Bird Creek Ranch
Working with the land takes a 24/7 commitment to complete all the tasks at hand.
However, we believe that it is important to take the time to share our perspectives of this way of life, the ups, the downs, the problems, and the possible approaches to solutions.    
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Sunday, June 9, 2013
Today, as our pickup climbed to the top of our hill pasture, I couldn’t help but think of my dad and our trips to bring in our horses from their home overlooking Bird Creek and its run into the Missouri River.  
Pock-marked with sand wallows created by the bison of another age, our hill pasture is a field with waves of rippling grass, dotted by prickly bushes of budding wild roses and marked by steep-sided cuts.  
This was the terrain of the wild pickup rides of my youth.  Our herd of horses
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Saturday, January 28, 2012
A Marker to the Past
Standing in the corner of the back entrance is a metal branding iron that is part of my family’s story, as well as Montana’s history.  The Wagonrod has been my brand since I received the gift of two heifer calves when I was two years old.  This brand, which establishes legal ownership to the cattle wearing it, looks like a simple lollipop.
Even as a young girl, I saw the brand and the cattle it marked as a link to the past.   A schoolteacher from Kentucky, my great-grandfather left for the
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Monday, January 16, 2012
First Calf
Calves always manage to arrive before a storm.  This weekend was no exception.
Saturday was a sunny 54-degree day, a good time to move the cows to a winter pasture.  That in itself was amazing because we were still waiting for really wintry weather.  Those conditions arrived yesterday with a cold wind that only brought a skiff of snow but lowered the temperature last night to –1.
As the cows began to move from one field into another, it became apparent that one cow was lagging way behind.  
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Sunday, January 8, 2012
A January Walk
Unseasonably balmy Montana weather has a lot of us wondering…and waiting for Mother Nature’s other shoe to fall in the form of a winter blizzard.  The weather reminds me of how moving around in one’s place relates back to one’s knowledge of area history.  
It also reminds me of a shocking realization I came to a number of years ago.
The story of the family’s 1863 move to Montana from the goldfields of Central City, CO, seemed a grand adventure to me – of prairie nights under the stars, camp
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Monday, January 2, 2012
Happiness and the Land
Considering New Year’s resolutions underlined for me that those of us working on the land are an important part of our nation’s sense of collective well-being and sense of happiness.  In 2010, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being score for the nation was 66.8.  If we were back in middle school, that would be a solid “D”!  
Could there be a tie between our collective unhappiness and how we measure our nation’s progress?  Perhaps there is more to measure that just economic growth.  Colwood, a
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