Thursday, April 10, 2014

Springtime happenings on the ranch...

 (tulips spearing through the cold soil)

 (Mr. T, a twin and bottle baby)

( First-time mamas and their calvies)

(House finch sat perched on the skull all afternoon.)

Howdy Friends!!
It's been a busy few weeks here -- lots of calves born to their mamas who are first-timers at having babies.  It's been a challenging  month with backwards-born calves and a few heifers that were taken to the vet for c-sections.  We're still getting up in the night to check on them.  Thankfully we're getting close to the end with just four heifers left to have their calves.  

The mature cows have started having their babies too.  They are out in the pastures doing their thing.  We drive out there and check on them a couple times a day or more, depending on the weather.  This past week we've had the springy-est week of all.  All the snow melted off and there's lots of water in reservoirs and green grass coming up.  We are still feeding everything every day because there is not enough green grass yet for good grazing so we supplement with hay and alfalfa cake.  

The sheep went through a bout of illness.  We had coccidiosis in the herd which is a nasty digestive disease, something like getting e coli.  We had to give them an oral liquid medication every day for 5 days in a row -- both ewes and their lambs.  That's about 500 mouths to open each day.  It was quite a job, but now that it is over, the sheep look great and are happily out grazing the pastures.  The lambs are getting so big.

More and more birds are migrating home for the summer -- ducks of all varieties, killdeer, and our most recent sighting was a pair of  Sandhill Cranes.  Just a couple days ago Hubs and I were taking mineral and salt out to all the livestock, and we drove up to a pair of Sandhill Cranes.  What a thrill!  I wish I had had my camera, but no. You can see them here at All About Birds if you're curious.  We usually have few pair who choose to stay with us for the summer.

We have so much water around that the beavers are moving in on us.  This is a rare thing.  There are lots of beaver on the River where there are lots of trees, but not here on the prairie.  Last evening OldestSon thought he saw one of the dogs swimming in the pond next to our house, but on closer examination he found it wasn't a dog.  The critter took a dive under water and there was the obvious big, flat tail sticking up in the air.  We noticed a few young cottonwood trees were gnawed down right next to the water.  This is the trouble with beaver -- tree eating.  As I walked to the barn in the dark at 3 a.m. to check heifers, I  heard a mighty splash right next to me.  I can only guess what it was.  Bah!

Easter is on the way and I've been reading the Gospels, particularly Matthew and Mark so far.  What seems to stand out to me as I read is that everywhere Jesus went, he healed people.  He healed Peter's mother in law, Jairus' daughter, a possessed man, lepers, the lame, blind, and deaf.  No matter where Jesus went, the crowds laid their sick in the streets or pressed in on Him that they might touch the fringe of His cloak, and as many as touched it were being cured.  I wrote in my notebook, "Jesus is The Cure."  He is. 

Thanks for stopping by to visit.  I've missed you.


  1. The pictures of the first time mommas are great.
    Sounds like you have been quite busy there.
    We all need healing in some way , don't we.

  2. wow Jody, we've missed you, too! But somehow I knew that you were plenty busy at the ranch with calving time.
    I am busy with work, school, and our family. Life is good, no matter what place God has placed each of us in.
    Glad you have come through to the other side of a lot of hard work!
    Happy Spring and Blessed Easter!
    Ruth in NC

  3. I always enjoy your photos of your land. You do sound busy with your calves. Yes, Jesus is the cure.

  4. Driving past a pasture last week I glanced over to see a cow nuzzling two calves who were lying on the ground. I wondered if they were brand-new! It was a very sweet sight.

  5. Oh my friend, I so often leave with the biggest lump in my throat from your blog. Love that you share your daily happenings as well as your thoughts. Can it all be true?

    I thought of you today, wondering if you had heard a meadowlark tweet a bow yet? I know that spring has arrived once I hear that. Although this past week things warmed up mightily and roads are washed out, ditches and creeks are running - sloughs and dugouts are FULL. It is wild and exciting and we have driven around hoards to look at the big ice chunks up on the sides of the creeks, and see the water roaring about.

