Bugs and Boots

120525 boots oneal 083Cameras love Boots O'Neal, and Boots has never been shy in front of a lens. Not many cowboys have appeared in more magazine and newspaper articles than the popular West Texas cowpuncher. We published a feature article about Boots in the June 2013 issue of Western Horseman. I took this photo of him and the Four Sixes crew shipping cows for the article. It was dry, hot and the flies were bad, but at age 80 he was still enjoying his job. Not only has Boots lived a fascinating cowboy life, often shunning higher-paying occupations in order to stay in the saddle, but he is beloved because of his genuine, amiable personality.

Unsuspecting Target

In the shadow of the Steens Mountains in Oregon, Wade Black tosses a loop on an unsuspecting calf.In the shadow of the Steens Mountains, Wade Black tosses a loop on an unsuspecting calf. The horseman was helping brand calves on the Alvord Ranch, a multi-generational family ranch in southeastern Oregon.

Sure Is a Sunfisher

The lyrics to the cowboy song "The Strawberry Roan" come to mind when I look at this image. There aren't many opportunities to photograph bronc riding events in late afternoon sunlight, but I got the rare opportunity in 2012 when the Working Ranch Cowboys Association organized a ranch bronc riding competition in Amarillo, Texas. Cowboys came from all over the West to compete. And even though the wind was howling out of the south (see the flags?) and dust filled air, the stands were packed with hardy Texas Panhandle fans.The lyrics to the cowboy song "The Strawberry Roan" come to mind when I look at this image. There aren't many opportunities to photograph bronc riding events in late afternoon sunlight, but I got the rare opportunity in 2012 when the Working Ranch Cowboys Association organized a ranch bronc riding competition in Amarillo, Texas. Cowboys came from all over the West to compete. And even though the wind was howling out of the south (see the flags?) and dust filled air, the stands were packed with hardy Texas Panhandle fans.

Early Departure

Rich Roth loads one of the IX Ranch horses before sunrise. Rich Roth loads one of the IX Ranch horses before sunrise. Whether it's cold and snowy or sunny and hot, the crew on this ranch near Big Sandy, Montana, has cattle to look after. 

Flaky Cows

091005 ca-ranch 248Cowboys on the CA Ranch in Montana ride through a pen of mother cows. The crew was gathering cows from the ranch's summer mountain pastures and weaning their calves. A surprise October snow shower hit while they worked. The weather didn't affect operations that day, but it sure created the right conditions for cool photos.