We can all picture the old "REAL" cowboys riding their horses across the prairie, taking huge herds of cattle to market or to a better place to graze. Sleeping under the stars, coyotes howling, campfires blazing and chuck wagon meals galore..
The origins of the cowboy tradition come from Spain! This is very exciting considering the family ranch land was granted to the family by the Spanish Land Grants! Real, old fashioned- traditional brandings still occur on the Bianchi land to this day.
Since the turn of the century cattle ranchers have tried to keep their cattle safe from "getting lost". They also need to keep them healthy.
Cows are rounded up by horse and the lure of water and feed only left available near the corrals at the bottom of the ranch.
Then the real fun begins! Calves are separated from the cows (it's terribly sad to hear them cry for eachother! - yes, I cried at my first "round-up"!) and then they are branded, marked by ear, castrated and vaccinated. The brands are kept hot in the fire just like the good 'ol days! Authentic Cowboy Style!
My mother-in-law Dana, Sister-in-law Kristin and cousin Bobby do the castrating! They are very proud of their specialized sharp knives! My husband "Moose" throws the cows to the ground - imagine that! Our son Zach vaccinates, Uncle Bucky brands the family brand and I SHOOT THEM! With a camera of course! as I like to say... I LOVE TO SHOOT and AIM TO PLEASE!
...afterwards the calves are reunited with their mommas... and a family ranch style BBQ is enjoyed by family, friends, ranch hands and helpers alike. This honor lies with the family cook, Aunt Nicki... she prepares all the food like no other!
I can't leave out the original cowboy himself... Papa Bob Oliver Bianchi... he, in his 80's, still attends every branding.
Take a look and see.
© Panziera Preservations Photography