Duck Hunter Willy

Fall means hunting season!

We are a ranching family, and a hunting family. We stand for the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms. We believe in our God given right to hunt for our food.

Willy wanted to go hunting, but we didn’t hunt this year. We were not in need of meat with a freezer full of beef. (Although, I do wish the guys would have gotten some quail this year!) I didn’t want to let my buddy down, so I let him pretend he went duck hunting.

We actually don’t duck hunt. We are big game hunters and prefer to hunt deer or elk; the type of game that fills a freezer for the winter. But, that was a challenge for the photo shoot so, in honor of the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty, Willy became a duck hunter.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I think of those Pilgrims who settled this great land and the Natives who lived here before that. They respected the wildlife and took only what they needed to eat. That tradition has carried down in families like ours through generation upon generation. We respect the wildlife and as ranchers we take great care to manage the land so that our cattle as well as the wildlife who inhabit it have plenty of feed and water.

Until next time, be sure to thank a farmer or rancher. You have no idea how important we are to this great country.

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Aspen Creek Trail

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis

To be in nature is therapy for my weary soul. To hear the breeze blowing through the pines is peaceful and soothing. Willy and I needed this hike – we needed this time in God’s creation to rejuvenate.

We did meet one couple along the trail – Willy never meets a stranger, he loves everyone. But, the rest of the hike was just us and nature. We never did figure out why it is called Aspen Creek – there aren’t any Aspen trees.

We were not alone in the forest, we were surrounded by animal life, we even saw some deer! They were too fast to get a photo, unfortunately. Willy could not understand why I wouldn’t let him chase them.

Willy had a blast exploring along the trail. He tried to get the squirrels to come out of the trees to play, but they opted to stay up at a safe distance.

The golds and reds of the oak leaves were a glorious splash of color against the pines. Willy loved rolling in the leaves and running through them to hear the crunch beneath his paws.

Sometimes we just have to be reminded to slow down. Willy helps me remember that. Without him, I would just keep hiking – pushing myself. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t stop and take breaks, you miss the beauty.

Until next time, be sure to slow it down every once in awhile. Don’t miss the beauty.

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Willy in Black & White

Photo Shoot at the Ranch – Willy in Black & White.

Willy and I decided to show you the ranch headquarters through various filters of black and white photos. Somehow even the most common places became extraordinary.

In front of our cattle pens there are several antique plows. Their rustic, vintage appeal was truly showcased with this nostalgic filter.

Even hanging out on the hay trailer or in the hay barn makes great photos when you use a vintage filter.

This old piece of wooden gate, now just a memory of days gone by made a great backdrop for this photo. I guess you can tell it was a hot day when we did this photo shoot.

I saved Willy’s favorites for last. Willy LOVES watching the cattle. They fascinate him. I love the way this filter brings out the red in Willy’s coat contrasted against the yellow- gray of the grass. Willy is sporting his Fearless Pet Dual-Max collar, a safe, comfortable alternative to other anti-pull training collars.

Willy loves to stand up on the hill above ranch headquarters and look down at the corrals and barn. This my friends, is where Willy lives. Our house is just beyond the barn under the Cottonwood trees.

Willy enjoyed showing you around his stomping grounds and I enjoyed showing you in black and white. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

 

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Happy Halloween

Willy is ready to go Trick or Treating.

From the pint sized Jack-o-lantern to the Willy sized costume, This pup is ready to rock this Halloween. Willy loved dressing up as Bob the Minion. Somehow he felt taller.

I love this costume! He actually looks ROUND, just like the minions! Of course, we had to add a little seasonal decor for the photos. This raven, well, this is as scary and as creepy as it gets in our household. We don’t do scary – we do fun!

And of course, what’s a raven without a scarecrow?

Willy wishes all his friends a safe and fun-filled Halloween. HAPPY HARVEST to everyone!

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Shipping Day on the Ranch

Cowboy is a breed tougher than nails and strong as steed.

We recently shipped our yearling cattle to the auction. We raise black Angus cattle. We run them on leased land in different parts of the state. Some carry our brand, the 7U, and others carry our son Clancy’s brand, the TX. Still others are our son Ty’s and some are my brother-in-law’s cattle, but they all are Goswick cattle. Willy enjoyed being a Cow dog and watching over the herd.

For days the cowboys gathered their cattle, branded the pee wee calves, doctored any that needed doctored and hauled the yearling calves to the ranch headquarters to be weaned off their mamma’s milk. This process is called ” Fall Works” in ranching terms. We kept the weaned yearling calves in the shipping pens at Fain Ranch until the day the truck would arrive to haul them to the sale. These yearlings were very curious to meet Willy.

Willy was thrilled to know that the very next day a big semi truck would be backed up to this cattle ramp and the excitement would begin.

He took it upon himself to sit on point, making sure the cattle stayed where they belonged until the truck arrived.

After a good nights sleep, we were up bright and early on a crisp fall morning. The truck had arrived and the cowboys were horseback. Let the loading begin!

For those of you who don’t know, here is a run down of a typical shipping day. When the time comes to be loaded they are weighed and sorted off in groups according to size and weight. (Each section of the livestock trailer, or cattlepot, holds a certain amount of cattle and the weight of the cattle has to be carefully arranged so that the trailer’s axle weights are balanced.) They are then herded into the lane and up the loading ramp into the trailer.  There are two floors and several pens/compartments within the trailer.

Willy enjoyed every minute. He watched every move the cowboys made and stood by the gate to make sure they didn’t try to escape.

