The Ranch Life
Our day to day
We start each day by sharing ranch news and attending to animal chores. The critters come first, and the goats, dogs, cats, cattle, and horses are always attentive to the sight and sound of the cart bringing their feed.
Cleaning stalls, repairing machinery, laying roads, tending vegetables and flower gardens are the simple tasks that are all part of the daily ritual. It is a rhythm that brings completeness and satisfaction at the end of the day.
Most of the domestic animals at the ranch are horses, some of them have been born here and other ones have been rescued; some of them are healthy and other ones came with some issues.
Therefore they need special attention. Overall, we like taking good care of them and fulfilling their needs as best as we can.
At Twin Willows we shelter small domestic animals such as goats, dogs, and cats.
Dogs and cats have appeared at the ranch, they have been picked up from the roads, or from animal shelters.
Our goats were adopted and they are good companions for the horses.
At Twin Willows Ranch, we also have what we call our Forever Herd. The Twin Willows family had a love and appreciation for Highland cows, and in 2010 Patty, Cora, and Johnny Walker were acquired by the ranch. A little while later, our dearest Tavish was born.
The Herd also consists of two Corriente cows, Freckles and Blessed, who were born on the ranch in 2012. We love our Forever Herd and have taken great care in raising them as part of our ranch family.
Working by season
Come December, the weather feels like Antantica when the snow arrives, and the strong wind whips it into huge drifts that ofen make parts of the ranch virtually impassable. Except for the weather, it’s generally a quiet season at the ranch.
Work on plowing roads and shoveling walkaways around the houses and other buildings are a common task of the season. However; we also work in some projects like making crafts or sewing blankets that the ranch donates to animal shelters.
Also, we will work on doing maintenance of the ranch equiptment, and other general maintenance of the ranch facilities.
Sometimes the harsh winter has a hard time letting spring take hold. But when the season does change, everything on the ranch needs to be checked. We will start with our annual cleanout of the acequia and get the water flowing again. We will check fences and gates that need to be replaced or repaired.
We know Spring has trully arrived when we start placing flowers and plants out of our greenhouse. We will start prunning,clearing, planting, cultivating and watering. In the mist of the srping tasks, wildlife begins to reappear at the ranch.
Herds of elk, deer, or wild turkey circle the ranch buildings at night. Black bears awaken from the hibernation and sometimes pay a visit, while the ravens start building their nest above the horse mangers, and the geese have returned to the ranch.
We all love summer, perhaps because it’s the one season in the “valley of the winds” when the wind softens to a breeze. The weather can be dry or wet, with the monsoon season usually arriving in July. Tending the gardens, weeding, trimming the forest, and mowing take a great deal of time and effort throughout the summer months. The grass also attracts abundant deer and elk.
During the summer, riding horses would start their trainning and excercise.
As much as we’d like it to be, ranch life is not always a pastoral paradise. Fires are a constant threat troughout the season and we remain alert in case we need to evacuate the animals.
Fall brings the first taste of the apple crop. The rains mostly stop, and the wind begins to howl again. We will harvest the apples and share them bettwen all the staff.
We’ll also start bringing all potted flowers into greenhouse, winterize the garden and plant bulbs for spring. By then the tress have turned color or lost their leaves and the mornings are chilly. We will continue with the forest-thinning project on the mesas. The horses begin to don their winter coats.
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