Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We Are So Tired of Laboring BBQ at the Open A Bar 2 Ranch

Dan the Man and the Country Chicken Girl are so tired of laboring that they have decided to take a day off and have a BBQ on Sunday, September 4th at 6 pm. Please accept this post as our invitation.

We will furnish the hamburgers (Open A Bar 2 Ranch all-natural beef, of course), smoked chicken (once again, Open A Bar 2 Ranch pastured poultry) and something to drink. You bring a side dish, dessert or whatever else you would like to eat. You also might want to bring some lawn chairs if you have them.

If we are really having a good time enjoying each others company, perhaps we'll have a bonfire and roast some marshmallows and make smores!

PLEASE RSVP by Saturday night so we know how many hamburgers to grill.

PS, if you are a dear friend, please don't wait for me to call you and invite you. I don't have time since we are taking time off. This is it... this is the only invitation you will received. Don't wait for one to show up on your doorstep upon a silver platter. It ain't going to happen. That is all.

Hope to see you there.

(Not so) Fine Print: Please do not plan on coming if you are some wack-o we really don't know or are an escaped prison convict. Sorry to set such stipulations, but in today's world, you never know!

Dan the Man and I had a good time with the picture for the BBQ! Here are some of the other shots.

One of my friends on Facebook suggested that I blow this
one up real big and hang it in our living room.

hmmm, I might just do that!

Or what a perfect Christmas gift for our children.
They can each have one to hang in their homes,
well, Skyler isn't moved out yet, but it would look nice in his bedroom
and I would let him take it when he leaves.

Another friend commented that she loved the fact
that Dan the Man was willing to go along with my antics
and pose for this picture.
I told her Dan the Man normally doesn't want to have anything
to do with my crazy ideas, but for some reason he didn't
complain or hesitate about this picture.
He must be getting "soft" in his old age.

The end.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bee Flies and Dragonflies, Oh My!

Two things that we have had swarming around this summer are Bee Flies and Dragonflies. I am fortunate enough to have a friend who is an Entomologist, Dr. Jeff Bradshaw, aka known as the Bugman by his adoring wife, Katie Bradshaw of SCB Citizen. When ever I have an insect question, all I have to do is post a question on Facebook and Bugman comes to my rescue with his knowledge! And free of charge!

So anyway...

We've had tons of these little bee flies around here and Bugman so kindly provided me with this information: "They are Bombiliidae. Also know as a bee fly. As larvae they feed on grasshopper eggs. You have a lot of bee flies because you have a lot of grasshoppers."

Aren't they cute?

Oh, and do yourself a favor and click on each picture to view a full screen shot of the photo. Hit your browsers back button to return to the blog.

And Bugman also filled me in about the dragonflies. See his blog post. Click here. According to Dr. Bugman,
The last couple years, there has been more rain than the 10-year average in the panhandle of Nebraska. Due to an increase in habitat and food, dragonflies have done well. In fact, they have done so well that some people are actually concerned about their large numbers. However, what some people do not realize is that dragonflies are predacious. Fortunately, they feed on pest insects that also benefit from all of the rain that we have had, such as, mosquitoes and biting flies. They scoop them out of the air with the long setae that coat their legs. So, you see, it's a natural phenomenon and could be considered a balanced ecosystem process that benefits us greatly through the reduction of disease vectors -- dragonflies provide ecosystem services.

Who knew?? Dr. Bugman knew, that's who!

Love the sparkles on the wings!

The End.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cows at Summer Camp

It's kind of quiet around here now that most of our cow herd has been moved to their summer pasture. We don't have enough grass here at our ranch to pasture all of our cattle for the entire summer, so we lease some ground down by the North Platte River south of Mitchell from some friends of ours. The area is part of the Bay State Ranch. I have tried to so some research on the ranch, as it is one of the earlier ranches established along the North Platte River, but alas, my time is limited and the chickens are calling to be fed, so that history bit will have to be another time.

Anyway, I thought I would continue with my "pictures from this summer" and post these. I took these one day (July 28th) when we were down there checking on the cattle. They seemed happy and are enjoying their time away at "summer camp." Too bad they don't need a camp counselor down there or else I would volunteer for the job. Would be kind-of fun to be a summer camp cowboy, er... cowgirl that is! You know some cattle outfits do indeed have cowboys that go to remote locations with the cattle and stay with them all summer long. Their only duty is to make sure the herd is safe, is where they are suppose to be and to make sure the fences are all in order.

These remote locations are referred to as cow camps. Some cowboys rough-it in a tent, while others have actual little cabins to stay in. When I live in Winter Park, CO, I knew of one such cowboy who spent his summers at cow camp. I was always very envious of that job. Would probably get a little lonely, but what a nice vacation!

Anyway... on to the pictures.

IMPORTANT: For your full enjoyment of the pictures, please click on them to see a full screen view of the photo, then click on your browser's "back" button to return to the blog.

Cows gathering at one of the waterholes with
Scotts Bluff National Monument in the background.

View of SBMN in the background with grass in the foreground.
Unfortunately, the cows do not like this type of grass, it is abundant
out there. I love the color of it and the wispy-ness of the seed heads.
Does anyone know what kind of grass this is?

Mom and baby.
Well, actually this is not this mother cow's baby.
You can tell from the ear tag number.
The top number on the tag is the calf's mother's number,
so in this case, her (purple tag = girl, blue tag = boy) mother is #756
and the mother cow behind her is #735.

Stinkin' cute!
Love how when they are young, they have those dark circles around
their eyes and noses. As they grow older, they will turn mostly black.

Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Landmark along the the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail.
People who move away from here, miss this
beautiful bluff once they are gone!

Black and White of the Monument.

