Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Fourth of July

Windswept Ranch

This year, the Fourth of July will take on a different meaning for many. Some will celebrate the birth of a nation. Others will decry injustice and berate that nation.

Here at the ranch we approach the Fourth with a bit of sadness and a sense of hope. It has been over a year since we have had guests at the ranch. We closed for the entire year in 2019 to do restoration and repairs and try to build a better place for you and the animals.

It was the end of October 2018, that the ranch suffered a major loss: Valentine, our bison, died suddenly. Our hearts were broken. He was such a presence for all the years he was here, a gentle giant who loved carrots and Saturdays. I will admit that one of the biggest repairs we had was mending our hearts.

When we open on July 4, we will be introducing our newest family member, Cupid. He is a baby bison and the name is a meant to honor Valentine. He can never replace our gentle giant – those are mighty large hooves to fill – but he is already stealing hearts and I know yours will be next.

To welcome Cupid, to make sure White Cloud, our white buffalo, gets enough carrots, and to remember Valentine, we will dedicate our opening day to bison. On May 9, 2016, the bison was declared our National Mammal. What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July?

Our plan going forward is to create a memorial to Valentine, which will serve as an educational opportunity to teach about endangered species. After all, at one point in time more than 200 million bison roamed our country, but we managed to almost make them extinct. Today there are under 300,000 bison in the country. Their demise is a cautionary story that needs to be taught as a reminder of our responsibility to all God's creatures.

It will never be the same here without Valentine but Cupid gives us hope. The ranch looks great. Our amazing volunteers have worked so hard and it shows. If you love animals and want to be a part of all this, we welcome volunteers. You would have the opportunity to grow with Cupid!

Questions? Give us a call at (661) 972-1901. Be sure to see our ad on the front page of this issue.