Tales from the O-NO Ranch | TheFencePost.com
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Tales from the O-NO Ranch

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, I like hummingbirds, always have, and I reckon I always will. They remind me of where I grew up in an oil field camp on the Mallet Ranch outside of Sundown, Texas. Hot, dry, west Texas and plus all of that, it was just pretty drab. Mostly cotton and sorghum country, and where there was a little grass, like out on the ranch, it was covered in Mesquite trees. Big shrubs would be more like it, and they had huge thorns on them, like most of the other plants. Heck, even the frogs had thorns ” Horned Frogs, they were called. I even have a few here at the O-No Ranch.

In this drab area where I grew up, my mom always had large flower beds and she had a honeysuckle vine growing up a lattice work where you entered our kitchen door. The hummingbirds would come out of nowhere on some of those ole hot, dry, dusty summer days and work over the flower beds and honeysuckle. They were always a treat for me, as they were so different in color and size, and so doggone fast. It made me realize that in even some of the most drab landscapes, there can be found beauty.

I always keep a hummingbird feeder and grow flowers here at the O-No in hopes of getting the migrating hummingbirds to stop over for awhile. It always works; however, I have always gotten mostly brown little hummingbirds with not much color, but they are still a treat for me to see.

I was on the front deck the other evening, watering some flowers I have in big clay pots when out of nowhere, this bright colored little hummingbird flew in and settled in among the flowers right by my leg. He was bright green with a tail that was bordered in white. It has been so hot and dry these last few summers that one might think he was back in Sundown, Texas, on the Mallet Ranch, and when that little feller settled in by me, my mind raced back some almost 50 years ago to that honeysuckle vine my mom cherished.

You might not think that a crusty ole cowboy would have room for little delicate things like a hummingbird, but I do. I like small, beautiful, delicate things. Black Widow spiders are small, black and beautiful, and they are very delicate. I know, because each time I smash one of them, they splatter from here to breakfast.

Here’s hopin’ it’s gonna rain as Cheyenne Frontier Days is going on as I write. It always rains during Cheyenne Frontier Days.

I do hope you were able to make it to CFD this year, as it’s always a treat. The folks that put it on are such nice, accommodating folks and they work really hard to put on one of the most enjoyable rodeos and exhibits that you will ever find.

Stay tuned, and oh, by the way, I did find that super nice little gelding for my granddaughter, thanks to an ole cowboy pal and state trooper out in eastern Colorado. Thanks, Ken!

Check yer cinch on occasion, and I’ll c.ya.


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