Seasons at the Ranch

Bitterroot Ranch 011It is hard to describe a typical week at the ranch because each has its own character, often depending upon the season. In late May and early June the land is springing to life with new green leaves on the trees and phlox and larkspur coloring the sagebrush plains. The elk are calving on the Game and Fish land above the ranch, the bears are active and we sometimes encounter wild horses that have wandered in from the Indian Reservation. When we ride into the National Forest we often find ourselves avoiding snow banks on the trail.

IMG_0992Later in June bright pink bitterroot flowers carpet the hillsides, the mares are foaling and arrowleaf balsamroot provide a vivid splash of yellow as you climb into the forest. July brings more riding in the mountains as we check on our cattle grazing on the forest allotment. The mountain streams run cold and crystal clear to the delight of fishermen.

Ranch from Hadley,Rainie Fall ColorsDuring August we continue to monitor the cows who are vulnerable to wolf and grizzly bear predation. This is the best month to run pack trips for the high passes are finally clear of snow. As August draws to a close the nights are getting colder and the first fall colors appear. In September the aspen turn orange and gold, the skies are a clear blue, the air is crisp and the first snow storms swirl through. We bring the cattle out of the forest, the guests leave and preparations are made for the long winter ahead.