Photo Challenge – Half-Light

I am blessed to live in Alberta where we experience the most incredible beautiful skies whether it be at dawn or dusk or every hour in between those golden hours. I find that I have taken countless pictures of my world at “Half-Light“…. which happens to be this week’s photo challenge.

This is one of my favorites captured last fall. A flock of geese had just passed over us heading  into the stunning western glow after the sun had set and was washing it’s glow over the clouds.

Calving Capers 8

What happens, more often than not, during springtime on the ranch in the early stages of calving is – a winter storm. We just departed from probably the mildest winter in decades to be greeted, on the second day of spring with a blizzard.
Also, what happens, more often than not, a blizzard-y storm brings on the birthing! Our heifers started to calve one after the other. Between hubby and myself we were getting up to check the herds every two hours.
We are so fortunate to have a big old hip-roof barn for shelter and warmth for the critters and their babes. It doesn’t take long, however, to fill it up when these girls just keep dropping their calves! We are at full capacity!

My heart goes out to these young females, on a good day, when they experience motherhood for the first time. Throw in this nastiest of nasty weather to compound their new adventure – all I can say is….it builds character! For animal and human alike! So far we are very gratified to see they have taken to their calf almost immediately and become the strong, quiet mothers we have raised them to be.

This gal was so quiet in fact that we were able to pull her calf right in the barn pen where she lay. Here you go….freshly pulled!








Calving Capers 7

Recent events have resulted in bringing our cows in from the field this week…TEN days early. Our official calving start date was “calculated” to commence March 26. Wellll, as I started to say…recent events have encouraged us – most strongly – to bring them home within eyesight and a close by stroll from the house.
So this is my new view from the kitchen window. Suits me just fine. It has been a chilly few days, during the snow squalls and winds, riding the quad out to the far field to check on these girls.


“The Watch” is now underway. Flicka Rancher does the midnight check as I am the night owl and like the quiet evening hours to tackle the paperwork projects back inside until it’s my turn to head out. Then hubby checks whilst I sleep…..but the deal is….if there is a hint of trouble….I am to be rousted from said slumber!
And so…it begins…

Photo Challenge – One Love

The love and connection between a cow and her calf is ultimate. The mother cow will watch over her babe with earnestness and gentleness, fierceness and protectiveness. Should they become separated either by man’s choice to offer assistance, or regular maintenance or if they should become separated in the pasture, that mother cow will do everything in her power to get to her calf or to find her calf. She can in fact sniff the little fella out from a mile away or more as I’ve seen happen over the years watching these girls.
This same consummate oneness of love repeats itself as she continues to deliver us a calf year after year as long as she stays in the herd. Every calf she has becomes her One Love.

Calving Capers 6

Another part of preparing for the spring calving season is to have the freezer full of homemade muffins and make-ahead-casseroles. I’m behind on the casserole category but the muffin mission has been satisfactory.

Looking forward to spending as little time as possible in the kitchen in the days ahead. My preference is to be out in the corrals, fields or barn and helping our new little critters start their lives with us on the ranch.

Calving Capers 5

Flicka Rancher is the farthest thing from being a rancher this week. I find myself in the big city 150KM away staying with my mom and helping her start the process of packing up a lifetime of 45+ years in our family home. She is moving to an assisted living complex where she will have a lovely two bedroom suite on the fourth floor, freedom from meal preparation and no more house and yard maintenance to endure in our challenging changing Alberta seasons.The mission is to get everything done before calving season – according to my husband who has been most supportive in holding down the fort and chores on his own as I tend to family duties beyond the ranch.


Mom and I are having a truly special few days of, not only packing-purging and accomplishing but that of reminiscing-laughing-crying and sharing.