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rounding up cattle on the Valles Caldera

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Valles Caldera National Preserve is an 89,000-acre working ranch “nestled inside a volcanic caldera.” It’s located about two hours north of Albuquerque, via picturesque Jemez Springs. This past weekend, on our second visit to VCNP, my friend Don and I were surprised to discover a cattle roundup (or gathering) in progress. The cattle that graze on the VCNP belong to the Jemez Pueblo and the University of New Mexico.

The weather that day was sunny, mild, and breezy: perfect for getting up close and personal with some cows, horses, and real cowboys to take a few photos.

horses

Horse (Valles Caldera)

Horses (Valles Caldera)
Horses (Valles Caldera)
Horses (Valles Caldera)
The horses had just come back from working the second day of the gathering, and most of them were hungry.

cowboys

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cowboys (Valles Caldera)
Cowboys (Valles Caldera)
Cowboys (Valles Caldera)

ranch hand

Ranch hand (Valles Caldera)

cows

Cows (Valles Caldera)

Cows (Valles Caldera)

 

We are lunch inside the car, which was parked next to the cattle pens, so we got an earful of the cows’ complaints about the situation. Can’t say I blame them.

My favorite part of this whole thing was the pure serendipity of it.

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2 thoughts on “rounding up cattle on the Valles Caldera

  1. The gathering was a pleasant surprise for us. Around 23 drovers, mostly Indian, both men and women, brought in about 270 cows. One of the drovers told us it took two days to round up the animals. An enjoyable day.

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