The pastures are abundant with birds.
This one is an Avocet.
Found out that bit of information when I posted this picture
on Facebook and asked if anyone knew what kind of bird it was.
I had an answer within a couple of hours!

Notice his unique upturned bill?

Click here for more information on the Avocet.

Oh, and of course the pasture is teeming with dragonflies!

Awww, so precious, at least in my own humble opinion.

THE end.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Western Nebraska Storms and Sky

In my last post I told you that I would post some pictures from this summer that I have not previously shared. When trying to decide which ones to post, I realized that there were just too many to jam all in one post, so I've decided to split them up into several small posts.

This first one features a few pictures of various storm clouds that I caught with my camera. One thing that I absolutely LOVE about Western Nebraska is the sky. Montana is know as the Big Sky Country, but I think that Nebraska has a BIGGER sky! How could you ever tire of gazing upon beauty like this on a daily occurrence?

This first group of photos were taken on a stretch of barren highway between our ranch and LaGrange, Wyoming. We travel this road whenever we go to Cheyenne. Part of the pictures were taken on Stegall Road and part on HWY 85 east of LaGrange, for those of you how are not familiar with the area, you can Google it!

Oh and please click on each picture to see a full screen view of the photo. They are so much more enjoyable if you do!

Big storm cell.

Love these bluffs that are along Stegall Road.
Wish I could find a map that told me more about them.
I believe that these bluffs are considered part of the Wildcat Hills.

Love the faint rainbow color thing in this picture!

Oh and by the way...
all three of these pictures were taken with me holding the
camera out the pickup window going 65 mph.
Not bad, heh?

I remember this evening back in June.
The clouds in the west were so incredibly pink and orange.
Photo taken at 8:23 pm.

Love this picture!
Jet streams intersecting.

Panoramic view of sunrise.

Well, that's it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Checkin' In!

Just thought I'd check in, just in case you might have thought that I was no longer blogging any more, especially after my last post.

Well, I am happy to report that Dan the Man still has not read that post, so our secret about the bandaid on the waistband is still safe. Hee, hee. And I still have not heard him mention once the bandaid or the possibility of needing new underwear. And I still have not bought him any either. I'm going shopping with my sister tomorrow, so perhaps I shall pickup some tomorrow for him.

I can not believe how busy this summer has been. I am so sad that my blog has suffered so. I can not wait for the end of the chicken season to come. I still have to blog about the storm that hit us July 2nd.

But for now, I have a few random thoughts and events to share with you...

Last night one of the cats brought into the house (through the dog door) a rabbit. Not sure if the rabbit was dead when the cat brought it in, I was sleeping. So this morning when I awoke, I found a dead rabbit with its head chewed off, laying next to the body in my living room. Nice. Not. Don't worry I didn't take a picture of it.

Speaking of pictures... I have taken a few nice ones this summer that I don't think I've shared yet. I share them on Facebook and forget that not all of you are on Facebook. So for those of you who are not on Facebook, here you go. Just random, no order or theme...

Actually... I think I will post the pictures in a separate post later today. I really should be doing chores now, now playing on the computer. So, later my friends! Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You Might Just Be a Redneck if...

I don't know, there are so many fitting titles to this post I just can't choose!

You Might Just Be a Redneck if...

You Might Have Overly Sensitive Skin if...

You Might Need New Underwear if...

You Might Just Kill Your Wife After You Read This Post...

You can let me know which one you think I should use after reading this post.

Okay, here is how the story starts...

One day the Country Chicken Girl was busy folding laundry, nothing new, she has done this for most of her life... la, dee, la, dee, dah... boring, some mundane task...

When all of the sudden she stumbles upon something particularly strange in the laundry basket...

a band-aid stuck on a pair of Dan the Man's underwear.

Band-aid stuck to the underwear.

"Hmmm.... that's odd, I don't remember anyone requiring a band-aid this week" thinks the County Chicken Girl to herself.

She was thinking that somehow the band-aid ended up in the dirty clothes, just like how kleenex or movie tickets and sometimes even money end up in the laundry. Surely you all that do the laundry know what I am talking about.

As she started to peel the band-aid off Dan the Man's underwear, she began to contemplate the location of the band-aid and noticed how it was "too" perfectly placed on the waistband of the underwear. Placed just so delicately as to cover the part where the tag usually is.

Now mind you this was no ordinary "plastic or vinyl type" band-aid, it was one of those soft, fabric type ones.

As she was removing the band-aid, she noticed that the tag of the underwear was also missing and the seam on the waistband was coming undone.

Now being married to Dan the Man for 15 years, the Country Chicken Girl feels like she knows him inside and out. She chuckles to herself because she realizes that the band-aid had indeed been strategically placed on the waistband of the underwear by none other than Dan the Man.

You see, Dan the Man has extremely sensitive skin and can not stand any tags that touch his body. Apparently even the ones in his underwear! And being the ingenious man that Dan is, his solution to the problem was the band-aid.

See how the band-aid was strategically placed over the seam that was coming apart?

The Country Chicken Girls continues to chuckle to herself and decides to place the band-aid back in it's location, folds the underwear and puts them away (but not before taking a picture of them, this was too good of a blog post to pass up!). The Country Chicken Girl continues with the folding of the laundry all the while wondering if Dan the Man was going to say something about that pair of underwear. She also contemplated over writing a blog post about the discovery or to not post anything.

She finally decided that it was much too funny not to post about. People need a little giggle every once in a while and surely Dan the Man won't mind. Or will he? She figures she is safe for several days... maybe several weeks since Dan the Man is so busy and has not been reading her blog. She also wonders why Dan the Man didn't just throw away the underwear? and will he wear them again when he comes upon them in his drawer?

I think I will buy my man Dan some new underwear next time I am at the store!

The End.