Willy especially enjoyed his vantage point above the lane where he could “oversee” the cattle without being in harms way. It was a great day! It all went smoothly and the cattle were on there way to auction in no time at all.

Until next time, Long live cowboys!

“There’s a hundred years of history and a hundred before that; all gathered in the thinkin’ goin’ on beneath that hat.” – Baxter Black

 

 

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Randomly Willy

Sometimes you just have to be random

Willy and I decided that we needed to just go walking and let the path take us wherever it led, taking random photos of places we thought were interesting along the way. This is what we found. A historic Ford pickup was an AWESOME photo. I even played with some filters.

We found an intriguing tree that Willy especially enjoyed posing in. It was like a picture frame and Willy was the portrait within!

Now, Willy is a happy dog 99% of the time and his tongue hanging out is just an expression of his happiness oozing out. I swear, he has the longest tongue ever!

Willy is at his happiest whenever he is with me. He and I are a team. We love to go out and explore together. It feels amazing to be out in the fresh air, out in the country, enjoying God’s magnificent creation.

Until next time, dare to explore new places, beyond the boundaries of your everyday routine.

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Another Local Dog Friendly Discovery!

Willy and I recommend the newly opened Rafter Eleven Coffee & Wine bar.

They have a beautiful Dog-friendly patio where you can sit and enjoy a cup of specialty coffee with a scone or a glass of wine. They are located in Prescott Valley, Arizona in the Entertainment District, right next to Buffalo Wild Wings.

They  have a good selection of coffees, lattes, wines and scones on their menu and the atmosphere is quaint and inviting.

I had a Chai Latte and a Chocolate chip scone. Oh my goodness!! Delicious!

Willy enjoyed the one on one time with me, it has been hectic around the ranch as of late. This was a welcome reprieve. Willy thought so too.

He even got to get his photo taken with the owner of the establishment, Dawn Wasowicz. She loves Willy and enjoyed his visit! Now, to be completely honest, we know Dawn quite well. Her and her husband, Jeff, have a Jack Russell from our very first litter. Also, my husband manages the Fain Ranch, whose brand is the Rafter Eleven. That is not merely a coincidence, Dawn’s maiden name was Fain, and it is her family’s ranch. Although I know the owner, this review is completely honest and without bias.

I have not been inside the store yet, since city ordinances only allow dogs on the patio. However, they also carry a wide selection of  wines, specialty olive oils, Balsamic vinegar and spices. I plan on a trip to do some serious shopping for oils, spices and quite possible a bottle or two of wine before all my holiday company arrives.

The Fall weather is beautiful here, a perfect time of year to visit and see for yourself just how quaint Rafter Eleven Coffee & Wine bar is. The patio is open and the wine is rolling in!

 

 

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Call Me Big Red

Have you ever watched a movie and wanted to be one of the characters?

I remember as a child watching movies and then pretending that I was whichever character or animal inspired me from that particular flick. Willy watched the Disney movie, Secretariat, and got inspired. He thinks he looks like him, what do you think?

Well, because Willy knows just how to sweet talk me into things, I ordered him this fun little costume so that he could act out his imagination. He was so proud of it.

He was even excited that the jockey wore checkered silks. No, they are not quite the same color of blue as Ron Turcotte wore, but Willy was still thrilled.

Willy was the famous Secretariat for the day. He preferred to be called Big Red.

I even recorded a couple of videos so that Willy could show you how great he looked racing across the yard, carrying his trusty jockey safely on his back.

OFF TO THE RACES!

“Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make it leap like a locust, striking terror with its proud snorting? It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength, and charges into the fray. It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; it does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against its side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground; it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’ It catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry.” Job 39: 19-25

AND HE’S OFF!

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Goodbye Summer … Hello Fall

Seasons come and seasons go.

The temperatures are cooling off here in Central Arizona; Fall is in the air. Summer is over; another chapter is closed. We had a great summer with so many wonderful adventures and memories. We enjoyed sharing them with you.

We went on several different hikes together and discovered some beautiful places to explore locally.

We also went on some trips away from home and visited some gorgeous places along the way. I hope you enjoyed following our summer adventures as much as we enjoyed sharing them with you. Now … bring on the new season … Hello Fall!

 

 

 

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Aspiring Artists

It was a beautiful day to be creative!

Willy and his friends, Sadie and Jessi, were feeling inspired, or rather, I was feeling inspired and they played along.  They weren’t too crazy about my idea at first but were great sports and we had a lot of fun.

Sadie did not really like the feel of paint between her toes the first time. But once she got to run across the fabric, the sheet, the lawn and the sidewalk – spreading color everywhere she went – she felt better.

Willy watched very closely to the whole process before it was his turn. He was not sure what was happening and not real sure he wanted a turn. Of course, the paint that we used was non-toxic child friendly paint. Some of the colors were even glow in the dark!

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Jessica joined in the fun too! Although at first she was unsure, Jessi was the biggest contributor to the painted lawn. She had way more fun running through the paint and then adding bright colors to the grass.

Finally it was Willy’s turn! He did not mind the feeling of the paint between his toes. I think he kind of liked it! Willy, the creative genius that he is, was totally into the project.

Willy got his creative juices flowing, making sure the masterpiece flowed. You will remember, he painted his very own acrylic painting, so he has a real flare for art.

He put on the finishing touches all by himself!

And not only is the finished project a beautiful masterpiece, but it is practical as well.

Of course, after Willy and his friends ran around the yard, leaving pretty little splashes of color everywhere they went, they got much needed baths!

Sometimes, you just have to let loose; let your creative self explode! Just ask Willy.

 

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