The Piñata Tree

I guess when you live in a place where time stands still – and I hear it does that, for the guests – then, by a law of nature, it has to speed up for the rest of us, right?? Because for me, it sure flies – I can hardly believe that round up is over, the calves are with their moms on the Flats east of the headquarters, and even the six pairs, whose calves were too tiny to move last week, are safely out of the mountains. The last pair was a cow with a calf that had just been born as I rode up on them – he was still wet, though he was already on his feet, but obviously in no shape to travel, so I left them there. I remember her number was 612 – funny how some things stick in your mind. I found them by the fence separating the East Noonan from the West Noonan, by the creek bed at the bottom of a pretty, steep little canyon. I had never actually been in that particular spot before, if you can believe that, after more than twenty years of riding this country – and, as Tequila and I pushed our way through the brush, we arrived on top of a steep little slide with a tangle of tree branches blocking the way. That is, they were blocking the way for me, sitting up a bit higher on Tequila’s back than where his head was, and his head said to him – and to me – “what are we waiting for, there’s the cows, let’s push on through and go” – and foolishly I decided he was probably right, and we should go. I didn’t leave my whole head behind on that tree branch, but that was about the only consolation – and perhaps that’s why the number of 612 stuck in my mind so thoroughly – it was, you might say, pretty well mushed in there!

Anyway, we left the six pairs in the pasture, and waited for them to come out, as we knew they would. Cows are very social animals, and these six knew that their friends had departed, and they also knew where they went, and so, after about a week, when their babies were fit to travel, they packed their bags and set off for the gate to the corrals. We left them in there the best part of that day to let the calves get rested, and then turned them out to join the herd. Lovely when cows are civilized, and used to your ways! Nothing like the bad old days when we first bought the ranch, and the cattle were used to being chased at top speed, going through fences and ditches, so that on each round up you took your life in your hands!

gila monster

gila monster

And just take a look at this photo! Ed, our kitchen manager, was returning from Pearce and met this guy at the front gate. It’s a Gila Monster, and they don’t generally live in this part of Arizona, as apparently they like it a bit warmer, but this guy doesn’t look as if anything bothers him! I remember I once met one at this same gate also, actually in the identical place – so perhaps this one is a descendant – that was well over 20 years ago. They don’t look to be the type of little animal you want to pick up and cuddle, and just as well, as, if they bite, they don’t let go, and I guess you’d have to truck to the hospital with him hanging off your hand. Luckily they are very rare and also very shy and so are seldom seen.

Happy Hour on the Patio

Happy Hour on the Patio

We had a fun group of ladies from Phoenix here over the weekend and, as there were over 30 of them, the place was fairly hopping. The patio came into good use, as you can see by this photo, as did the space under the huge oak at the back of the office.
Pinata Time

Pinata Time

I call it the Wedding Tree, as a couple of staff were once married under it – this time a piñata was hung from the branches and everyone had themselves a whacking good time, if you‘ll pardon the pun! Perhaps we should now rename it the piñata tree?

And we are also celebrating!! The other day we received an e-mail telling us that we had been nominated as being the Best Guest Ranch in Tucson! What a compliment – take a look at what they sent us:

Congratulations! You are the Best of Tucson!
Click here to see the full list of Best Of winners!
Attached is a Best Of Tucson Winner logo for use on ads, your Web site and social networking platforms to promote your business!
We’ll be in touch regarding our Best of Tucson feature Web story.

I know that many of you voted for us, and we want to thank you, as this will bring us lots of good publicity in the valley. I’ll let you know when the Web story appears.

And the volcano cloud over Europe has finally moved on, and it left an economic storm in its wake – I heard that, for instance, the tulip crop in Holland suffered, as the flowers couldn’t be shipped out – what a disaster that would be! Tulips are not exactly a long lasting flower, and when you have just that one window of opportunity to sell your crop, and then something like this happens, it must be a heartbreak. Having been in a similar boat myself from time to time, my thoughts are with those farmers. Of course, the ash affected us also – several guests who were due to check in were stuck in Europe, several who had just checked out were stuck in the US and had a bad time making it back home – and it was hardly something one could claim insurance for, being what you might call a true Act of God!

Rocky Likes Grapevine Too

Rocky Likes Grapevine Too

And finally, to end, here is a photo of Grapevine’s newest fan, though he has never been here! This is Rocky, belonging to dear friends John and Margie from Phoenix, and Rocky says he wants to come next time they visit! I would be willing, but the resident tough dog, Tuffy, might have something to say about that! In any case, I am happy to see that Rocky knows how to dress!

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7 Responses to The Piñata Tree

  1. Claudia says:

    hey Eve,

    glad your head is still intact and on your neck , lol

    See you sometime this year.

  2. Sarah Stanley says:

    Hi Eve

    I really enjoy reading news of the ranch.

    Glad you didn’t get decapitated; I’ve had similar near misses too in the past and can sympathise!

    Lucky Ed seeing the Gila monster, I’d love to see one of them. Haven’t even seen a rattlesnake yet. Hopefully I’ll get to see one next time we visit … can’t wait. I was even checking out flights for the end of October last night but I think that was being optimistic!

  3. Bobcat says:

    Hey Eve,
    What interesting stories you always have – fun reads.
    Billybob and I did the Empire Ranch ride a week ago and I must say we were not in shape for that. There was probably over 100 riders and right off the bat there was a run away and the guy ended up on a fence, but not hurt. Following that 2 went down after they let their horses run down a hill. After 4 hrs in the saddle it was time for lunch. Bill could barely walk after getting off his mount and I not much better! We were scheduled for an afternoon ride also but that was not going to happen! I don’t think we’ll sign up next year!
    Hope to see you a day in May. We will let you know.
    Love, B & B

  4. Eve says:

    Hey guys – thanks for writing in – it’s always so fun to read your comments!!
    Yes, my head is in one piece, but it’s a hard head, you know – besides I’ve always held to the belief that the way out is the way through….

    That ride at the Empire sounds like a real spectator sport, Bobcat! Weren’t those horses their own horses? – if so, go figure, eh? I was once on a ride with 30 riders and swore never again – I can’t even imagine over a 100. But I guess some of the horses must have been rented – did they belong to the ranch? Ah well – I’m glad you survived it! I look forward to seeing you – the wildflowers are coming out, and the grass is knee high in places – what a great winter!

  5. Jay Warner says:

    Congratulations on becoming recognized as the “Best of Tucson”! I’m sure your guests always knew you were the best, but it’s nice to be recognized for it.

  6. Chris & Mike Maskell says:

    Congratulations on your recent recognition ‘Best Guest Ranch in Tucson’ – but we already know this that is why we keep coming back! See you in October
    Chris & Mike xx

  7. Jan says:

    Hi Eve.

    Congratulations for the nominations of being Best Ranch in Tucson.
    No surprise at all. Thats why I´ll be back for the 3rd time.
    Have a great summer and see you in October.

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