Summer Pastures

All our cattle are on the summer pastures now and they are enjoying the fresh, green grass, blue skies and warm sunshine.

Depending on the size of the field they are in, we rotate them every few days onto fresh grass. The first time we moved them this spring they were all a bit skittish and unsure. Now they know the drill and are lined up at the gate waiting to go.

We open the gate and walk over to the next field and the cattle follow along – and sometimes rush on ahead and you just close the gate behind them.  It is pretty easy for everyone involved.

The fresh grass is nature’s ideal food for bovines and they seem to know it.

The hardest thing about summer pastures is keeping the grass around the fencelines under control.

We use solar chargers for our electric fencing and keeping the grass down around them is a regular task. We get over 90 inches of rain per year so the grass – and everything else – grows pretty fast.  We are planning to clear the old, overgrown fence line in this section soon so the cattle can graze this area too. In the meantime Rick and Alex keep it mowed down so the grass doesn’t short out the fence.

Since we are around them so much, our cattle are pretty tame and friendly. When they see us, they all come over for a rub or a scratch – including our bull Ox.

It seems like everyone wants to be petted. Sometimes they follow demanding attention when you are trying to get something else done. Usually it is just easiest to stop the rub them, then you can get back to whatever you were doing.

The wobbly newborn calves of a couple of months ago are now sturdy little critters running with the herd.

They run and play and nibble on grass – but they don’t get too far from one of the Mama’s. The cows have a co-op approach to the calves. One of them is usually close by but the other may be clear across the field, then after a while they trade-off. They lick each other’s calves and generally treat both of them as their own. The only thing that is very specific to each cow and calf pair is nursing. I’ve never seen them nurse each other’s baby.

Everyone is enjoying the summertime.

Heading South

Our nephew Nick and his lovely wife Riah are leaving the North Country heading south on a new adventure. Before they left, they came up to the ranch one last time to do all the fun ranch activities.

Obviously Nick enjoys splitting firewood quite a bit.  Riah has done her share of firewood too – but not on this day.

Riah has also done her share of shooting – but not on this day.

On this day Riah mowed and took pictures. It’s hard to take pictures of yourself mowing so we don’t have any of her. We do have the pictures she took of other things though. Like Rick mowing the mushroom road.

And Grizzly the ranch dog sitting in the freshly mowed road.

Meanwhile, back at the firewood, Alex splits firewood too. He has a wood stove and needs to get ready for winter. He doesn’t look nearly as excited as Nick about splitting wood though.

One thing they both did was leave us a big round of wood with their initials carved in it. Can you make out the NP and AP?

Here’s a closer view of Nick’s initial carving.

What is it about guys and chain saws that makes them want to carve their initials in something?

A truly momentous thing happened that day that didn’t have anything to do with firewood. We got a new barbeque / smoker.

And Rick actually read the directions before he used it!  Amazing.

So we had a nice barbeque dinner with Nick and Riah and now they are heading south. We’re gonna miss those two around here.

Roadsters

As my husband and son will verify, I am not a car person. However, even I noticed this snazzy little collection of vehicles parked at the local diner last Saturday.

According to the dictionary, a roadster is defined as: an early automobile having an open body, a single seat for two or three persons, and a large trunk or a rumble seat. From this description, I believe these must be roadsters. If not, would some car person please explain to me what they actually are?

I’ve noticed that if you live in a beautiful mountain area with rivers and glaciers, along a famous scenic drive – see more about the Cascade Loop here – it is much more likely that car and motorcycle clubs will visit your location than if you live in an arid, irrigated desert with bad air.

Go figure.