Posts tagged ‘neighbors’

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What a blessing to like, nay, love where you live. Even now, 10 years in to ranching this patch of Arizona,  we will come across what is to us a new hollow or corner.

 Currently we are working on replacing a fence in Cochise Stronghold.  Dear husband and a neighbor  hiked up to it, four hours one way, and said this ain’t happening with horses! “Found” a meadow of sorts in a saddle up top and that portion of the fence is up.

Visted our neighbors to discuss possible  trails from their side. There  may be one you can take horses up, pack materials,  and get close to the portion we’re replacing. Noone has been up there in at least 3 years and the fences haven’t been touched in decades. 

Sometimes another’s perspective helps us appreciate what we have and see things with fresh vision. A dear friend who dropped by went with me to discuss trails. She remarked on how fun and interesting it was to hear the discussion with folks using place names and really knowing their country. “Would it be better to go up Lost Canyon? “”No, you’d be better going up that way and then taking South Fork”. You won’t find those names on a map anywhere but the folks who’ve ridden, hiked, and live it know exactly where they are. (And no I dont, just a general idea as it’s not our ranch). As my friend remarked, the map, their map is in their head. 

It is a joy to know this land, and yet be daily discovering new things, new nooks and crannies. To know and enjoy the seasons changing, subtle as they may be in the desert. 

As public land ranchers, we work to produce food on land that would otherwise be scenic but unproductive, keep the land and water for wildlife, and come, over years and years, to truly know and love our corner.

Because it’s publuc land, potentially the leases could be lost and all our hard work be for “naught”, yet we do it…because it’s home.

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Fire on the Mountain

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Excitement for our week – a “natural ignition” fire on a neighbors ranch and in one of our pastures. I was in town and a friend alerted me to smoke. I sent Emily and Daniel out to see where it was. Once they called me back and said it was close to the ranch but not too bad, I told them stick around since our neighbor  Miss Kay wasn’t home just in case they needed to put a sprinkler on her roof.

Conflicting thoughts ran through my head.

First and foremost, safety for our neighbors.  The windmill to the far left is ours, windmill in the background one of our neighbors. Three families live off the grid in our pasture.  ( Tip – if you live rural, particularly off grid make sure you have water storage and good water pressure! Also check with the local fire departments to see what kind of valve their hoses hook up to and consider installing one on your storage tank)

One of the cabins and a poly plastic storage tank did burn. Emily and Daniel did hang around and end up soaking her wood pile, rescuing kittens and a milk goat, another neighbors dog, and generally helping other neighbors evacuate.

So proud of them doing exactly what was needed and being the kind of neighbors we should be in rural areas.  We are sure sorry for Kay’s lost guest house. Returned the animals this morning.

Secondly I’m frustrated that once the houses were saved and the fire affecting them contained, all of the fire was put out. We really could have used a burn on the forest service hills and mountains behind the houses. The longer they don’t have some smaller, controlled burns the more catastrophic a fire will be, much like what is happening in Oregon.

Fire – scary, exciting, destructive, renewing and ultimately not in our control. Thankful for the Lord’s provision even when we don’t always understand it or see it.