Monthly Archives: June 2008

This is the second Shawn/Rooster combo. The prior piece was my first Centaur Chicken, and sold almost immediately. It now lives in England. This one has some additions; the comb & wattle, and spurs. The prior piece joined the legs to the bird at the knees, while this one goes all the way to the hips- it stands at nearly 4 feet tall. All-thread runs the length of the legs and bolts to the underside of
the base. The plaster sub-base was poured in place to ensure stability. I used Hydrostone, a new-to-me kind of high bond plaster backed with hemp- and it is much stronger than my previous Hydrocal/burlap/bandage figures
The base color is established, but still needs patination, while the wood base needs wire-wooled and another coat of stain- but this is as far as it will go for quite awhile as I am heading back to Montana this weekend. I’ll bring the laptop and post some Cowboy images when I head in to town.

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The view toward the mountains showed new snow and grasses ready to jump out of the ground after a solid week of rain.

A two week trip to Montana to help out at the ranch and see my father through a tough health patch. My sister came out as well and on the morning of my last day there the weather broke and she & I headed out for a walk on the higher pastures. There were plenty of flowers blooming all at once, as the spring had been cold. Down at the house the Lilacs had yet to bloom. The faithful ranching  dog, Ben, had been killed over the winter- possibly by a bear that had scalped him a few falls prior. A neighbor brought up a new pup, who was taken by a Golden Eagle in the late winter.
Below is the view down the valley to Belt Butte, and in the foreground is the mixed bag of cattle from a bullfight that brought down the fence a few days before. We left the job of separating them to wait until the fence was mended, but they came out of the bottom country and the woods easily enough to walk them back to their herd bull so he could get his work done.

I unloaded all the remaining winter firewood from the horsetrailer, split and stacked it, then removed the trailer to the equipment corral.
My sister and I replaced the old collapsing split-rail fence in front of the house. Dad felt well enough to fire up the tractor and pull the moldering posts and push in the new ones with the tractor’s bucket.
Pasque flowers were blooming by the bushel, but already starting to fade in anticipation of the quick turn to spring.

Back in Kansas is has been summertime for nearly a month, and the low temps at night are higher than the daytime temps at the ranch.
My dad is feeling better, and the doctors are thinking he’ll recover well enough. I hope he’ll be able to run the swather in early July, and bring the hay in at its highest yield.

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