Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nadia's new calf!

Nadia gave birth to a beautiful black calf this afternoon. I was most fortunate to be there for the entire birth which was incredible.
Note: my camera decided it was tired so these photos are from my phone; please excuse the quality. 

Nadia with seconds old calf
Nadia cleaning off newborn calf
Nadia's calf's first wobbly stand
Mama Nadia, newborn calf, Daddy Bobby McGee

The calf was quick to its feet and hopefully will nurse well. Look for upcoming blog post with more details including video of the entire birthing! Way to go Nadia!

Jake in the Snow

This photo is from January when we somehow happened upon some snow during this extraordinarily mild Winter.

Jake in the snow

In general, our critters would actually prefer things to be 15°-20°F for the whole of Winter. At those temperatures the air is dry and while it is cold, it is actually the moisture in the air that's most uncomfortable.

Both our Scottish Highland cattle and Berkshire pigs are well adapted to our more normally colder clime and love being outdoors where they can roam, graze through the snowpack, and breathe fresh air (the honeybees on the other hand hunker down in their hives <g>). They are part and parcel of the environment and build both their and our habitat alongside their equally well adapted wild compatriots.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Some Early Spring Grazing in the Winter Paddock

We're starting to move the herd onto the fresh pasture portions of the Winter Paddock.

Honey & Vicki heads down grazing the early pasture

This is one of the most beautiful moments on the ranch when the herd moves into new pasture and everyone is heads down grazing. Coming out of Winter hay the herd will progressively transition to the protein rich spring lush pastures.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Update on lil Ollie

New calf Ollie is doing well and enjoying our sunny days of late. Here are some recent shots of the little guy.

Ollie bedded down for a nappy

Ollie with mama in winter paddock woodlot

Ollie nursing in the sunshine

Monday, March 26, 2012


The day started out with another one of my birthdays (keep 'em coming!) and ended with a  most wonderful birthday: a new life on ranch!

The herd welcomed a new member early this sunny afternoon when Amber birthed a beautiful baby bull ("Ollie"?)! This is her first calf and while he was a bit slow getting his wobbly hooves beneath him (I seem to recollect my parents saying same about me) he looks to be off to a fine start this sunny day.

Mom was certainly a bit disconcerted with all the attention showered on her from the curious piggies but she managed to run 'em off to more respectable distance (no mean feat when dealing with 500+lbs porkers!).

In the immortal words of Dave Lowery and Cracker: Happy Birthday to Me and to You!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Herd Meeting at hay bale in Winter Paddock

Herd assemblage at fresh round hay bale (yeah, guess I'm part of the herd).

Herd Meeting at hay bale in Winter Paddock
In this photo above I'm probably expounding on something that got me eye rolls earlier at my family's dinning table. Sometimes I find the cattle to be better listeners than my own kin <g>. Of course, they probably are simply more stoic than my offspring and I appreciate their indulging me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pigs pigging out while Jake waits his turn

Shot from last Winter's paddock.

While the Berkshire pigs are pushy at times they do eventually yield to herd boss Jake when he ambles over to check out the commotion. Jake's great size allows for gentle conflict resolution and is one of the reasons we're real glad to have him on board!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blizz 'n Ollie

Hanging with youngin' Blizz last year in dried crick bed. At this age I had considerable difficulty seeing a Scottish Highland calf and not a lamb.

Blizz and Rancher Ollie in crick bed
Contrast my harried perspiring countenance with Blizz's calm bliss <g> ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Pig 'n Piglet

On this the first day of Spring (but feeling for all the world like the first day of Summer), Big Pig (a something over 500 lbs heritage Berkshire hog) leads a piglet (maybe 150 lbs) out of the woodlot.

Big Pig leads piglet out of woodlot
The animals are certainly catching the scent of the coming spring and know that fresh pasture is coming to meet them!