Return of the Fox

I find I am getting excited and anxious to welcome back our mating fox pair. It may or may not be “obvious” in the image below, but look closely for the stretched out “u” that represents a well-worn path leading to a hole at the base of one of the spruce trees along our windbreak. This tells me they’ve come home and getting ready to mate.

This has been their den in earlier years but not for some time. She had them under one of our steel bins last year very close to the house but I doubt I would be that lucky two years in a row.

So, I will be crossing my fingers, eyes and toes that I get to observe and photograph and just hang out with a precious fox family in a few months time.

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…. The above post has been sitting in my “draft folder” since December 27, 2019 in the hopes I could deliver a post featuring that our fox pair did indeed mate and raise a family of kits. I’m ecstatic to write today that they did and they did indeed make their home under these trees of our shelter belt…again, not far from the house.

I’ve been highly distracted from ranch chores with these cuties running around but once again, self-isolation shows its benefit-side because I now have all the time in the world to blend my photog life with my ranch life!

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New Life

Being the conscientious, forward-thinking, responsible ranching couple that we are….we were diligently attending an afternoon seminar on Farm Taxation/Succession in town yesterday. {Yawn!]

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, one of our young bred heifers was busy birthing a baby! Problem is, we don’t officially start calving until the end of March. The other problem is, there was a wicked -30C windchill going on. Thankfully she had calved on the straw bed. Also thankfully, hubby had decided to leave the meeting just a few minutes early….I swear he had a premonition….he’s pretty in-tune to our critters. He found this poor shivering little new-born calf upon return home and gave her the front seat [or floor, in this case] of the Ford pickup for a nice warm-up.

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She got to meet her mom an hour or so later and all is well
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But then, next morning, when both of us are about to head back to town for our respective jobs….another incident on the straw bed. Another new calf from a young bred heifer! Oh right….back in May of last year the bulls broke out!

We are so fortunate to have home-grown, calm and quiet young heifers in times like these. I guess then – unofficially – calving 2015 has begun on Berg Farm & Ranch.

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Trixie

TrixieAlthough I’ve “been told”, over the years on the ranch, to not name my cows, I do so anyway. But only for the ones that have a unique-ness or a story or……a place in my heart.  Like Trixie. She was born with a stunted back leg, thus leaving her with three good legs. I turned “tri” into “Trixie”. Because of her minor disability….she did get around fairly well….she was allowed to stay  home instead of out to pasture every season. Her first calf was a handsome steer and she delivered him quite easily and on her own.  In fact we were both alone that year as hubby was full-time trucking and I was nervously responsible for supervising her first calf. Then last year she needed an expensive C-Section to deliver her fancy heifer calf, Suzy-Q.

I was so happy that she gave us a heifer as I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to keep Trixie around too much longer. Her disability was getting greater as she got older and I knew hubby would not put up with another C-Section. This week Trixie left the ranch to be slaughtered. It bothered me more than I expected. But I’m okay now, a couple days later. I have her fancy heifer calf to keep with us for years to come and Trixie’s legacy will carry on through her, Suzy-Q.

Then there’s always the others….Puddin’, Zsa-Zsa, Vanilla Dip, Shaggy…..

Thursday Is For Blogging

In the past – when it seemed I used to be far more skilled at multi-tasking – I set aside Thursday evenings for blogging. Lo and behold….I find it is a Thursday evening, my husband is away on a short haul trucking trip, I am alone and at that state where I can just do whatever I want for a few hours!! Earlier today I realized that after taking on the two jobs and having the hubby home most every day….I have not turned the “off” button “on” for quite some time! This was the first day in awhile that I could just hang out with myself. Sounds selfish, but it was ever so cathartic to just realize that I have been going at warp speed lately, no focus really, and that’s no way to spend “retirement”!

The story I meant to publish back in November, I’ll post now:

The very first week that I was left alone on the ranch to commence my FlickaRancherRole…..well, I blew it!! The bulls took to fighting amongst themselves and in fact proceeded to pull gate posts out of the ground and knock over huge steel gates and ultimately create escape routes just about everywhere. Heifers and bulls and cows all escaped within the perimeters of our ranch [thankfully] but all got mixed up amongst each other after being carefully sorted out by the hubby and the kids.

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It’s Already 2015

I have to chuckle when I review my one and only post so far since starting my well-intended blog. I started this blog November 2014, intending to describe my adventures,since recently retiring, as the lone lady rancher on our property while my husband worked off-farm, subsequently entrusting me to feed and care for our cattle, horses, dogs and cats.

Well, life has it’s funny way of introducing twists and turns. Since November 2014 I have taken on a casual job as well as a ‘2-day a week’ job with our local municipality, thus ending “retirement” for me. Both of these jobs take me back “to town” to work and who ends up retiring? My husband! All the better, as he is the one that needs to be home to take care of our herd which has increased in value much to our delight and surprise. We are feeling very blessed to be experiencing this in our industry after many years of droughts, BSE crisis, Ecoli scares….all drama that affects the value of our livelihood.

That being said, my blog will still exist and live on. It is important that my readers know and understand how hard we work in the agricultural industry. I am sure my adventures will still happen as we ranch together. I’ll have 5 days of every week to be in the rural world I love and there will definitely be stories to tell and share and let you all know what a great life we live with our animals under the big and beautiful Alberta sky.

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