My first cousin Charlie Arvik, from Minnesota, visits us out here in Montana once or twice a year. Everyone, meet Charlie:
When Charlie was here visiting this past spring, he made it to a couple of calf brandings with my dad and with Beau. Charlie was wielding his camera and got some really cool photos of the PV crew at work. I especially appreciate the angles and shading in Charlie’s photos. Way back then, in June, I asked Charlie if I could share some of his photos here on my blog, and he said yes… and then I blinked and it was almost December.
It’s not too late for me to share 2018 branding photos, is it? (The bright green grass in the photos is a sight for sore eyes!) I think I’ll go ahead, then… because the baby’s finally sleeping, so why not? Thanks for sharing, Charlie!
All of these photos were taken at the 5 Sections branding trap on the Sumatra Road…
The cast of characters (and I do mean characters):
Joe, both above and below.
Jon, both above and below.
Oh, these two. Both of them have worked here since I was a little girl. The stories I could tell on them… and they on me! (Doesn’t Vergal kinda epitomize the bow-legged cowboy?)
Daniel, a local youngster who wrestled calves and mowed lawns for us this past summer:
Ken, who worked for our neighbors the Ogrens this past summer but has since taken off for a bunkhouse in Nevada:
Tucker, both above and below:
A young man named Jon, who wrestled calves:
Jacob, both above and below:
A red-hot V goes on; the P is ready:
My dad, who rode at several brandings this past spring — but who has, once again this fall, been dealing with an uncooperative hip:
My mom in the lower corner, Teal wearing turquoise, me and Muggins at right, and miscellaneous kids. This particular day, if I recall, kinda turned out to be a “wives and kids” day at the PV, with several families represented on the sidelines… there were so many of us that we just set up chairs outside the branding trap and watched! Vergal says he’s gonna start charging admission to brandings.
(Please excuse my belly in the picture above. Not that it’s any excuse, but I had just had our fourth baby… and then… I ate too many cookies.)
Our sweet Emi girl. She is a wild thing. I don’t even know what to do.
Cousin Charlie’s (the featured photographer’s) dad, who was my own dad’s brother and Uncle Vince to me, passed away last year. (I wrote about our trip to his funeral in We Went To Minnesota). I suspect that, since then, time with my own dad has become even more important to Cousin Charlie.
In the photo below, I’m guessing that Dad has talked Charlie into unloading and hobbling his horse somewhere on the side of the road…
… and helping him to fix fence in fading light.
Thanks for your great photos, Charlie. See ya next year.
words © Tam Blake