Succession

My post will be short and sweet today because what could be better than letting pictures tell the story – so much better than words sometimes.

We couldn’t wait to suit up our granddaughter in her chore-clothes-birthday-present from us and put her to work! It’s all about having a succession plan…..🥰🧡

And so the day begins…

Let’s start with a little lesson in chore-girl-fashion from Grandma.
…along with some cow-whispering lessons from Grandpa.
Learning from the master
Lovin’ on the baby calves
“…don’t worry Grandma – I got this!”
Day of chores + fresh air = great appetite.

What a great way to start April 2021 on Berg Farm & Ranch!😊

It Starts Here

After last week’s post, it occurred to me that between myself and my husband and others like us in the cow-calf and cattle-hauling industry….well, we’re at the base – the foundation (as opposed to “the bottom”] of the food cycle. The cycle that brings your food from farm to plate.

We raise cattle and keep them fed on grass and fresh water. We watch over the good will and nutrition of our breeding herd so they in turn bring forth healthy, thriving calves which later a cattle-hauler like my trucker-hubby loads up and takes on to a feed-lot….. so the cycle can go on and on.

I feel very privileged and honored to be a steward of this lifestyle…even on these cold, wintery challenging days. To be responsible for the well-being of these precious animals that in turn contribute to providing one of the most efficient and high-quality proteins around.

And so we tend to pamper our herd. Pampering – means keeping the feeders full, refreshing the straw bedding after a snowfall, vaccinating against disease and maintaining a watchful eye over all for any changes in behavior or signs of discomfort. I guess, in the end this isn’t necessarily “pampering”….just good management and we take a wee bit of pride in being part of the process to bring healthy and nutritious food to your plate.

A big cozy straw bed sheltered by trees and a wall of bales for sleeping comfort.

Weaning

You know…for years…we have weaned our calves on a busy weekend when the husby is home just long enough to get the deed done with whatever help we can muster up on said weekend. Then, he hops into the big old Kenworth and drives out of the yard leaving me and the dogs with a yard full of bawling, stressed out cows and calves trying their best to get back to each other through gates, and fence lines and corrals.

This year I was not worried about weaning day at all because husby was going to be home for the WHOLE day and not only that – the days thereafter!! He would finally see what chaos he leaves us with when he heads back on the road….back to the off-farm job.

So I took the time to take this little video of the calm and quiet of the last day our cows and calves would be together. I was planning this post in such a way that my video capture the following day would be loud and chaotic and full of bawling and howling moms and babes.

Well, the joke is on me…..guess these gals were good and ready to say goodbye to the children. Peace and harmony prevails on our ranch today already. The expected bawling usually goes for exactly three days straight…but all they can give up is what you hear on this peaceful little video.

Self-Isolation and Me

This gal is no stranger to self-isolation. Being married twenty-plus years to a rancher who also trucks fulltime, well I believe I’ve got this self-isolation gig pretty much “sewn up”.

I do love being home…so when our government and public health officials recommend and strongly advise us to #stayhome … no need to tell me more than the first time!!

We who dwell on farms and ranches are so extremely fortunate. We have acres to roam in solitude and safety…we have animals to feed and water…we have routine and purpose. I’ve always loved that about my life on the ranch, never took it for granted, thanked God daily for this blessed life and boy oh boy….are my feelings and sentiments about my country home even stronger now in this uncertain life with the Covid19 virus.

And so, I have a tendency to embellish and enjoy self-isolation. In fact I stepped it up a level the other evening, with the help of hubby who happened to be home for a rare couple of days.

We decided to set myself up with camera and lens under some home-grown camouflage (an old flannel bedsheet) in some bush a few miles out – where we had seen a huge herd of deer grazing in an un-harvested wheat field a few days earlier.

 

Again, don’t have to ask me a second time…I’m all in! Layered on the thermal clothing, packed my gear and ground blanket and my thermos of hot chocolate. Hubby helped tuck me away in the bush, drove away and there I sat and waited as an evening wintery breeze started to blow. By the way, it is incredibly cozy under an old flannel bedsheet, in the bush, in a wheat field enjoying a cup of hot chocolate while you silently wait for wildlife to appear in your sights.

 

 

And they did!

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The Winter Vigil

It begins today…first day after a crazy busy challenging-weather type of weekend of rounding-up, sorting, loading and trailering ALL our pasturing critters home.

Subsequently my vigil of watching over them and waterers and heaters and fencelines and gates(of course), officially begins today. With hubby away trucking during the week I find myself with the luxury of being in control of the chore schedule. Nothing finer than being the “one in charge”.

Sure, it’s all fine when every thing is working and every one is behaving. Here’s to smooth days ahead…and if not so smooth, then here’s to some stories and tales to tell!!

Hide and Seek

 
Never would I have imagined that a normal day of errands and a road trip to pay the annual property taxes would present such a fascinating experience! I grudgingly set out with chequebook (and camera, of course)in hand. I would normally only go as far as the mailbox and mail the darn thing to the county but in view of rotating postal strikes and October 31 deadline looming near, it behooved me to strike out on the tour and hand deliver our precious property taxes payment.

Almost to my destination, I see three black specks in the field to the west and I know right away they aren’t cows.

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They see me and start to dash. As I get closer I find they have made a home in a culvert and almost get out of sight. I drove off the highway and perched myself quietly in the truck until two of the three re-emerged and watched me right back just as quietly. We sat there for quite awhile and I snapped off a few frames totally delighted with my find. They appear to be healthy yearlings without a momma….but just in case momma was deep inside the culvert, I remained in my truck.

I think I just might pay our taxes this way every year!!

Countrified Blessings-Introduction

There really is nothing finer than living in the country. Living on a ranch in the country is even finer! In celebration of the rural life and all it’s uniqueness and specialness, I’ll post another feature called “Countrified Blessings” from time to time. Nothing regular, just when something catches my attention and that I feel the urge to share with you all on the blog.

Simple stuff like….

The purely exquisite luxury of tucking oneself into bed at night after a long hard day  of relentless chores between freshly washed sheets that have hung out on an outdoor clothesline warming and drying under a glorious sun complete with fresh air breezes.