This go-around I am having trouble coming up with a topic or theme for this newsletter. We have covered a lot of topics over the last few years. I got to thinking that there are a lot of folks on this ranch and I should let them write their part of ‘Meanwhile.’ It takes a group with many different skill sets to keep Flying M Ranch running, as well as the small farm we have.
So for my part of ‘Meanwhile,’ this last winter was an odd one: it was warmer in February than in May so far. We did have some pretty good snow around Christmas and New Years but that was it. The snowmelt runoff was short but did get us some water on the Mesa, which we have not had in a few years. Then just in the last month we have had around 3 inches here at headquarters so now the country has really greened up and is growing. Cattle are doing well and it looks like the bull calves have it this year. Usually it is about 55% heifers and 45% bull calves, but not in 2016! We are running around 60% bull calves so far. Hmmmm . . .
So here is hoping for an early monsoon with a lot of moisture. We have had two Days on the Land with Diablo Trust, looking at prairie dog impact and a really windy Sportsman’s Day. Over the summer we hope to work with different folks to come up with a prairie dog plan, and we are going to redo the Sportsman’s Day here in June, and this time, if the weather cooperates, we can actually get out on the ground without being blown away!
Mike McClanahan is in California right now so I am telling his ‘Meanwhile.’ Mike has spent time with Garry on equipment maintenance, corral repair, keeping our solar system running, and nipping trees on the same project. He also has been working on our phone system equipment and getting a temporary tower up and helping install the permanent tower. Not to mention lots of town trips, for parts and things.
Jack Metzger is also not here so I am going to write a bit for him. Jack keeps the lights on! Literally, when the generator goes off, blows a diesel line, breaks a belt, or any of that fun stuff (usually in the middle of a really cold night), he can just about rebuild anything around here. He is a little grumpy when it’s 2AM and 10 degrees outside, so we help carefully. He also got some road grading done, some dozer work, tank cleaning, and does the bulk of the well pumping. He is better with GPS than the rest of us so when we have to line out a pipeline and find the levels we call on him.
Kit Metzger, Flying M Ranch