Had a bit of an intruder situation during the overnight. The motion security lights were on. Will and Jas were barking, alerting on someone or something outside. I knew it wasn’t an animal because they don’t go from window to window with a flashlight. I grabbed my jeans, jacket and shoes. I killed the security lights. I loaded my handgun. I slipped out through the doors on the back deck. Once on the ground, I released the safety. Whoever was skulking about came to the wrong house.

It didn’t take long for me to catch the intruders, two 17 year old boys. I had them lay face down on the ground and not say a single word. I added a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson round makes a terribly large hole. I called 911 and asked if they could send some deputies out, saying I caught two intruders. Both are juveniles.

Forty-five minutes later, four deputies arrived. One of the boys was the son of a senior deputy, who was on this call. The other, his bud, who quit going to school a year ago. The deputy told his son to shut up when the boy tried to explain why he didn’t do anything wrong.

I signed a criminal trespass complaint.

The senior deputy apologized for his son’s actions. I told him he didn’t need to apologize. His boy is old enough to be responsible for his own actions. He needs to understand it could’ve ended very badly.

When I was talking with Amanda, over a late lunch, today, she said those two boys have been nothing but trouble. “They were lucky you didn’t put them down.” She had caught them once trying to break into her barn. Another time, trying to break into her beat-up F-100 truck. A third time, they were more threatening when she was alone on the range. Amanda had to pull her handgun out. She didn’t point it at them, but they did back off. Amanda signed a criminal complaint each time.

We’ll see what happens next.

A Winter Sunrise

The blizzard quietly crept away in the dark, replaced by a thick blanket of fog, which in turn was slowly pulled back. Revealed in the early morning light, the winter white left in its wake.

sunrise over the winterscape (North Ranch, Mon March 15 2021)

Much of Monday was devoted to clearing away snow, clearing away a few drifts. They were mostly in the 2-3 foot range. A few were higher.

It seems our jump into the next ice age was only temporary.

Time Shifting

Making the change from standard time to daylight time. Either we advanced one hour, or we made the jump to the next ice age.

A lull in the blizzard conditions this morning. Wind at 35 with gusts to 60. Temperature 30°F, wind chill 2°F. A few minutes later, the heavy snow picked up again, making for a blinding snow storm. The black on the road surface is not asphalt, but rather a sheet of ice overlaying gravel. Conditions haven’t changed much since.

Winter Storm

Low clouds, intermittent fog, and intermittent freezing drizzle were the prevailing conditions for much of Friday. All ahead of a winter storm forecasted to bring heavy snow to the Colorado Front Range.

brief appearance of sun at midday Friday (JN Ranch, March 12 2021)

The forecast models, at the start of the week, suggested snowfall amounts measured in feet. By midweek, those projections were pared back into the 10-24 inch range. At week’s end, the snowfall projections were reduced slightly but largely stayed the same. The private AccuWeather® forecast for JN Ranch indicated a snowfall potential in the 10-16 inch range, with temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s. Icing conditions are expected before the snow begins in earnest.

Preparing for the storm, this week, has been a priority. The JN Ranch, in the middle of calving season, they’ve been moving their cattle to more protected areas of their winter range. Mothers who have not given birth are moved closer to the ranch complex. While bitter cold is not expected, the heavy snowfall potential for most of today, and the potential for blizzard conditions from late tonight through early Monday morning pose the greatest risk to calves. If they become too wet, the shiver effect can become more serious than bitter cold.

At North Ranch, we are substantially less affected by the winter storm. The horses will stay indoors for the duration of the storm. Our preparations involve topping the feedstock supplies in the horse barn. After the storm, it is snow removal from two, close-in paddocks. Removing the snow minimizes the amount of ice and mud on the ground. Both pose the greatest footing hazard for horses.

How cold it will become after the storm will depend how much snow we receive. The coming week is forecasted to be much colder, with daytime temperatures in the upper 30s and the overnights in the lower 20s.

North Ranch: Winter Views

It is the first substantial snowfall of the winter season. The snow began falling, in earnest, at mid-afternoon on Monday. With periods of heavy snow, we easily received three inches given in the forecast. It snowed most of the day on Tuesday, adding another 3-4 inches. During the overnight, mostly light snow and a dense fog. And, very cold temperatures in the single digits above zero.

a view of the woods in winter colors (North Ranch, Jan 26 2021)


a late afternoon view of the woods with a dense, freezing fog rolling in (North Ranch, Jan 26 2021)

Today will be a mostly cloudy day with the possibility of light snow. With the temps reaching into the upper 20s.

A fire in the hearth. Coffee, hot cocoa and cookies. It is a day to stay inside.