Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For the Love of Wildflowers

We are leaving for a week. Don't worry, the ranch and all its critters and plants will be in capable hands.

We will leave you with some photos and a lovely poem written
by a dear friend last year .

“Fields of wildflowers= impromptu poetry.”

The wildflowers this year! The wildflowers! The late rains came and gave us the prettiest wildflowers I’ve seen. Hills of purple. Pink clover. Poppies, wild orchids. I gasp, I snort, I can’t
stop exclaiming over the wildflowers. I mourn that they are so short-lived, that it will quickly become hot and the sun will scorch them.
if I could,
I would weave you a ladder of wildflowers.
it would stretch straight into the air,
and I’m sure that your feet would scarcely bruise the petals
you’d feel them tickling that soft underside of your foot
as you leapt up my ladder, laughing.
you’d rise above all those things that nicker and nobble
the smokestacks, soot clinging to your clothes, the mounds of paper
bills and to do lists and, well, and all of it
you’d leave the freeways and the dust, the stripmalls, as you held on tightly
poppies springing back under your feet.
lupin under your hands,
I can see you, eying that one cloud as a good resting spot.
the cloud that resembles your band teacher (from the seventh grade.)
-By Rae

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finally... A Successful Bull Hunt

Driving home after church we spotted the wayward bull on yonder hill.
Mark walked over and tried sweet talking him into surrendering without a fight. Then we brought in the big guns... Eric the Bold.There was a moment where it appeared anything might happen. But then...A whiff of a young lady's sweet perfume drifted in on the wind and away he went.Ahhh, me thinks he likes her.
Tricked again. haHA!
*read the previous day's post if you'd care to hear more about the wayward and rovin bull.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Bull Hunt & April Photo Review.... Early

While Eric was turkey hunting we were out hunting for a bull. We call him Rovin Rick, 'cause he is always wandering off. Which would be fine if he was out looking for some ladies to court. But no, he is usually just by himself somewhere. All alone. He is really a strange bull. Perhaps Ferdinand was his grandpa. Regardless, we have decided to sell him and get a more normal kind of bull. One that gets the job done. Uh hummm. But of course, he must have heard us whispering about our plans and he is out hiding. We've driven all over the ranch in our little orange kubota honkin and hollering, but to no avail. We have also saddled up and gone looking a little more off the beaten track,but again no Rick. We will keep you posted. Until then, enjoy the pretty pictures we took along the way.

madrone in bloom

riding the green

impressions of sky
new growth
panorama of the ranch
Smokey in field of flowers
April showers bring May flowers. So what picture posted in April was your favorite? It doesn't have to be one of these. I kind of think the peeing horse tops the cake. But I have a weird sense of humor.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Turkey Hunt by Eric

Turkeys , the word has many uses its true form describing natures tasty white meat, and "hey you turkey! put that cookie back in the jar". I find the word turkey is more useful that way... I got to thinking.. I do that every now and then, its funny how words have double meanings and multiple uses. Turkey however got its other derogatory meaning from its original owner... the epic bird of elusive splendor. If you have ever hunted these flying feathered fowl then you know what I am talking about. Every year as far back as the pilgrims, these birds have been hunted around the third Thursday of November. It's tradition for the birds as well and so they usually are no where to be found until the thanksgiving leftovers are being consumed. Thankfully there are two times of the year at which us hunter gatherer men ...(real men ) can legally hunt these long legged walkingbirds...... Ahhh.. spring season when the male turkeys (toms, old males, or jakes, adolescents) are preoccupied with more important matters then the ones pertaining to their safety.
During spring season turkey sound reproducers or calls are used. With these, an experienced caller can ask a turkey what he or she is having for lunch and the time. But more importantly to flirt. Yes I know it sounds a bit risqu'e however it is done tastefully... really it is entirely about taste. The calls aren't the only aid in turkey talking, fake turkeys (decoys) are used. I use the most pathetic looking jake turkey decoy no muscle tone on him and the shortest scraggliest beard no more then 4 or 5 whiskers in it, (4 if I'm hungry 5 if i am trophy hunting) too big of a jake could intimidate the bird you want to come in. The most important decoy however is the hen. You see during the spring season 2 male birds are allowed to be harvested, because it is the males we want, you need to have the female hen decoy to bring them in. Although its not likely a hen would come to a male decoy to even if he was a real icon . The hen decoy however needs to be a real looker. My own personal secret is to use a little flare. Hoop earrings are a good start and depending on how many toms you want to bring in you can add or remove some feathers.

These pictures are of some friends that came up for a successful spring turkey hunt. The top picture is Bruno with a tom that was good size, however he liked a close shave and had recently done so. Its a hunter's tradition to measure the beard and the spurs on a turkey for our records and story telling, (aka bragging rights). Its ok Bruno you can't eat the beard and you can use it on your jake decoy. The next picture is of Wally Coppini and his tom. Wally is the owner of North Coast Outfitters and it was a real treat being able to take him for a spring turkey hunt. We had a good time. The turkey hunt was my way of thanking him for a pheasant hunt he guided my father and I on.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

For Emma

You might remember Emma's brothers, Brandon and Mikey. If not you can read their guest blogger post here.

