Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back With Authority

Dale was up in Portland Monday morning, and called to ask if it was raining at the ranch (it was dry up there).  I said it sure was, and I knew the next question would be, was it raining cats and dogs?  Love that Davis Instruments has a sense of humour and puts that on their weather stations.
It may be early, but the rains mean business.  Haven't heard a single complaint yet.
The series below starts with Monday's burst (ended up around .25"), and then there is this morning's.  You can check the time and amount to see how it went for about 20 minutes until it finally ended.  Don't forget to click the pix!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Young Love

Older boy meets younger girl.  Spud and 1 week old today Autumn start a relationship.
Click on the first pix to start the slideshow

Like two ships passing in the night, Autumn passes by a appreciative Spud

 Girls always like to dress up.  In this case, mom's abundant tail makes a classy scarf

Friday, September 20, 2013

Two Brothers

Two of Roar's outstanding sons, full brothers.  Zamora's first calves will be hitting the ground early next year and we can't wait to see them.  Both boys are out of one of our best cows, LeeLu (HD Vanya 236V, a The Glen Manuel daughter out of a Willalooka Power daughter).  LeeLu keeps her condition with no effort on dryland pasture, calves easily, milks awesomely, and breeds right back.  Can't ask for much better out of a momma cow.
Roar, now, he needs little introduction.  Trait leader in YW and WW, son of the great Willalooka Pharaoh P47, himself Australian trait leader in almost every category, he stamps his sons with his mild, easygoing temperament, great fertility, superb length and girth - and in a few cases, his teeny little ears (poor Alfie).
Acquiring one of his sons is a rare opportunity, as Roar produces almost 80% heifers.  Don't miss your opportunity to acquire one of these outstanding sons!
Photos courtesy of Bonnie, JB Ranch Murray Greys, Roseburg, Oregon, breeder of Roar
 Alf, 5.5 months old.  BW 83#, WW 660# DOB 25 March 2013
$3000 FIRM

Zamora, 16 months old, BW 80#, WW 625# (10 Sept) DOB 2 March 2012
Grand Champion, Josephine County Fair 2013
Halter trained, gentle and already working

Falling Early

This is normally late October weather up here, but over the past few days, we've had gorgeously crisp early mornings.  Snagging a 'Honeycrisp' apple on the way out for the morning packwalk when it's a dewy 45 degrees out must be one of the greatest, yet simplest, joys in life, right up there with sharing the morning with your husband of 31 years and a pack of goofball dogs.  That first bite of cold, sweet and juicy apple, freshly picked off the tree - nothing can compare.
And now the rains have arrived, as I said, over a month early, but hey - we're not complaining!  Yet.  The pastures have a haze of green, the cows are clean again, all the dust of the summer is washed off and the pure sound of the wind thru the Doug firs and water dripping down the rainchain are more than welcome right now

Shades of Pink

Sometimes, things I plant just work out wonderfully.  This started life as a sad little ovoid basket with a straggly dusty miller, a volunteer lobelia, a tiny sprig of green at the base of a dead snapdragon and a lot of empty space.  Jan took me to one of her 'secret' nursery finds, a real jewel in the parking lot of an abandoned shopping centre in Albany (Oregon, NOT New York), where I picked out a very unusual duo of impatiens.  One was the gorgeous double mottled pink that looks like a beautiful miniature rose, and the other a cheerful pink with white eye single.  I filled the empty spaces in the planter and hoped for the best.  And this time, it worked
Don't forget to click on the pix to enjoy the full sized slideshow!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rosy Cheeked and Loaded

Now really, did you think I was talking about some party girl from OSU or something there?  Honestly, thought you'd know better by now.
Dale pointed out a few days ago that the 'Honeycrisp' apple tree was WAY overloaded and leaning heavily to the east.  Seeing as how our strong storms fly in out of the west, that was not a good situation for the tree to be in.  We have been picking and eating apples off of it for a few weeks now, but even with being thinned several times, it was still a banner year for this young tree.  And, my pal Sally from Corvallis, a master orchardist, came over this spring and pruned it up nice and neat as well as grafted three different varieties onto it.  Sadly, none of the grafts took this year, so we'll try again next year.
In the meantime, I went thru and picked a full, 5 gallon bucket of 'rejects' for the cows.  Since we do no spraying at all, we tend to sacrifice a few apples to various bugs and the birds, especially the Stellar jays

The Spud Goes Artsy

Sometimes, I just can't help myself.  The dramatic sky, the jet black calf, the tapestry of the treeline with it's multicolours of green.  And, for a few seconds at least, Spud was standing still enough to get just a few shots off before he walked over to see if I might have some treats or some interesting things to try and chew on.
At least he kinda looks dignified.  As much as a 2 week old boy can, anyway

Auroara at 2.5 Months

Auroara fell victim to the 7th child syndrome.  You know that one - you take tons of pix and videos of the first 3 kids, then not so many of the next 2, fewer still of the next 1, then by the time you get to numbers 7, 8 and 9, well, the magic has just gone out of taking pictures of rowdy, uncooperative youngsters, especially the black ones that just don't show up on 'film' well.

