Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bringing in the herd

I have a confession to make – there's something I haven't told you in all these many posts. I suffer from a chronic condition called punctual-osis, and there is no cure. No matter what the event, how far away it may be, or what the weather, I will arrive on time. Not a few minutes early, not a few minutes late, but ON time. Even if I try to be fashionably late, the fates will intervene and I will be there EXACTLY on time. It's a disease that I've learned to live with.

All of which is to say I arrived at the Carrizozo Cowboy Days round-up on time and was the first truck in the parking lot because, of course, everybody else hit their snooze alarm a few times.

Which was just fine with me because my Chevy got to size up the Dodge that parked next to her and try out her best pick-up lines.

And I had plenty of time to survey the scene and select the best vantage point for the arrival of the cowboys and the herd.

I'm guessing that about 150 cow/calf pairs were rounded up that morning. The cowboys worked slowly and quietly to move the herd into the catch pens. This cowboy was whistling ever so softly to keep the herd moving.

The crew tightened its circle around the herd and patiently waited while all the moms and their babies funneled through the gate. The youngest cowboy in the outfit stood out not only for his youth, but for his fashion sense.

The ranch horses were as quiet and handsome as the cowboys. They'd all been there and done that many times before, lived to tell about it, and had the scars to prove it.

What I will remember most about the round-up are the sounds and the biscuits and gravy. And the handsome cowboys. I can't begin to describe the symphony of moos. It was a loud and constant roar as the moms and babies called out until they found each other.

The round-up was held at the Spencer family's Bar W Ranch just north of Carrizozo. The current generation of Spencers is headed up by this cowboy. It was truly an honor to watch him work and lead his crew.  

Carrizozo's Cowboy Days are a celebration of cowboy culture, and I don't think you could find a better example of the breed.

Tomorrow, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street.


  1. What amazing pictures! I am in total awww! Seriously! I was lovin' every minute of it! And I am so thankful that you arrive ON TIME! Absolutely beautiful!!

  2. Great shots! I love the weathered tack and faces.

  3. Hey Carson: Thanks for sharing. I too suffer from the same disease punctual-osis. My friends hate me for it (they're always late). Fashionably late is not how I make my fashion statement. I refer to the kid with the red shirt and boots and how he would really make heads turn at a party.
    By the way did you wear your New York cowgirl boots and your hat with the snake skin band. You can't beat that for a fashion statement.
    Love your blog. Best always, Sandra

  4. What a great way to spend a morning. Good looking horses and cowboys, doesn't get any better than that.

  5. Kansascity city girl6/16/09, 6:49 AM

    Love the photos! Love your blog! I suffer from early-osis, It's a form of the same disease you suffer from!!

  6. Beautiful shots! Cowboy living is a true cultural heritage! And the calves are just so cute.... Too bad they're destined for the cooker!

  7. The American Cowboy is sadly becoming extinct. The herd you have honored in these pictures (cowboys that is) is a fine example of truly tough men.

  8. Okay, that's IT! I want a cowboy.

    (Did I say that out loud....?)

    I was just thinking the other day, that there is nothing more attractive than a man who can gentle an animal. There's something about the confidence that demonstrates and the true strength it shows. *sigh*

    BTW...that was a very bad joke about the pick-ups....



  9. These photos just make my cowgirl heart sing.......you truly have a gift, Linda

    BTW, can you please send me the cowboy with the blue plaid shirt and the tan vest? Thanks !!


  10. REAL men and REAL horses! Love it! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and story. :)

  11. Great pictures...the faces were fine, but the back sides in jeans was the finest moment...just sayin'!

  12. great pictures! Sounds like a fun day!

    I suffer from the same thing I am always on time!

  13. There is something incredible about a "real" working horse, but even the cowboys could do better than tie a horse up by its reins. Give 'em a break already.

  14. My Lord! What beautiful photos! My Dad would have loved to be an event like that. His favorite thing to talk about was the last round up he was able to ride in before the cancer got really bad.

    I hope you are trying to sell the photos you take somehow because they are amazing! And the writing that accompanies them is wonderful too. Magazines? Greeting cards? Coffee table book of photos?

  15. Gorgeous pictures, as always! I was waiting to see this. I love to watch cattle and cowboys come in. Makes for excellent photos :)
    More, please.

  16. My, my...
    What nice thighs on those animals.

    The cows, too.

  17. That's a cute pick-up "pick up" photo!

    Whoo, boy, you did get there early, well, on time, but anyway!

    Love the morning roundup photos!

  18. I have the opposite problem as you. I must, obsessively, arrive around 10 minutes LATE to everything! ;)
    great pics. I noticed the small details...like a few horses were in hackamores and one was in a bitless bridle? Interesting. You really caught the "flavor" of the event on film. Would've liked to have seen the biscuits, LOL!

  19. Oh dear...I am the polar opposite of you, too. No matter how hard I try, no matter how early I get up or how great my intentions...I am perpetually, chronically late. It's horrible. Share your secret with ME, please!

    I loved this post. The story was so short, yet the power of it was so strong with your pictures...loved the young man with the strong fashion sense. lol