Questions and Answers – August 2013 Edition

LightNING and rain passed north and south of us… Here’s hoping for no fire calls!  Let’s get going!


Marilyn: Questions: how do the doggies react during thunder and lightning?
how did you select the name, “Dally”?

Lucas was not scared of lightNING/thunder until I got Elsa.  Elsa, as an Oklahoma dog, was SCARED of thunder and taught him to be spooked.  Now as soon as it rumbles in the distance, he’s by my side.  LightNING is attracted to English Shepherds, donchyaknow… Dally is not near as spooky as her dad, but would rather be inside where it’s SAFE!  Dally, aka Rimrock Rimfire Dally, was named because it seemed a Very Cowboy-ish Name for a Girl.  Dallies are the wraps around your saddle horn that you take when roping… and I just liked the word.  Since I’ve named her that, I’ve met three other Dally dogs!


JimakaButch: It (the storm in my video) seemed to last forever. Did the Nowood rise much as it looks like a tremendous amount of rain was falling up stream?

There was no noticeable rise in the creek, much rain can get soaked up this time of year!


Kay: Carol, Use Cooking oil to remove the paint off of YOU! Much easier and gentler on skin and Hair! works better too!

Wish I’d read this first, Kay, as scrubbing all those little droplets off is hard to do!  I’ll try it when I paint my house…


Karyn: I remember Meadowlark Lodge…

Karyn, do stop in… the new owners are putting lots of hard work into the ski lodge and lake front lodge.  They also own Deer Haven and South Fork Lodge.


Marilyn: There was a two-part special on TV all about the Dust Bowl. Was your family or Vernon’s living in any part of the areas affected, and did you hear any tales about their experiences?

The Dust Bowl was not really a factor here in this part of Wyoming, as far as I know.  My parents came from Oklahoma.  After reading The Worst Hard Time, (affiliate link on the sidebar) which is a fantastic book, I asked my mom some questions about Lake Murray, where I was taken fishing when I was a little girl.  It was named after Governor Murray, a politician with less than favorable reviews in the book!  That was about all we ever discussed.  My dad moved to California when he was in high school with his family, working in the vineyards outside of Bakersfield.  They only stayed there a year or so, returning to Oklahoma.  His time in the “camp” was not very exciting… but was a consequence of the Dust Bowl/no work scenario of the mid 1940’s.


Joy: Now for my question…… How much time do the guys average fighting fires in a summer? And do they do the repairs that keep their fire trucks going?

Average?  Well, they’re pretty much out there as long as the rest of the firefighters, whatever that turns out to be, unless there seems to be enough of the BLM, Forest Service, whatever, crews…  We’re pretty much the first call, first on the scene for anything this way…  We go to fires 20, 30 miles farther south, out in the badlands, up the mountain, and towards town.  Yes, we do maintenance on the trucks, they worked on the pump after this last fire.  We don’t have to buy parts, the fire department does that, and anything too big, of course, gets sent to town…


Darrell: My question this month. How many different vehicles do you have to do all the work on your ranch? I ask, because it seems like it takes a “fleet” when you count the tractors, SUVs, trucks, mini pick-up, Yamaha four wheelers, etc. that you have shown in pictures from time to time. It seems like it would take a herculean effort to keep them all in operating condition, as well.

Oh, we DEFINITELY have a fleet!  😉  Some run better than others, some get used only for a few things (like the BIG TRUCK that hauls grain… although back in the day, it was our “horse trailer” as well!)  You want a number?  hmmm.  A lot!  😉  Twenty???????  The guys are great mechanics… and I’m always amazed at what they figure out.  I am NOT mechanically inclined…


Judy: Are you very satisfied with your Hugelkultur garden project? … I have now heard of a couple of others doing this in a wooded area in Ne.

Judy, it’s still a work in progress.  I’d like to build it up higher with more wood, so I’ve never put the final layer of dirt on it, nor planted anything.  I’m still reading Permaculture (affiliate link on the right sidebar) and getting more ideas.  I’m not done yet!  I “think” I’ve noticed a difference in using wood to hold moisture, though…


Patr: Hay, Hay, Hay! That was very informative…. So if HAY is green grass cut and dried – is straw – dead grass that is cut and bailed dry?

In case you didn’t go back and read the answer given by the South Dakota Cowgirl, straw is what is left from grain harvest… so you can have barley straw or wheat straw or…


Karyn: Wow! Who knew? I was a little confused by the planting of alfalfa with other grains…..the other grains grow faster, so you cut them first? Could you elaborate a bit? What kinds of hay are there? (the most common kinds) and why are some better than others?

Yes.  The oats in the pivot field are growing over alfalfa.  When we harvest the oats, the stubble and the little alfalfa plants are left behind to grow.  I’ll see if I can get you some photos!  As far as kinds of hay… well… alfalfa is very protein rich (favored by dairy farms and beef cattle in cold areas).  Grass hay is preferred by horse people (prone to less dust and mold).  Sudan hay is very rich and sweet (sudan is a sorghum variety… think cane syrup!)  You can make oat hay or peanut hay or whatever grows in your area, I suppose, so long as you can get it dry enough to bale.  If it’s too wet, it can mold, and it can even catch fire if the heat from decomposition gets too intense. (think of the heat in your compost pile)  It just depends on what you can grow locally to meet the needs of your livestock… I’m really not up on hay from the south… anyone want to jump in here?


Sylvia: Did you know the USDA named a barley after Robert because of his research? It is called Burton Barley and is in use…. insect resistant, etc. He had over 125 publications.

I *DID* know that!  Everyone, meet my aunt Sylvia!  I have asked our distributor every year if Burton Barley was available… and so far, he can’t get any!  I’d LOVE to have a bag to hang on my wall!  I mean, how cool would that be?  And to grow something named in my uncle’s honor… OUTSTANDING!  Anyone out there ever planted Burton Barley?????  My dad would have drawn up a Very Cool Logo for it, had he lived to see it!


Thanks, everyone, for a great Q & A!  See you next month!


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