Today, a potential buyer asked for more shots, preferably recent, of the mini tanker.  She's usually right there with 2 week old Spud (Alydar), whom she has decided needs her guidance and experience to navigate all those udders walking around, only one of which would allow nursing without kicking.  Altho at one point, I saw Miss Bold, Black and Bodacious nursing off of LeeLu, who was busy chowing down on an apple.  LeeLu is NOT Auroara's momma, Ruffie is.  But Ruffie, being the dignified elder stateswoman of the pasture, probably didn't mind that her daring daughter was sneaking snacks elsewhere.

Auroara is going to be quite the beef producer.  She is the spitting image of her momma, Ruffian, being long and thick already, with a gorgeous topline and pretty head as well as plenty of girth.  She's bright and curious and not much afraid of anything.  She will be quite the asset to her new herd, that's for sure.

Auroara is SOLD

Don't forget to click the pix to start the slideshow!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autumn at 8 Hours

The grey and misty skies cleared this afternoon, and Vicky C and her new daughter Autumn left the feederbunks to explore the maternity pasture.  Autumn is a feisty little girl and seems to enjoy posing, especially with the safety of mom nearby.  Don't forget to click on the first pix to start the slideshow, and enjoy!

I couldn't help myself.  Vicky in these two shots, imitating a giraffe I think.  She comes from solid range stock Murrays and shows it by her attentiveness 

Alydar at 2 Weeks

Alydar, or Spud as we've come to call him, is a busy guy.  When he's not draining mom's faucets, he and big sis Auroara are off causing trouble somewhere.  Chasing chickens, running laps around the big cows, trying to pull the hose off the water tank, teasing the dogs, this boy's social schedule doesn't leave him a lot of time for posing for pictures.  Thus, I can usually get butt shots and the odd 'no I'm NOT picking my nose' head shots, or a black blur racing by with tail in the air

Finally, Vicky's Little Girl Arrives

It's been quite a ride with Vicky C.  Last year, we pulled a dead bull calf from her, her first calf.  This year, I was so nervous I had OSU out TWICE to make sure all was going okay this time.  Other than the fact that she was FAT.  On GRASS.  Dry grass, at that.
Yesterday we did our nightly ritual of putting her in the feederbunks, just in case.  No sense in chasing her all over the maternity pasture again; I think that probably contributed more to the loss of her first calf than anything else.  I had noticed signs of impending calving late yesterday afternoon, so last night I was out there every hour or so, checking on her.  EVERY DAMN HOUR.  All I got was a lot of mucous and a very nervous cow doing laps around the bunks, eyeing the gates like she might try it.  Every time I went to open my gate to go in, she was right there, wanting OUT and RIGHT NOW.
Finally, around 0700, I said to heck with it, I'm gonna go get a shower and more coffee.  Did that, and 30 minutes later walking out I saw her down and pushing.  Started the clock, and at 0801 I heard the sploosh.  I peeked around the corner and saw a sac full of calf lying on the ground, and Vicky too.  I walked out and told Vicky to get her butt up and get working on her new baby, and she did.  Did an excellent job too, after all that nerve-wracking waiting and worrying.  Baby girl was up and at 'em within minutes, altho it was hard for her to keep her footing with all the goo and mom's constant licking.
Now, we just need a name.  I had jotted some potentials, both male and female.  It's an 'A' year, which is way better than last year ('Z').
Adelaide (after all, the MG came from Australia originally)
Athene (she's a big, strong girl)
Autumn (it's kinda grey and rainy, just like autumn in the PNW)

Just love that face!!


Vicky and her new daughter are SOLD

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ivory and Ebony

Otherwise known as 'A Watched Cow NEVER Calves'.  Vicky C (big, preggo silver cow) and little Prince Aston hang out this afternoon while Dale and I worked on the final part of the barn drainage project.  That's Alfie's little dun head under Vicky's watchful head, and probably Asteroid's big fat black butt behind her.
She's awful close now, meaning there will be no sleep tonite - again

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Finishing the Feederbunk Project

And just in time as well.  The day after the final load of 3/4 minus rock went in, we got 1.25" of rain.  Timing is everything.
Since Vicky C is still crossing her legs and refusing to calve, thus insuring that I have to go out several times a night to check on her, I have been putting her in the bunk at night so I don't have to chase her all over the maternity pasture.  And thus far, it has held up just fine.  We'll see along about March how well we did

And then it rained.  The very day Bruce delivered the last load of gravel the skies decided to finally give the parched Pacific Northwest a good, solid shot of rain.  The final total by the morning of the 6th was around 1.25".  Lordy, did we EVER need it!

2 Weanlings For Sale

Inventory is goin' down.  Get yours before he/she is gone!

 Alf poses in the early morning light this morning.  Spittin' image of his ol' man, Roar.  Plenty of info about Alf appears in other posts below.
$3000 FIRM

 Amy, above and below.  Don't know what happened with the colour, other than it was very early this morning.  Amy will make a really nice replacement heifer or a fun 4H project.
Amy is SOLD