Saturday, August 18, 2018

Late summer happenings on the ranch...

The hay is put up and much of it has been hauled in.  There is still some out in the fields to fetch, but this time of year when we get dry lightning, it is best not to have all of our hay in large stacks until threat of fire is mostly past us.

The men have started back on the fencing project and have accomplished quite a bit.  Together they are the epitome of a working team.  They each know their job and can work without saying a word. 

The February lambs were sorted off and we kept 70 head of replacement ewes and shipped the rest to the sheep sale barn.  We weaned the late May lambs and will let them gain more weight on the regrowth of the hayfields before we sell them this fall.  We will also pick more replacement ewe lambs from the May lamb bunch to put back into the herd.

This past week we worked all of the cows and their calves through the barn, vaccinating all of the calves and pouring insecticide on cows and calves and turning everything out to the far pastures to graze.  We are so thankful that this summer turned out to be a fairly cool one with rains interspersed throughout which made the grazing excellent.  Even though the prairie has turned golden brown, there is still a little green underneath which keeps the cows working for it and grazing off the dry grass along with it. 

The gardens are producing well too.  I've dug up a few potatoes-- just enough for our suppers-- and leave the smaller ones connected to the plants to continue growing through the fall.  Oh, a fresh potato is good!  Do you know how many pesticides and anti-sprout chemicals are on grocery store potatoes?  Ugh!  I realize that potatoes grown commercially will go into storage for who-knows-how-long, so they must be treated, and not many of us would buy a bagful of sprouted potatoes at the grocery store, but golly, there is a lot done to those spuds that I don't do to mine, and I keep my potatoes through much of the winter.  I do have to snap off a few sprouts though. 

I'm just now getting ripened tomatoes despite their curling leaves, and what a treat they are!  The cucumbers are plentiful and the zucchini too.  I pulled up a few carrots a couple days ago and they are just beautiful in size and shape, and the taste is oh-so-sweet.  Just like you want them to be.  I always think a cold snap or a freeze in the fall makes them even sweeter.  The green beans keep on coming and there are just enough for Hubby and I for a meal each time I pick.  I planted lettuce a few weeks back and it is coming along nicely.  I'm looking forward to fresh lettuce again.

I'm still all about bird-watching and this little cutie showed up around the house this past week or so.  We think it's a female Rufus hummingbird or an immature male.  It's so fun to watch it flitting around the sunflowers, petunias, and larkspur.  We've also had the Blue Herons as guests on our stock pond next to our home.  They are quite huge and intimidating when flying over.  NumberOneSon says they look like prehistoric pterodactyls flying over.  He's so funny.
I hope you're enjoying the summer days.  I know many of you are experiencing terrible heat and others are wishing for sunny days.  We are in the middle of that, but are having many gray sky days due to smoke from nearby forest fires.  I hope for rains upon them soon.  God bless you and thanks for stopping by. 


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