    So sorry about the sheep. I can not imagine the tremendous amount of work to treat those critters, all the while you are calving out heifers. Has the weather been okay in general? We had a few really crummy weeks when snow poured on us, and nothing seemed to be going right...but much better now.

    I bet the grands love the bottle babies too, no? I was smiling the other day while I washed out Clate's bottle, right after I had rinsed out the big ol' huge bottle for "5x" that is being loved on in the barn right now. Egads!!

    So glad to have caught up. Hoping you are well and happy of heart. I may have to try n find a Bible to peruse the gospels you mentioned. :) Love to you in the south!

  6. Wow -- it sounds like you've been SO busy. And you can take a cow for a C-section? That's amazing and wonderful at the same time! I love watching the change of seasons through your eyes -- I feel like I'm right there with you.

    And do you have any Sandhill Crane migratory areas near you? We have a big one about 2 hours from here -- it's so amazing to go watch them migrate south in the fall. We were told to arrive just before sundown and we got there about an hour early and I there were just a few cranes milling about. I thought people were crazy to get so excited about a crane or two. But then, just like clockwork, as the sun set they flew in by the hundreds, filling the harvested corn fields -- it was stunning. The land in the fields to rest for the night and then take off in the morning. If you ever get a chance to see it, you would love it!

  7. Oh my gosh, I had forgot about that malady. We didn't have as many sheep as you do but I remember the work, also the calving of new heifers. I am so glad it is warming up. We have beavers too near the river which gives the city people fits as they come in and chew down all of the landscaping. It always makes me laugh.
    They built the office buildings there so what do they expect.
    I think it sound lovely and your bulbs are going to be lovely. I have been thinking about this year and Easter because Palm Sunday is the day before Passover so I think it all lines up perfectly with the Bible and there being a Eclipse on Tuesday. Interesting times. My kids want to have a Passover celebration so I am thinking about that.

  8. Isn't there anything cuter than a baby calf? Well, maybe a baby lamb! Such sweet faces. You had your work cut out for you with that sickness - glad the sheep are doing well now.

    Our snow hasn't melted yet although it's going down. We need a few good rains.

    Yes - He is!

  9. Oh, I bet you are tired, Jody. You'll be happy when Easter rolls around and maybe you can have some uninterrupted nights of good sleep.

  10. You have been working hard Jody and burning the candle at both ends it seems :( Wishing you an easier time ahead and hoping all the last births will be easy ones.
    Our daffodils are finishing up now, so next we'll have to go bluebell walking. Some of the days have been really fine but the chilly winds keep coming back which has us pulling out the woollies again. I haven't visited much as my mother continues to deteriorate which demands more of my time. It's been lovely popping in today and catching up with your news. xxx

  11. Yay for spring on the ranch! All very lovely sights esp that birdie on the skull. I like the look of that. Sorry to hear about the sheep illness. I hope you didn't lose any. It is always something, it seems. Blessings.

  12. Such sweet calvies! I am really enjoying reading through your blog. You might enjoy checking mine out (if you have a spare minute on the ranch)--

  13. So nice to catch up with life on the farm/ranch. How I love those little calves' faces! Hope things are calm enough for you to enjoy Easter!


  14. Where does your brand originate?

    1. Handed down for 3 generations. I always figured it was the first and last letters of my FIL's name.

    2. My family owns the lazy YJ brand for cattle.

    3. We own the lazy YJ for sheep and YJ bar for cattle.

    4. Different states can have the same brands. Each state has its own brand laws.

    5. I just wondered if they were connected in some way. We got the brand in the early 60's in Arizona.

  15. That's a blog post all about LIFE, isn't it? God is a God of LIFE, and Jesus came bringing and renewing life, overturning disease and death. You see this on your ranch this time of year :) And you all are busy bringing health and life to newborns and to sheep and to even the grass, so it will grow and bring life as it's supposed to. When we involve ourselves in LIFE, our own lives are full of joy and fulfillment. Thanks!


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