Brandon wrote that Emma, his little sister, loved to visit the ranch to see our goldfish. This morning while I was in the garden I took notice of our little fish and thought of Emma and snapped these photos for her.
She also apparently loves making sweet, sweet music...
and she loves Jasmine, Eric's dog.
Emma, we are all looking forward to your next visit. And yes, I am feeding your fish.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Greetings from the Pring Ranch

We got an interesting phone call from a neighbor the other day. The neighbor was driving up the gravel county road and passed by a vehicle going very slowly with a driver that looked a little lost and out of place. Hoping to help out they slowed and rolled down their window.
"What's up? Can we help you?" they asked.
"Yea," came the reply. "Do you know the Prings?"
Our neighbors paused and then responded, "Can't say that we do. Are you sure they live around here?"
"Yep. You know where this road forks on up ahead. Well, you go to the right and then you come to the Pring place. It's real pretty. They have a tree farm."
To which our neighbors explained that it was The Ranch on Salmon Creek and it didn't belong to any Prings.
At this point the unknown driver got a little pesky and replied," Of course it is the Prings, they have a white board and I saw that they were welcoming home Happy."
Remembering what was really on the white board, they then asked the driver, "What do you think would happen if you put an S in front of the Pring?" At this point they all had a good laugh.

Perhaps we need to update our board a little more often, especially when letters get erased!

Now for another case of mistaken identity due to faulty reading you definitely need to check out this link to a really funny video. It is well worth the time. Really.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Snow

I was tempted. I always am this time of the year. I knew better, but I succumbed. I planted my tomatoes and then it snowed. Just a little powder sugar dusting, but still, this is not a sweet thing for tomatoes.

Maybe the kale likes itself chilled. Even the purple sprouting broccoli can stand the cold. But not the tomatoes, so I hid them away from the snow. Hopefully it will warm soon and no harm will come to these
tender little ones of summer's sweetness.
Again let us dream where the land lies sunny.
And live, like the bees, on our hearts' old honey,
Away from the world that slaves for money-
Come, journey the way with me.
from Song of the Road by Madison Cawein

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarah!

This is Sarah, our beautiful, wonderful, fun, loyal and loving daughter. And it is her birthday and we miss her. After completing her bachelor degree last spring, she had been living with us full time. And now she has moved. Sigh...sniffle. All good things must come to an end, but frankly, we had loved having her home. She really is awesome. Not only is she pretty nice, but she can do just about anything she sets her mind to. Here on the ranch she drove heavy equipment, ran a chainsaw, split wood, rode horses, worked cattle and would give awesome manicures and pedicures. Maybe not all on the same day, but still you get the picture. And did I mention she can cook, clean, sing and play piano. Ok, this is beginning to sound like an unbelievable ad, but she is for real. Yea, we know she is pretty darn special and we are proud to be her parents. Happy Birthday Honey!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Let me start with apologies; I'm a day late, I didn't take pictures of the exciting news of the week, or of the fine dinner shared with friends at the cabin, not even of Eric the bold jumping from a moving truck to sucessfully grab a turkey! We were all surprised, perhaps none more than Eric! (I say perhaps because the turkey was pretty shocked too!) Had I used the camera, you would see video of five people in a truck, dressed for fine dining, driving past a flock of wild turkeys. The off-hand comment is made, the door opens, and Eric's feet go into cartoon character-mode. Somehow he kept his footing and caught the turkey (by the tail). By the time we stopped the vehicle Mr. Turkey was at full take-off power, trying to lift himself and Eric off the edge of the mountain! Before us older guys could stop laughing and help, the bird gained it's freedom and Eric gained one complete set of turkey tail feathers. The country version of dinner and entertainment. I hope that the turkey doesn't have too many crashes while waiting for the new tail to grow.

Anyway, telling THIS story without pictures was enough, I'm not even going to try the real story of the week. Just the thanks. Cal Fire requires that their personnel who use chain-saws have annual training and certification. This requires some trees to cut to prove that they know their stuff. We have trees that need to be cut. It's a beautiful thing. And the men that organize this class and teach the skills are really great to be around. Bonus. And they both love and appreciate this blend of woodland and prairie in which we live, so the ranch is always improved wherever they operate. Sorry, no pictures. Kurt and Del both grew up in this area and are very helpful with insight and good advice for a newcomer like me. Kurt's wife Suzie and their two daughters, along with Del's wife Tami brightened the cabin for a few days while the class was in session, and invited us up for a great tri-tip dinner on the last night. Great food, and fun enjoying their company. (Again, you'll have to take my word for it)

Now for the one event that I DID photograph... Kurt and Suzie's daughters meeting my wifes's menagerie.

The chick nursery
babes and babes, what could be nicer?
I guess it would be nicer if the chicks hadn't pecked poor Sarah's right hand off.
Or, if Kurt hadn't dumped Alison from the hammock.
Or, if the sheep was less enthusiastic about ritz crackers...
At least the tree horse was tame.
But not the girl! Look at the no hands trick riding!
And it's a darn good thing that spurs won't work with crocs.
Alison also likes the REAL horses.
They like her too!
We hope to see these friends during the summer when the swimming and fishing are better.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Greenhouse

The previous tenant and friend who lived in our house built this wonderful greenhouse. I love to grow vegetables for our table and have found it very useful in starting seeds and in also keeping houseplants and flowers growing throughout the winter. It is also very cozy on a cold day. I love it! I only had one little problem with it and that was it's location. It was smack dab in the middle of our back yard. Which is probably the best placement in regards to the sun, but it did make it hard to play catch or croquet. So I decided it needed to be moved. My industrious hubby donned his Egyptian garb and got to it, with the help of one slave and round fence posts as rollers. I got busy looking beautiful and peeling grapes.

Here they are levering it up and placing the fence post roller underneath. Piece of cake.
Keeping it balanced on one or two rollers made it easy to move. They just had to keep pausing to move the back roller to the front.

Turning the corners was a little tricky.
But with a little Egyptian ingenuity they did it. It looks very nice nestled along the back fence. All that needed to be done was to place the plant stands with their little baby flower and vegetable starts back into their warm and cozy house.
OOPS! "Things turn out best for people whom make the best of the way things turn out" -John Wooden
So I laughed and replanted.