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Adventures on the Ranch
Beautiful Fall and BEARS!

----One of the best times of year up here is the fall, when all the leaves are turning color. This year was exceptionally beautiful - all the leaves turned very slowly and everyday you could get a new look, green ones going gold, gold ones going red and red ones going brown…oh ok…well the brown isn't pretty but it happens! We are very lucky where we live because there are lots of aspen trees mixed with pine trees on our property. We have some VERY big aspens - the biggest aspens I have ever seen. They grow in a long row along what used to be a stream - but now because of the drought the stream doesn't run anymore. We also have several cottonwood trees, which are very strange because they are not native trees in this area, we are up to high in the mountains for them to grow naturally. So we believe some of the earlier settlers must have planted them - they are really big old trees, and they too turn beautiful colors every fall. There are also foundation logs around from what used to be settlers homes - so that is pretty neat too.
Anyway, back to the beautiful fall - this was a very unusual year because they turned so slowly and it lasted so long. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go on long trail rides with several dogs running along as well. It is a great relaxing time to just really enjoy the animals and nature and the beautiful trees. But going for mountain trail rides can never be taken for granted! There is real wildlife around here.
-----One time I was out for a ride bringing the mares and other horses in from the big pasture. Our place is made of up meadows and then wooded areas - I was riding up in this one wooded area going to one of the horses watering holes, when all of a sudden I saw a bear cub! It was running towards the woods, close by it was a coyote, which looked used to the cub and not at all concerned. I on the other hand wasn't going to stick around because where there is a cub - there is a momma bear! So I quickly rode up the hill and went around into one of the pastures. By the way I was riding Chip - who is also one of my show mares - and she didn't do anything when we came across the cub, good-natured Chip!
-----Bear or no bear I still had to find the horses so I finally found them in one of the big last meadows and headed them in. They were coming in just fine - but when they got to the draw where I saw the cub - man those horses SPUN and came charging right back at me! I turned Chip in a circle but she didn't even try to charge with them, which is very amazing, usually when a herd of horses is charging other horses want to go with them ( weather your on their back ro not!) Anyway, I circled her and headed back after the horses - this time they were leery of going by the draw so they took another path - but still ended up getting back to the arena. They never saw the bear, but the smell scared them.
----So that was a pretty adventuresome horse gathering! Though, not really one I would like to repeat anytime soon!
----Till next week,
----Leah and everyone at Omega Shepherds

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