Thursday 29 August 2013

Puppy Love

I actually wanted to call this blog
"Puppy porn"
however, I changed my mind..
 I (once) wrote a blog about our old Sarplaninac called Chantal.
I wrote about how she used to escort people in and out of our home..
The title to the blog was
"Chantal escort services".
I got inundated with comments about sex sites,
sexy ladies called Chantal
and various other links to such sites.

I regard this blog as "family friendly",
So, quickly deleted all such comments.
That episode convinced me that
 that  the above mentioned title, 
may not really be an appropriate title for this blog.

The pups are doing great.
Everyday they change a bit,
becoming more and more like puppies
and less and less like moles.

There eyes are open,
they are out and about exploring,
they are regularly found outside the whelping box,
and since yesterday they are eating solids!

Monday 26 August 2013

More hay making

“Ah, that I were free again!
Free as when I rode that day,
where the barefoot maiden raked the hay”

~ John Greenleaf Whittier quotes (American Writer, 1807-1892)

Our winters last for the most part of the year.
That means, we only have a short summer to make enough food
to feed the animals through the long winter months.
Summer time is a scramble to get all the feed made.
Our days consist of either cutting, raking or baling.
We check the weather forecasts every few hours.
we have breaks from haying only when it rains or
when the forecast predicts a lot of rain in the coming days.
The days are long and dusty.
This year has been especially challenging.
The old proverb says " make hay when the sun shines"
however this year has been a challenge.
It has been raining so often you do not get a chance to make decent hay.
It seems likes most of the hay in this country got a good washing..

So, when things look good, we go out and cut..
Driving round after round,
your mind starts to play "mind games".
The mental arithmetic gets going:
"if the mower is about 11 feet wide,
and the field is 160 acres,
how many rounds is that?"

Here are some  other thoughts while mowing a 160acre field:
" what do non ranching people do in the summer?"
"oh look, that coyote caught a mouse"
" I wonder, is it going to rain?"
"I am going to time each round"
"Oh my goodness, it takes 25 minutes for one round.."

These thoughts actually get tedious after about 8 hours,
I have found the best approach is to clear the mind and go with the flow.

Sometimes, you need to take a break to smell the flowers..
Clover hay

The view out the front  window..

The back window is not much better..

The view once the window was fully opened..

A visitor waiting for a mouse.

Endless fields.

After cutting, we rake..

and then we bale

The goal, the end result..

We do it for them..

New day, new field..

Have a great monday,
I will be cutting today,
and tomorrow,
raking the next and
baling after that..

Sunday 25 August 2013

Mitchell, hay and wild cow milking

Last year,
I made a desperate blog,
begging someone, 
anyone to come and help us out this year during haying season.
Much to my surprise, I had a few responses!
One of  them was Mitchell.
Mitchell joined us (from the Netherlands) this year for 4 weeks to come make some hay.

Having never worked on a ranch before,
  we always like to err on the side of caution when it comes to newbies running the equipment.

Mitchell was a quick learner, after two rounds on the mower he "got it".
One sentence of explanation and he had the rake figured out.
5 bales later, he had the baler figured out.
The biggest mistake he made was chucking a bale out before it had wrapped...
And if that is all that goes wrong, then we are very happy!

It was great to be able to work with someone who had:
 no issues
was not nervous, shaky or silly,
was not pouty and sulky
got the job done without breaking stuff
did not complain and whine.

All we can say is THANK YOU,
you made a dent in our haymaking this year and it was great to get to know you.
We appreciate your attitude, your help and our door is always open to you anytime.

we did finally find one skill that Mitchell did not master..
He is a bad "wild cow milker".
(Uhmm,  his team mates were no help either.)
The "Dutchies" consisting of Eric, Mitchell and neighbour Martien entered into the wild cow milking at the rodeo.
Eric would try to rope the cow (anchor), Martien would be mugger (hold the head of the cow)
while Mitchell would be the milker ( you know, get some milk out of the udder).
We thought Mitchell would have some experience in that area...
To make a long story short,
no cow, no milk no glory.

However, Mitchell did get to go down the slip and slide, run a corn maze,
he drove endless rounds on the tractor, handled dogs and sheep, putting up nets,
he learnt about washing tractor windows, cleaning out filters and radiators, he watched the rodeo, saw coyotes close up, fixed fence and rode a horse.

We hope you will come back for a holiday next time!
( and you can bring your Mom as well!)

Saturday 17 August 2013

Living with Wildlife Conference

I have been invited to speak at the 3rd Annual Living with Wildlife Conference in Vancouver.
This will be held on the 20th of September 2013.
The speakers and topics promise to be informative, educational and interesting.
I am sure, I will once again be a little nervous and shaky,
however I am passionate about this and love to share my experince with others.

So, if you are bored,
have nothing to do, 
wanted to visit Vancouver,
are interested in this topic/s,
come and join us at this conference
Beli, doing his part.
3rd Annual Living with Wildlife Conference

Across Canada, municipalities are reporting an increase in the number of interactions between humans and wildlife. These interactions can present a public health and safety concern and conflicts can result in the death or suffering of wildlife. In particular, animals such as coyotes, beavers and raccoons are often perceived to be a nuisance or pest.

To address this problem, our 3rd Annual Living with Wildlife conference brings together experts in their field to discuss a wide variety of solutions of how we can co-exist with urban wildlife.
This conference is aimed at government officials including provincial, regional and municipal staff, as well as First Nations, farmers, wildlife rehabilitation groups, animal control, academics and individual citizens who want to make a difference in their community by preserving their natural environment.

