My Chore Team

Here’s a couple of characters I sure couldn’t do without around here. Patty and Ruby….my chore team….and my cheer team too.

We keep each other company throughout the entire day. Ruby holds her post in the tractor at my feet.

And my dear Patty follows me everywhere else except the tractor. This rancher gal never needs to feel lonely with these two around.

Here is an example of them assisting me with returning our bulls back to their own pen after being out for watering. I have all my penned animals on a somewhat rigid schedule so I can keep up with the myriad of indoor activities on a farm gal’s plate…like bill paying, book keeping, meal planning and preparation, baking and sewing. (Notice that house-cleaning doesn’t always make-the-cut….hah-hah).

Needless to say, Team Patty-Ruby are invaluable to me and the entire operation on this ponderosa.

Bull Power

Some of the chores Patty and I get assigned to around here can be fraught with danger and excitement.

We had been pushing/walking the herd into the home field until these two yahoos decided to go at it. That was my que to back up the buggy and wait and watch at a distance ’til they worked it out or wore themselves out. My hard workin’ Patty though, still tried to do her best to keep them moving along.

The reason she and I had the job of moving critters today was to get those bad boys close to the sorting pen so they can be loaded up and taken to market. It’s time for them to go down the road after a few good years of fathering a number of great calves. A bull’s productive life on our ranch runs an average of five years. They have a good life with us…well-fed, pampered and never given too many “girls” to over-work themselves. Their “working” season runs from July to September. Otherwise they only have to graze, rest and sun themselves under the great big beautiful Alberta sky. Trouble is, when they get to the end of their years with us, they seem to get cranky and pick fights all too easily with each other.

And now the day has come to say farewell to these two…it’s definitely time…they’ve crashed through a pen and tore up a fence in recent days. I’m quite ready to say good-bye.

Although I say that now, when it comes to loading them onto that trailer, I know I’ll be a bit sad. I always am whenever my animals are taken from the yard for the last time.

Moving Bales Home

We picked today to move our hay bales from field to bale stack. I timed a full cycle just for fun because there is an element of teamwork, cooperation and throttle work that goes on. A cycle of time to which I was hoping I could improve on as I got bolder and bolder with the throttle variable.
The components of our bale-moving cycle involve hubby loading the bales two-by-two from tractor to Mac Truck (our Old Faithful) from the field.

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Then he proceeds to the bale stack in yard a mile away while I jump into the same tractor and follow him back.

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He unloads at the bale stack….

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Where my dear dog Patty waits for my return and we have a short but pleasant visit during the unloading.

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Then back I follow him, now empty, as we return to the field of bales awaiting us for the cycle to continue. You see, we just use one tractor and one truck and one hard-working husband and wife team.

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A full cycle times out to average 36 minutes, each load is 14 round bales and we completed 14 of those round trips.  When you’re going back and forth and back and forth well yes, you start keeping track of statistics, by golly!

We still have another field to empty of bales which allows the grass to keep growing as it is doing so beautifully this year….but for now we have a yummy short rib supper in the crock pot waiting for us back at the house. It’s time to call it a day!

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Photo Challenge – Morning – Day Four

On our ranch, Morning means our precious hard-working, intelligent, gentle and  sensitive border collie, Patty gets to come into the house for a little AM visit to start everyone’s day on the right foot.

She works so hard for us with the cattle that we like to give her a little appreciation and now we’re all hooked on the morning habit, including Patty.

 

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.

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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.