Friday 30 September 2011

Fall bonus

 There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
~Bern Williams

Fall is definately my favorite season.
Not only because of the pretty colors on the trees,
but also because of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Once the sun has set we are getting some spectaular displays of the northern lights.
All I can say is "Wow". 

Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.

~George Washington Carver 

Have a nice day!

Monday 26 September 2011

Fall is in full swing

I suppose that this is a "Minimal Monday" post.
I actually have little to say today,
except that we are driving down many roads.

No, there is no way to deny this,
winter is just around the next bend.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Fall lists

Today is the first day of fall.
Yesterday we finished baling.
We made 1497 big round bales.

In the process of making these bales we had:
broken the pto on the tractor,
had about 3 flat tires,
broken baler belts,
broken a window in the tractor,
had a radiator breakdown,
hit a huge rock with the mower,
mowed over a harrow,
broke some bearings in the mower
and so on...

Now, a new season has started,
one that always makes me feel like I need to be in a hurry to get things organized before winter.

All we need to get done before winter sets in is:
haul 1497 bales home
dig up the water lines from the pumphouse to the dugout
put in new water lines within the barn
make an extra loading chute for the sheep
put in some fencing
get the new cattle corral finished
landschape the yard area
remove manure from barn
train my young border collies (this was supposed to happen during the summer..)

So when I feel stressed,
I will just have to take a deep breath and look at all the pretty trees for a moment, waste time and write a blog...
and then get back at the work again!

Fall in my favorite season though, cool nights, sunny days, beautiful sunsets and rises, clear crisp air, colors on the trees.


Monday 19 September 2011

Our way..

I believe that kids should be participating members of a family and not just leaches.
That means, in our house, that our kids do chores.
They help out in the house, they help with feeding and caring for the animals.
If our kids really want something they have to work for it, save their money and plan for what they want.
This last weekend was another milestone in Jess's 15 years of life.
She has spent more than a year saving up all her hard earned money to buy herself her dream horse.
She fell in love with Loretta last summer, she was allowed to ride her for that summer but after that Loretta had to go back to the Hutterites (her owners) to help with the roping and caving work last winter.
This summer Loretta came back to us and Jess was determined to try and buy her.
Loretta is a very well trained horse and the price for her was high.
Jess worked hard and finally had enough saved up to make Charlie an offer on her.
After days/weeks of deliberation, he eventually decided to sell Loretta to Jess.
She was SO happy, she was dancing on the moon!
Now, she has her very own horse, which she bought with her own hard earned money!
We are proud of her.
Now, she is starting to save for her own truck and trailer to be able to haul Loretta to barrel clinincs and maybe her first rodeos!

Atta girl!

Monday 12 September 2011


This must be one of the few moments that most of our ewes are all in one group.
I only have five ewes in the barn and the rest are out grazing  in one large happy group.
The May lambs are weaned, the rams are done breeding for now and the ewes are out grazing the last of the summer pastures.

They have been rotated around our ranch this whole summer and will end this grazing season on the regrowth of the alfalfa pastures.
We have made about 1000 bales for the winter now and still have about another 100 to go.
Finally we will be  done with the baling part.
The next big chore will be hauling all these bales home..

But before we do that here are some pictures of the ewes:

This is what happens to the electric nets if you forget to put the electricity on at night,
the coyotes chew a hole through the nets!

Lad brings a wayward ewe lamb back to the flock.

Fena and Snowy lead the ewes in.

Taking a drink at the dugout.

Saturday 10 September 2011


Predator Friendly Ranching,
does not mean that the predators have to be friendly...

These images are really very disturbing...
don't you think?

However, there is also a certain
"cute" factor as well...

Honestly, both the cat and mouse where having a nap side by side.

Tom and Jerry perhaps?

Thursday 8 September 2011

I wish..

I wish we had this sign for on our farm when we lived in the Netherlands.
Our neighbour  always complained about:

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Mama Bear

Way back in May,
I saw a mama bear and her three baby cubs in the bush next to our house.
The babies were so small I was convinced that this was their first time out of the winter den.
Over this summer we have seen this  mama bear occastionally in our neighborhood.
She did lose a cub along the way and now we see her with two of her two babies.

This photo's were made by our neighbor Roeby
-thanks Roeby for letting me use them!

 I love seeing her around.

Monday 5 September 2011

Woolly Bears

I found this little guy trying to cross a busy patheway.
So, we picked him up, made a few pictures of him/her and moved him/her to some brush next to the side of the road.
This little "Wooly Bear" is all black and that may have an ominous meaning:

According to old folklore and the Farmers Almanac, the severity of the upcoming winter is indicated by the amount of black found on these woolly bears. You can tell how severe the winter will be by the ratio of red to black banding on these guys. Plenty of red means a mild winter; wide black bands with few red segments points to a nasty snow season.
I found this all-black woolly bear;
I wonder what this winter will bring?

This woolly bear caterpillar is the larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth, (I do not know this for sure but that is what various google sites told me!).
 To survive the winter (whether a mild or cold one) this little guy can manufacture is its very own antifreeze, called cryoprotectant in its tissues.
These caterpillar’s are also able to self medicate themselves by eating alkaloid-laden leaves that help to fight off parasitic fly larva that can be laid inside their abdomens.
Despite all this “technology” they are still pretty cute!
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