Monday, January 26, 2015

Visitors from Down Under

We’ve had fog every morning lately and the road has been super slick. I've been sneaking my way to ranch headquarters on foot until today when I thought to strap on the Yaktrax traction grabbers that Anna gave me for Christmas. Voilà! 

We’ve had an affinity for Australia since the Johnston family from New South Wales came to the ranch in 2006. They stayed for 9 months to let their property recover from a stubborn drought. We so enjoyed our time with them and have kept track of them over the years. Because of that, we were especially happy to meet visitors from Queensland that showed up on our doorstep last week.

We knew that Clyde, Anna’s border collie, had sired not one but two puppies who had found their way to Australia with a woman who showed agility dogs. What a long way for a cattle herding dog from Idaho! But we never expected to meet the owners, Brent and Francisca, who while traveling in the U.S. to pick up another dog, decided to come through Idaho to meet Clyde and visit the ranch. Mark's mom Anita, who breeds border collies and had given Anna her puppy Clyde, had been in contact with Francisca through Facebook and arranged for the meeting.

We met in town and had a lovely supper. While we visited, Francisca determined that feeding cows sounded fun. We assured her she was welcome to tag along and arranged to meet them at the ranch first thing next morning. When Francisca stepped out of their car dressed in a stylish head-to-toe black outfit, complete with leather, fur cuffed gloves, I was skeptical. She was a trooper though and cheerfully stepped into an old pair of coveralls and feeding-friendly gloves.

They met Clyde, who was awfully excited to meet someone who was awfully excited to meet him in return! They told us his offspring, Tessa and Boomer, were smaller but similar in several ways to our large, friendly Clyde.

We ferried two trucks over to the main cow herd and Francisca helped Jesse and I feed the large ton bales while Brent took photos. Quite a change from their home in the subtropics just 15 minutes from the beach.

We have visitors to the ranch from time to time and it’s always interesting to get their perspective on our way of life. Some folks aren't too keen on the whole dirty affair, but Francisca . . . well . . . as she put it as we were standing on the feed truck, “I'm in heaven!”


  1. so fun and rewarding when friends are world wide.

  2. OH Thank you Wendy, I certainly was in Heaven :-) Loved every minute and will treasure this special time together. Thank you for the work attire ;-)