addressin' Christmas cards, as well as fillin' orders from our web-store an' wrappin' gifts of our own. But whoa, our tails are passin' our noses...lets back track to the end of November afore we get to our frolic through December.
The very last day of November, which was also the end of our huntin' season, we had been asked by a local man if his two teenage kids could hunt on our ranch. Though we don't allow huntin' on our property at freewill, we often make exceptions if hunter's ask before they shoot - particularly for special friends or young hunters. So this time we gave 'em the go ahead nod an' they settled down by one of the ranch cricks to "rattle an' wait". The day flew by with no sign of any game so 'round three in the afternoon they wandered up to the house an' we chatted a bit. They were ready to give up but we urged 'em to wait until we took care of our afternoon feedin' chores as the sound of the tractor usually brings in deer an' elk that are lookin' for an easy meal of alfalfa-grass hay.
They decided to give it one last try so while we feed the stock they hunkered back down by the crick to wait. After we'd taken care of our chores we headed back to the house an' had barely had time to skin off our winter duds when we looked out the kitchen window an' spotted a small herd of elk droppin' off the west ridge an' lopin' into the far south west corner of the south pasture. We knew that the hunters were probably settin' their sights eastward - toward the river - as that's the direction a whitetail buck an' doe were headed in from....so we wondered if they'd notice the elk creepin' in the back door.
Our thoughts were answered when all of a sudden the two kids popped up out of the crick bed with rifles blarin' away. We felt like we were occupants of a Virginia farm house caught in the middle of a civil war battle. Boom, boom, boom...flashes of fire belted from their guns. The elk were caught by surprise an' many just stood their ground not seemin' to know what danger they were in. In the end both kids successfully filled their elk tags so though they didn't get their buck, they were more than happy with the end of their hunt.
As we crossed the border into December our thoughts turned toward the comin' holiday season. From a photograph that Kari snapped this fall of Kim ridin' Banner through the forest, we created this year's Christmas card - shown below
Front of card
inside the card
On the seventh we decided that it was time to pull the shoes off of our regular ridin' horses since winter weather would generally put an' end to ridin' the forest trails. Since the twelfth it's pretty much been snowin' non-stop an' as the snow got deeper the temperatures fell well below zero. With subzero temperatures our Kubota tractor refused to kick to life so we spent four or five days skiddin' bales of hay out to the livestock (twice a day) on our little toboggans. Now that the mercury shows that our world has warmed up a little above zero the tractor has once again agreed to work for us.
With Christmas a week away, the two of us decided it was time to go huntin'... for the "perfect Christmas tree", so on the seventeenth we bundled up an' with the two dogs trailin' in our tracks we headed up the west ridge, a saw in hand. Usually huntin' for the Christmas tree is a family event, but this year it was just the two of us. Though we never find our tree close to the bottom of the ridge we kept our eyes peeled...just incase in past years we've missed spottin' the "perfect tree" close to home.
Halfway up the ridge is a good sized bench where the trail levels out. We followed the trail to the little ranch graveyard an' stopped to chat with mom. Invitin' her to join us we moved on through the snow. We hadn't gone too far when we caught sight of "the tree." It looked good, but all the trees look perfect with snow in their branches. We grabbed hold of the trunk an' shook - the branches were now bare of snow - we were not.
We stepped back an' looked at the tree from all angles...yep, it'll make the "perfect Christmas tree." Cuttin' the tree down we thanked it for what it was goin' to become - what it meant to us to be our Christmas tree. Then we half carried it half skidded it down the ridge an' back to the house where we set it up in the west livin' room. This evenin' we'll string the lights an' decorate it.
Ride the November 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the October 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the Aug-Sept 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the July 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the June 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the May 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the April 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the March 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Ride the February 2008 Tales of the Twin Wranglers
Mirror KB Photography & Gifts
1132 Arabian Lane
Libby, MT 59923-7982
Phone: (406) 293-6586
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