May 21, 2011

We're Mooooooo-ving


We're moving to a new platform at

I hope this move will be seamless, and you can access this blog at or

April 14, 2011

More babies

Ewes, lambs and ever-vigilant guard dogs
Powder Flat

Everywhere we look, there are babies on the ground.

Babies on the ground
Tiarnan and McCoy
Home Ranch, late March

Cow with brand new calf
Powder Flat

Puppy for sale (old cooler not included)
Home Ranch

Ewe and lamb
Powder Flat

March 28, 2011

Babies on the ground: five species

Cows and calves
Ames Field, Home Ranch

The view out our window gives every appearance of winter, yet spring is indeed in the air. We hear the calls of arriving Sandhill Cranes, who are an early harbinger of spring. Yesterday, I spotted a red-winged blackbird. The most definitive sign is the appearance of babies on the ground. They are not a surprise, since we know when we put in the bulls and the bucks, but they do lift our hearts. With babies on the ground, can green grass be far behind? Well, we hope not.

The puppies were a surprise, since I really thought I had Suzie confined in the horsetrailer on all the appropriate days, but that Bobby is a sly dog.

And of course, I cannot resist showing our readers the photos of our two newest grandchildren McCoy O’Toole, born on Halloween; and Tiarnan Lally, born on Valentine’s Day.
Now if it would only stop snowing.

Cow with calves
Ames Field, Home Ranch

Cows and calves
Corral, Home Ranch

Ewes and lambs
Powder Flat

Maeve and Seamus with bum lambs
Powder Flat

Richar, Meghan & Tiarnan with lambs
Powder Flat

Ovcharka/Akbash puppy
Salomon's camp, Red Desert

Long suffering Suzie with three puppies
Home Ranch

Eamon & McCoy

Siobhan with baby chicks
Murdock's, Craig, Colorado
photos by Sharon O'Toole

March 10, 2011

State Champs

Ron Wille's field between Dixon and Baggs

The Little Snake River Rattlers have won the 1A state basketball championship. Last fall the team, with mostly the same boys, won the 6-man state football championship. Here is Ron Wille's salute to the team. The girl's team, which lost only one basketball game all season, came in third in the state.

The opinions expressed in the Western Folklife Center's Deep West online journals are those of the online journal participants and not the Western Folklife Center. The Western Folklife Center does not moderate these journals and as such does not guarantee the veracity, reliability or completeness of any information provided in the journals or in any hyperlink appearing within them.

About Pat & Sharon O'Toole

Sharon O'Toole

Patrick and Sharon O'Toole are ranchers in the Little Snake River Valley on the Wyoming-Colorado border. They represent the fourth generation on the six-generation family ranch. The O'Tooles raise cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and children on their high country ranching operation. The transhumance operation stretches from north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Wyoming's Red Desert.

Pat has served in the Wyoming House of Representatives, the Western Water Policy Commission, and is currently President of the Family Farm Alliance, representing irrigators and water users in the western United States.

Sharon is a writer and poet. She writes extensively on western issues, and the relationship between landscape, animals and people. She is widely published as an author, essayist and editorial commentator.

Sharon's father George, 86, passed away Decembe 25, 2010. To that date, he lived in the house he was born in, and remained active in the day-to-day life of the ranch. Mr. Salisbury was a decorated World War II veteran, a former member of Wyoming's House of Representatives, and former President of Wyoming's Board of Agriculture.

Pat and Sharon have three children. Their daughter, Meghan and her husband Brian Lally, live on the ranch with their children, Siobhan, Seamus, Maeve and Tiarnan. Meghan also served on the Wyoming Board of Agriculture, and she and Brian are active in community service. Daughter Bridget lives in Denver with her husband, Chris Abel, where she works in public relations and he serves agriculture in the food business. Son Eamon and his wife Megan live on the ranch with their son, McCoy. Eamon is a horseman and natural resource manager, and Megan is a nurse.

The blog traces the activities and life on the ranch, from the mundane to the fabulous.

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