It will be held this year in Western Canada in Vancouver on Friday, September 20, 2013
at the Creekside Community Center, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Starting at 9 am - 5:00 pm
Admission (which includes breakfast and gift bag):
$30 Members 
$40 Non-members

The speakers and topics promise to be informative, educational and interesting:
8:15 am – 9:00 am Registration (Gift bags for all attendees)..

9:00 am - 9:15 am - Opening Remarks - Lesley Fox, Executive Director, Assoc. for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

9:15 am - 9:55 am - Coyotes in Vancouver - Dan Straker - Co-Existing with Coyotes Program Coordinator - Stanley Park Ecology Society Animals.

10:00 am - 10:40 am - Living with Coyotes & Wolves - Dr. Shelley Alexander, University of Calgary.

10:40 am - 11:00 am - BREAK

11:00 am - 11:40 am - Predator-Friendly Ranching - Louise Liebenberg - Rancher, The Grazerie, High Prairie, AB.

11:45 am - 12:25 am - Living with Bears - Sylvia Dolson - Executive Director, Get Bear Smart, BC.

12:25 pm - 1:30 pm - LUNCH

1:30 pm - 2:10 pm -  Silencing the Dinner Bell - How do we reduce the feeding of urban wildlife? - Sara Dubois, Manager, Wildlife Services BC SPCA.

2:15 pm - 2:55 pm - TBA - Michael Badry, Wildlife Conflict Manager, BC Provincial Government

2:55 pm - 3:15 pm - BREAK

3:15 pm - 3:55 pm - Living (or not) with Urban Deer – The Current Legal Landscape - Rebeka Breder, Barrister & Solicitor, Boughton Law Corporation.

4:00 pm - 4:40 pm - Solutions for urban beavers - Adrian Nelson, Director of Communications,Assoc. for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm - Closing & Summary - Lesley Fox, Executive Director, Assoc. for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

For more information about this event, please visit this website:

Wednesday 14 August 2013

We have pups,

Ok, not us, but Fena!
Fena produced a huge litter on the 10th of August.
11 pups in total.
Unfortunately, 2 died at birth and the following day 1 more died.

Fena will  have her "paws" full with these 8 vibrant pups.

We have 5 boys and 3 girls.
Some of the boys are spoken for.

Day 1:

The day after, all nice and dry and clean.

To read more about Fena and Vuk,
you can go to our website: HERE
or look back on the blog: HERE

These pups will make wonderful family, home, farm and stock guardians.
Fena is the epitome of calm, stable, protective, loyal and hardworking.
Vuk, is a typical male, active, alert, faithful and solid.

The type of owners I am wanting for these pups are:
dog friendly
interested in the breed
working home( flock or family guardian)

In return these dogs will give back:
they will lay their life down for you, your children, your home and your stock
lots of hair
some slobbery licks
a new understanding of stubbornness
they will broaden your horizons

From us, you can count on:
life long support

For people interested in the Sarplaninac as a flock guardian:
we offer all the help and advice you will need.

However, you will need to understand that:
these dogs are strong willed and will need guidance and supervision
I do not believe in a hands off raising,
some effort and work will be required on your part.
You will need to facilitate the pup to ensure a good and reliable guardian dog.
All LGD go through a naughty phase, you must be prepared to work through these issues when and if they arise.

The pups are:
well bred
from proven working parents
well socialised
raised with stock
health checked

We can ship them, however we would love to meet you in person.
The pups going as family/home guardians can leave the litter between 9-11 weeks.
Pups flying out of Canada, can leave at 11 weeks
Pups going to be flock guardians leave from 12 weeks ( although other arrangements can be made).

For people who would like to learn more about the breed,
or about flock guardians,
or just want to chat..
you are welcome to EMAIL or phone 1-780-523-9911

If  I do not answer directly,
it is because I am out petting the pups!

Tuesday 13 August 2013


I love rainbows,

when I see one,
I stop and realise how amazing nature is.

However, when you are attempting to make hay,
rainbows are certainly not a good sign..

“Rainbows apologize for angry skies.” 

― Sylvia Voirol

My little collection from the last few weeks:

“Everyone wants happiness, 
no one wants pain, 
but you can't make a rainbow 
without a little rain.” 

- Unknown

Have a great Tuesday!

Friday 9 August 2013

Sheep sheep sheep sheep sheep

I have not blogged much about the sheep this summer. .
In fact,
I have not blogged much,
this summer.

So much happens,
and we are so busy ,
that I get behind with my blogs.
 My stories and ramblings are then no longer really relevant.
So, I ponder and procrastinate..
if  I really can post pictures of the sheep with their wool still on?
(they were shorn over a month ago).
 do I post stories of places the sheep have been,
even though they are no longer there anymore?

Ohh, all these blogging dilemmas.

Anyway, here are some random sheep pictures,
before and after, 
here and there.

So, we ("we" as in the sheep)
graze the ditches:

(Good dog , Sheila.)

(Hello Katcha..)
  And, we grazed in the bush:

And, then we head off to the back forty (or more):

On route,
we may have to swim a puddle ( lake?) or three..

At night, we bed down all in a pile in the middle of the field.

(Hi Mali)
 Sometimes, we even do road trips:

Heading into new pastures:

Sometimes, we just disappear,

and then reappear once we have checked out the new grass.

(Heey Lucy!)
 At night, we head off back home.

The ewes head into the night corral and the lambs graze in the background.
(That'll do  Lad.)
The lambs stay out on pasture.

The real unfortunate ones end up at the rodeo,
 with a bunch of clowns:

(Good boy, Lad)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch,
the lambs catch the last few rays before dark.
 Lamb silhouettes:

To get a feel for this whole process
 here are three short videos of our travels;
 around the ranch and neighborhood.

Have a good weekend.
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