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This is Page 59.

See some past weeks' photos below.

See an index of all past weeks' photos here.

See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.


We welcome your pictures. We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We're looking for vintage photos and contemporary photos: family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.

Each week, we'll post selected photos from those received. We'll also share some photos posted previously elsewhere at CowboyPoetry.com.


Send your photo.

 Email us for information about sending it to us.



If you enjoy this feature, you may also be interested in our 
Western Memories Project, the personal recollections— many with photos— contributed by BAR-D visitors.  Your stories and photos are welcome.



We welcome your photos.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.

previous  photos

index of all photos

September 28, 2009

Montana singer and songwriter Stephanie Davis reports on the happenings at her Trail's End Ranch with periodic Ranch News postings at her web site, www.stephaniedavis.net. The entries are filled with characters (both human and animal), history, cowboy philosophy, humor, and her always-interesting observations.

We excerpt that news now and then for Picture the West. Here are some recent entries from her look back at Summer, 2009:

Summer has flown by here at Trail’s End. It was a wonderfully cool, green summer—neither fan nor air conditioner even once put into use—a summer filled with adventures, crises, and surprises at every turn.

Here is a rundown of a few of the highlights:


One June morning, as Tillie was bounding through some heavy brush just yards from the house, she let out a pitiful cry and then hobbled back to the yard. Judging by the multiple fang marks on her hind feet and legs, she must have surprised (there were no warning rattles) at least two, possibly three rattlers emerging from their den.

After an adrenaline-fueled (mine) trip to the vet’s she spent several days in the house, hiding under the bed and licking her bruised, swollen and now-hairless legs. Gradually she began painfully inching herself across the floor to her water dish. Horrible as it must have been for her, the whole experience was surely harder on me, my friend and ranch manager, Rick, and the other dogs, Ted and Belle.

Tillie’s nickname is “The Black Bullet.” Most days she can be found zipping around the ranch, herding and directing everything from cows to hawks, and especially Ted and Belle. They hardly scratch their fleas without her permission, and all of us felt downright lost without her saucy, bossy presence. The glorious morning she finally resumed her characteristic swivel-headed Linda-Blair-in-the-Exorcist “THIS IS MY FOOD BOWL” growl, followed by repeated majorette-like tossings of her favorite stuffed rabbit in front of Ted, daring him to even glance at it, Rick and I high-fived each other and shouted simultaneously, “She’s baaaaaaaack!”

 Interesting side note: the vet says it is actually rare for dogs to die of snakebites, and he has only lost one dog to them in 23 years—a miniature dachshund that was bitten multiple times on the tongue. Of course, I was about to ask exactly HOW a miniature dachshund manages to get bitten numerous times on the tongue, but just then the vet was paged on an emergency. Just as well--I get enough fodder for nightmares around here as it is.


This summer the old '70s-yellow spare refrigerator in the garage began making a pitiful, rhythmic wheezing sound. Apparently it is saying something in “mourning dove,” because for weeks, night and day, a lone dove has been faithfully cooing in response. Their “relationship” is such a perfect combination of pathos, comedy, tragedy, and unrequited love, that I am thinking of writing an opera…possible titles: “My ‘Daire Lady”… “Freon Giovanni” …”Le Fridgerables”… I may even use artistic license and change the dove to a pigeon, so as to present (drum roll:) “The Pidge and The Fridge.”

But seriously, I AM considering unplugging the fridge long to encourage the poor dove to assume the worst, take his lumps, and fly south for the winter, lest I end up nursing a lovesick dove AND a wheezing fridge through the winter. However, the weighty responsibility of breaking a heart, even a seriously deluded one, has so far stayed my hand. On the other hand, wouldn’t a little up-front pain be preferable to a lifetime of denial? Should I just mind my own business and let nature take its course? What would Dr. Phil say? Stay tuned.


August: It was a banner chokecherry year here at the ranch—glistening purplish-black berries dangling like clusters of jewels from the countless chokecherry bushes lining the creeks and roads. Over a weeklong period during the early evenings, I managed to pick eight gallons of berries before the birds and the dogs beat me to them. Yes, dogs.

The lower branches on these expeditions were virtually stripped bare by my three Australian shepherds. This is both puzzling and disturbing; puzzling, as raw chokecherries are downright bitter (thus, the “choke” part of their name) to the human tongue, yet the dogs, especially Ted, gobble them as if they were coated in bacon grease; disturbing, as Ted sleeps by my bed at night, and the audible and highly pungent results of his gluttony whipped me, suddenly wide awake and gasping, into a sitting position more times than I care to remember. Smelling salts have nothing on Ted Davis.

Chokecherry syrup...great on everything from pancakes to ice cream....


—Cows can all but pole vault over cattle guards. This is especially true if they happen to be casually standing beside one when a runner and her dog (who shall remain nameless) round a corner and the dog barks, even once. Odds of this happening go up considerably when the cows belong to a neighbor, the neighbor is out of town, a storm is rolling in, and the runner has company coming for a dinner she has yet to begin cooking.

—If panicked cows have a choice between trotting harmlessly down the county road for a few feet and stopping, or making a ninety degree turn, tearing out a new section of fence, and scattering over several sections, they will choose the latter.

—When gathering panicked cows in an oncoming storm, one should not rely heavily on a dog that beelines to the house at the first clap of thunder, even if said dog is the primary reason the panicked cows need gathering in the first place.

—When gathering panicked cows in a downpour, one might think twice before shaking out a rain slicker while astride the new bargain sale barn horse, “Corky," now known to be short for "Corkscrew."

—Panicked cows in a downpour develop amnesia concerning:  a.) where they have lived for the past ten years;  b.) the fact that they are herd animals who, in a stressful situation, are supposed to band together;  and c.) how to walk through a gate, even though the gate adjoins the same cattle guard they pole vaulted over several hours earlier.

—Frozen pizza is a perfectly acceptable meal when the friends are real, the stories are good, and the cook is cold, wet, and exhausted.

Stephanie Davis contributed previous ranch news:


  A June, 2009 installment of Ranch News from Trail's End


photo by Clark Marten

Read more about Stephanie Davis in our feature here.

Read more Ranch News here at Stephanie Davis' web site.



   Share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.




















Tell us your stories!  If you have a photo to share, email us.

See an index of all past photos here.








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