City people make most of the fuss about the charms of country life. ~ Mason Cooley
We finally did it.
City slicker hubby and I threw ourselves into a half-day of activity at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum here in Las Cruces.
And it wasn’t boring.
Could it be because we were never really “city slickers” to begin with? We did, after all, move west of our own free will.
Or is it because we found so many different breeds of livestock to observe and bits of trivia about southwest history to explore? Not to mention row upon row of shelves featuring wines, nuts, and other New Mexico foods from a local brand, Heart of the Desert?
Everything you ever wanted to know about New Mexico’s chief crops and ranching ~ in short: the HEART of the state’s agricultural industry ~ is here.
And everywhere are lots of cattle to see (and be seen by). ~
Like these calves being weaned from mother’s milk.
And this leering Texas longhorn, a breed of cattle well-suited for life here in the Chihuahuan desert where vegetation is sparse.
Take a good look into New Mexico’s cultural past AND lifestyles in the Wild West.
Odd souvenirs of everyday living in the old West are all around.
I imagine if Spanx made long-length boxers for men way back when. . . they would look a lot like these:
So what if it took hours to wring out the family laundry with this mangle machine? It’s a top-of-the-line Miele . . . maybe the only one in the valley.
Here I am, that speck of blue, learning windmills like this one are for pumping water rather than generating electricity and how to distinguish between the two.
LIMITED ON TIME?
Here are your ~
NEW MEXICO FARM AND RANCH HERITAGE MUSEUM DAY TRIP MUST-SEES
~ ANY Cowboy-Focused Exhibit
At Cowboys: The Real Deal, for example, we learned the variety of equipment used on the ranch and the open range is as amazing as cowboys are tough.
Like the artistry in this hand-tooled saddle.
The images caught by cowboy photographer Erwin E. Smith were riveting.
My favorite was a black and white of a lone cowboy rolling a bedtime cigarette by campfire light. It’s guaranteed to please if ever you’ve considered yourself a Western movie fan or had a crush on the Marlboro Man; I know I’m not the only one.
I liked Smith’s Hair Cut at the Bar W Ranch, too.
The image reminds me of the work I do on my husband’s hair every two weeks or so. But since L. gets to sit in a chair rather than on it, he’s a lot more relaxed getting his hair cut than the guy in the photo seems to be.
~ Cow Milking
A live milking of a dairy cow takes place every morning at 10.
948 was the name of the Holstein who did the honors the day L. and I sat in. Jesse, the presenter, described her as a “slow milker” since it takes a while for her to fill the 8-gallon glass container with milk.
But I’m thinking any creature capable of producing 16 gallons of milk ~ or 128 pounds!!! ~ over the course of two milking sessions every day ~ is doing pretty good.
I silently cheered 948 on and snapped pictures while she showed us her skills and nibbled grain. Then she raised her head, looked around ~ and saw me.
Didn’t seem to affect her concentration or flow of milk, though. And she stuck her nose right back into the cereal bowl.
Would you describe your experiences on a ranch, a farm, or at a rodeo as too tame or anything but?
Featured image, Watering Place Sculpture by Armando Alvarez.
As a former Beef Princess, I was thrilled to see how you captured the beauty of ranching in your photography. I look forward to visiting the museum some day.
As a kid we had a horse stable near our house. I was not as enamored with horses as my sister was but it was an adventure to walk there and see how much care went into a horse. Animals can teach us so much about nature and they always knew that my sister was comfortable with them and that I was a little petrified. Love this journey you both took —
Isn’t it something how sensitive horses are to their riders? The time I rode horseback ride in Maui is the best and most memorable because of how in-sync my horse was to the slightest tenseness in my legs or pull on the reins. Immediately, he’d slow down. (That I was on this gorgeous island didn’t hurt either!)
Never met a current or former Beef Princess before, but appreciate it gives you a unique perspective on life. Sure you'll enjoy your visit, Sheryl.
Wow!! Farm and Ranch story – haven’t read ’em in a while…. 🙂
Not surprising, Aditi ~ agricultural museums like the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum are relatively few in number. Appreciate you stopping by to read and comment about this one. 🙂
Interesting how certain museums which you would think are not interesting ended up being the most memorable ones. I stumbled by accident into a museum dedicated to explaining from where Los Angeles gets its water. I still think about the museum and everything I learned there.
Where Los Angeles gets its water . . . agree, not something you would expect to be so interesting. Here’s another one for you, located in NYC: the New York Transit Museum. Often overlooked because of its Brooklyn location and the city’s many superstar museums, but NYC subway history and old subway cars are kind of cool!
I like how you captured the farm atmosphere in your pictures. I think this is a very nice museum and it surely is very interesting for those people who grew up in the city and don’t know much about life on a farm. I for one, was very lucky to spend my summer vacations on my grandparents’ farm when I grew up.
Thanx, Anda, did hope to capture farm and ranch living both for people who grew up in the city, like me, with the bits that ring true for people familiar with country life, too.