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.

Sit Spot

Have you ever heard of a “Sit Spot“?

….I recently learned of this concept from a wildlife conservation photographer and I didn’t even realize I was already doing such (recall my recent post of sitting amongst the deer). The concept is that when one enters nature – wildlife flees, as they perceive the human form as a threat. But after you sit still for a little less than half an hour, they return peacefully and begin to accept your presence. 
I now look upon our ranch as a candy store full of Sit Spots!! It doesn’t seem to matter where I park myself I find that nature is absolutely buzzing all around me. Somedays I just find a spot to sit without my binoculars and even without my camera and it seems I “spot” my opportunities so much better. The point of view envelopes you…it’s hard to describe until you experience it.

 

Once again, I realize the consequence of sheltering at home during this global pandemic has presented yet another positive and satisfying “place” for me in the world of being “still”. 

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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Heifer-Quieting – Day One

Loaded up the feed truck with tubs and pails of grain and headed west to our pasture to visit those lovely heifers. What a beautiful warm October week I have been blessed with to take on this mission. To think that just barely a week ago we were blanketed…no, almost buried under 9 inches of moisture-filled snow just flabbergasts me. But this is just how Alberta can be….blink or sneeze and our weather will do a full 360 turn!

My first solo visit out to these girls was not without it’s anxious moments…which is not uncommon for me and my predicaments. As can be seen by the deep tire tracks in my short video clip, I almost got my big old 4×4 stuck in the soft moisture-soaked terrain of the pasture.

 

Happily, the heifers came from the other end of the pasture to my voice…my non-descript call that has morphed into what you hear in the clip and what used to be “cu-bus”. As I said, non-descript word and non-descript sound but they do recognize me and they do come a-runnin’ from way across the field. THAT was a reward to start. I chummed around with them for a bit while they snacked and even had a few gals come up for a selfie with me (see above).

The weather continues to summer-ize for the next few days so hoping for drier conditions at next visit and even more besties in my domain.

P.S. I should maybe clarify that what you may have heard me say at the end of my video was not “a swear” but rather I was declaring “as they should”.

Countrified Blessing – The Drive

The “Countrified Blessing” theme on my blog is just a fancy title to showcase the little things I appreciate about rural life.

The Drive…

 

A leisurely, stress free and relaxing drive down a country gravel road whereby the occurrence of an oncoming or tailgating vehicle is rare to none. Where are you going to find such a state in the city?

And, by the way, the only windshield nicks or cracks I ever experienced were on a paved highway!