My cell phone went unanswered because I was driving; the message I later played at my desk at work was from our neighbor Donna. “Couple of your dad’s cows are in our field — little guys; I saw them just walk under the fence. They’re not hurting anything so no …

It seems fitting that a California chicken coop would be built from wine crates.

Upon closer inspection, however, this nesting box originally housed vintage port from Portugal, NOT California.

Still, the eggs and wine connection seems to be a strong theme here on the Pushing Water Ranch . . .

. . . …

18 May 2012  Creating My Mythology

Avian trespassers or noble Birds of Courage? Turkeys are more than just delicious, though not much more.
The call came in just after 9:30; Chas answered it.
“Really?” I heard him say as he moved to the kitchen window and peered out. “Okay, thanks.” He hung up and told me about a …

21 March 2012  This Is Why We Live Here

Fire on the Ranch

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(posted concurrently at my personal blog, Fooleryland)
We had a fire on the ranch yesterday. No one was hurt and only a fence was destroyed (although some of a neighbor’s equipment burned) but it was harrowing for a while. The Himalaya berry thickets eat up acres of pasture and they are …

You won’t hate me when I tell you I spent the last weekend in January suffering through high-60s temperatures, will you? How about if I throw in some cow manure — will that even the score?
Every year my parents take my daughters and me to the Red Bluff Bull and …

30 January 2012  In the Company of Cows

Big Bird

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This is the closest photo I could manage of this bird, taken Easter morning.

We were trying to decide if it was a golden eagle or a very large hawk. My sister thought it might be a harrier. Anyone know?

25 April 2011  Occasional Beauty

This is a dying hawk. I’d call it a pigeon hawk or a Merlin, probably.

Smedley took this photo last week, and she was so close to it she had trouble getting the camera to focus. The story was told after dinner by two breathless kids and Chas. In a nutshell, …

18 February 2011  The Downside of Rural Life

Weekends are marked by drudgery, mostly, but not last weekend. The girls and I spent Saturday morning quickly doing our chores so we could spend the afternoon playing. Playing, this one January weekend every year, means going to the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale.
What, you weren’t there? You …

4 February 2011  In the Company of Cows

Suicide Bombers of the Wild Kingdom

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Local animals have begun to turn on us.
Not just the everyday snubs — like when that skunk recently threatened to spray my car as he ambled up the road — or the general unpleasant harping of crows, jays and screech owls. No, it’s more sinister than that. I think some …

30 December 2010  The Downside of Rural Life

(Original photo stolen from these guys)
An annual tradition for our family, ever since the girls were sprouts, is the wonderful Avenue of Lights in Orland. We drive the circuitous route through the fairgrounds, ooh-ing and ahh-ing and commenting upon the new displays. I think I look forward to …

18 December 2010  This Is Why We Live Here
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