Traffic Jam—Tuesday, January 6, 2015

300-sheepYou honestly don’t see this much here anymore.  Most of the time the shepherds and the cowboys truck their animals from one pasture to another.

BUT if the need to move to a pasture just a short distance the animals are driven there.

Terry and I were on our way to Grand Junction, Colorado, when we ran into about 300 sheep around Camel’s Switch!  It was a hoot to watch the dogs working the sheep.



To give you a tiny idea of cowboys herding cows here is an older photo of the cows leaving our place for a pasture just down the road.  Moving cows has the romance of ranch life all wrapped up in herd—cows, horses and cows boys!out-1When I was a child sheep and cattle drives were very common.  Often times children were let out of school to help drive the cows up to the pasture on Grand Mesa (I went a few times) or to gather the cows in the fall and bring them down.

Sheep were moved from one orchard to another in the winter…(Shepherds Walk WITH their flocks), many a time my brother and I would leave for school in the morning and come home that evening to sheep feeding along the trees in our father’s orchards.  Overtime we would head out to school then come home to find the sheep had moved on…to a back orchard or to a neighbors. Sheep were perfect for mowing down all the weeds between the trees and along the ditch banks in orchards. They were short enough they didn’t eat twigs from the trees and always hungry enough the orchards were void if ladder binding weeds when it became time to start pruning the trees before spring buds appeared.

cows-outWatching the animals move ALWAYS makes me think of that old song RAWHIDE!

Keep movin’, movin’, movin’,
Though they’re disapprovin’,
Keep them doggies movin’ Rawhide!

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up,

Head ‘em up, move ‘em out,

Move ‘em on, head ‘em out Rawhide!
Set ‘em out, ride ‘em in
Ride ‘em in, let ‘em out,
Cut ‘em out, ride ‘em in Rawhide.

Wasn’t it Clint Eastwood that starred in that tv series?

cowboy-bootsAnyway, most ranchers and sheep people move by truck now days.  Head over to the post about this happy photo. (I came upon this cattle truck one day way back when I was still working.  Just click the blue lines to go to the post.  🙂 )

300-sheepAs a side-note…the guardian dogs were having a great time DOING NOTHING!!! Hahaha, tehe!  It was all up to those hard working border collies.

There were three guard dogs and there were EVERYWHERE!  They checked out every smell, peed on many a bush, walked down the train tracks…trotted into yards.  They were having a DELIGHTFUL TIME!

Just so you don’t think the border collies (four of them in the back, two in the front) had their noses out of joint (my maternal grandmother’s saying 🙂 ) they DID not!  They were having the time of their life pushing those sheep along!

I think it is safe to say…I enjoyed every minute of being ‘stuck’ (I use this term very loosely) behind a fast moving flock of sheep!

Your friend on a Western Colorado Farm,






32 thoughts on “Traffic Jam—Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  1. What a neat experience! I’m glad you weren’t in a big hurry and had time to enjoy seeing the dogs at work. I think I would really enjoy seeing a sheep or cattle drive in person.


  2. Ooh, lucky you guys! Love it! Look at ALL those sheepies. They know it’s almost The Year of the Sheep! I so enjoy watching the dogs work. They are just amazing. Wonder where they were moving them for the winter? Down near the river? Thanks so much for sharing 🙂


  3. What a wonderful sight!! I used to be one of the sheep dogs for my grandfather when he moved his flock from his farm to my uncles in the spring. Wonderful memories!! Thanks for the memories!
    Stay warm. Supposed to be 4* here tomorrow after a noreaster works through.


  4. I can just imagine that there were four of the happiest Border Collies in the world to get to do what their ancestors did. And what fun for you to watch. This is the first fun traffic jam I can remember seeing.


  5. Here in our Kamiah hills they drive the cattle up our road with ATVs and horses. No one cleans up after those cowies either. It is a bit noisy along with doggies barking too. An occasional cow will drift onto our property and they give chase. Maybe cows are dumb cause they sure look act like it.


  6. We still sometimes come round a corner and face to face with a herd of cattle in the road. It’s the same story here: long distance, they travel by truck, short distance, they go on foot. Because it’s been so dry here, paddocks dry out and the feed’s all gone, but the grass along the sides of the roads is still long and ungrazed. Farmers put the cattle out to graze on the ‘long paddock’ (roadside strips), watched by ringers (your cowboys) and a handful of cattle dogs, moving them on and moving them on till the grass is gone. It’s a common sight, and many country roads with wide grass strips have special signs that can be flipped open to show ‘Stock on Road’ when the cattle are out.


  7. What a fun traffic jam! I think the guard dogs were simply sweeping the perimeters, making sure to flush out trouble before it started. Yeah, that’s it.


  8. My kind of traffic jam! I’m sure if the girls were in the truck, they’d be going nuts! Haha! Let us out, let us OUT! They’re doing it wrong! Haha


  9. A common sight in new Zealand still. I have a farmer friend who says he has lost more dogs to impatient drivers that anything else.. they get so completely focussed on their sheep. Lovely shot Linda, I really liked this one.. c


  10. We have goat-herders here, and in summer they move the animals during the night when there is a full moon – the dogs in the village all go mad as 500 goats with bells on march on past the farm 🙂


  11. Great picture….and so many sheep. Must have been amazing helping and seeing the sight as a child! We have seen small flocks of sheep crossing the road and some cattle out for a walk on their own!! We are on the edge of Datrmoor in Devon, England, moving from SE London 2 years ago. Our best sight was the local hunt dogs being walked down the road towards a small village. The dogs were led by one clever horseman who kept most of them together!! Amazing!!


  12. Wow! That’s pretty neat! Enjoyed your recollection of the incident and the photos! The Rawhide theme song put a smile on my face! I’ve watched quite a few of those episodes. Clint Eastwood is the ramrod (2nd in command) and Eric Fleming (Gil Favor) is the trail boss and star. It’s a good show!


  13. Oh, this is fantastic. What a romantic life! I used to dream of living your life. I really did. You see sheep like that in Sicily. My husband and I had to stop on the Autostrada for a herd to pass…I love how seasons and animals are woven inextricably into the rhythms of your personal life. It is so beautiful.


  14. I saw this too. On our way to delta that morning. We moved to grand junction in November. Lived in delta 35 years! We downsized our yard.closer to grand daughters, Jens lives in PALISADE.I miss delta. I still enjoy your stories and pictures.

    Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2015 16:25:13 +0000 To:


  15. We grew up in Clarkston Washington on one side of the Snake River — Lewiston Idaho is just across the “Twin Cities Bridge” .Back then the bridge was the only way to get from one town to the other. Twice a year, this one guy who was a big sheep rancher would move his huge herds from summer to winter pasture — on opposite sides of the state line. So Interstate traffic would come to a dead stop as the herds of sheep with the dogs crossed the bridge. My dad would often take us down to watch most years; it was fun to see. Can’t imagine that happening nowadays — I’m sure a truck would be used.

    We have seen cattle drives in Oregon and other places in our travels in recent years. Theyre fun to watch but they don’t stop traffic to quite such an extent!


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