Calving Capers

And finally, my final assignment in Blogging 101. I can hardly believe I stuck to it! I am prone to be a great starter of “things” and not always a “finisher” of same so feeling pretty confident now and full of focus.

The final assignment is to create a feature for my blog – something for my readers to return to and to expect on a consistent and repeatable basis. Well, what is more repeatable and consistent on a ranch than calving season! It also happens to be one of our most favorite as well as challenging times of the year…loaded with adventures and story after story begging to be told.

At the same time I’ll be able to keep my calf inventory count absolutely current and up to date on an almost daily basis….something unheard of in my normally “let’s catch-up now” world. [Keep an eye on my side bar over the next few months.]


Our official calving season commences mid-March this year. My feature – Calving Capers will appear every Thursday to satisfy my earlier promise to devote Thursdays to blogging. Look for the first episode of my feature on Thursday, February 4, 2016.

Market Optimism

In the waning days of Blogging 101 we are to select a wordpress event to participate in. Of course I would select The Weekly Photo Challenge. Because, that’s what I like to do…take photos!! We are to enter the next cycle of events. The challenge this week, commencing Friday January 22, is to depict an interpretation of “optimism”.

Our market calves….make me optimistic that the bills will be paid and that we will have female progeny to hold back in the herd to carry on production of calves…more calves ..always more marketable calves to produce delectable beef, to pay the bills….
Just a few days ago though, listening to their coughs and watching their lethargic behaviour, I was filled with worry and concern for their well-being and ultimately…ours! They were sick! The lot of them. They needed treatment fast!! Somehow a respiratory illness had started spreading through our herd and was affecting the young female calves the worst. Hubby and I rounded them up and for the next four hours sorted and vaccinated and bedded them down for the night and hoped and prayed we had caught the problem in time.

I took this picture the next day to support my happiness and ultimate optimism in the power of modern veterinary medicines we rely on to maintain the health and wellness of our animals. They look ready to take on the world!

Waiting and Watching

Reason to Believe

There is one special character on this ranch who lives with unwavering faith and reason to believe that I will daily emerge from the house so she can follow me around the yard and fields as my loving companion. That would be my 14 year old border collie Dixie.

She’s pretty stiff with arthritis, she can’t hear a thing but she wakes up every day, makes her way to the end of lane and there she waits and watches. She watches the window with every reason to believe that I will wave to her from the window, or even better, emerge through the door all suited up in coveralls – ready to chore with her by my side.


I feel somewhat honoured too that it’s me she waits for at the end of the lane. My husband will leave the house earlier than me and head to the barn and corrals with the younger dog but Dixie remains. She remains at the end of the lane and watches and waits with every reason to believe.

Winter Water Woes

Now, I thought I had troubles with “water gone wrong” when the temps drop below -25C and there are cows and horses and dogs and cats and bulls to keep hydrated throughout the bone-chilling days. I found another blogger with similar woes, aptly titled The Seven Emotional Stages of Hauling Water. I empathized almost immediately!


I was pretty proud of my “system” of sledding two 5 gallon plastic water dispensers [otherwise used for the glorious warm days of summer camping] to the horses’ waterer that had recently failed us in our temperature plummet. This gal however, packed her two 5 gallon pails back and forth by hand and on-foot to fill a 100 gallon trough! I am humbled but at the same time comforted to be in the same company of other hard-working souls determined to care for their livestock no matter what the conditions.

Ideal Audience

Day Four assignment invites us to write a post to our ideal audience. This’ll be easy as I already write to and design my posts for my ideal audience….my family and friends. I seek for them to understand how valuable our rural lifestyle is and that the daily hard work we endure is actually our passion and a source of enjoyment.
There’s nothing better for the heart and soul than a full day of chores…good old-fashioned hard work. No time to be idle nor chance of boredom.
Not when there’s views like this around home.

While out quadding tonight we were graced with gorgeous Alberta sky.#bigskycountry

A photo posted by Colleen Berg (@colleen.berg) on

Love of Livelihood

I’m back in class again. Blogging 101 is underway. I have tried to get going with this course offered by WordPress more than once but this time I have no excuses. Assignment #1…Say Hello to The World. Well, since I’ve been writing this blog for a little over a year now…albeit, sporadically….I’ll just reintroduce my self and why I’m blogging.


My husband and I operate a 300 head cow/calf operation in Alberta, Canada. Up until a year ago we both held off-farm jobs and still ran the ranch. After this past year, I still shake my head in wonderment as to how we did it. How did we care for all these critters as well as ourselves and children and the jobs that kept us constantly driving away from the ranch?

It is time now to enjoy our livelihood. We now can stay home together and care for these animals that mean so much to us. Thus the reason for this blog. I’ve always liked to journal life events and I am passionate about taking pictures to support those stories….sounds like the kind of stuff that makes a blog perhaps?

The simplicity and pure pleasure of rural life is what my blog Flicka Rancher is all about. The female perspective behind the life we live out here on the ranch.