Monday, September 28, 2015

Rockin' Their World

One of the last chores to be done before the fall/winter rains set in is to rock the feederbunks.  Last year, we installed two French drains, one inside the bunks, one outside, to try and handle the water runoff.  And then of course, it didn't really rain enough to truly test it.  We usually topped the bunks off with a few inches of 3/4 minus rock from our local quarry every fall, only to see it disappear by the following summer.
 
Not this year.  The first 14 tons was delivered last Friday, and by Saturday evening, almost all of it was in place - almost 2' deep this time.  We had brought the level of the bunks up 12" with the addition of the new boards, which allowed us to finally bring the level of the rock up enough to make a real difference.
 
So, we will see.  That is, if we get enough rain this time.
 
 
 One last, final look at the nice, smooth and level rock job....

 ....before the barbarians stomp all over it

 Baby Gerry isn't so sure about it
Well, it WAS nice and smooth and clean.....

Bye Beau

You meet the nicest, most honest folks (usually) when you sell cattle.  Tim from Raymond, Washington definitely met that critera.  He arrived on Friday afternoon to pick up Beau and Brie, the young heifer he'd gotten from Ted and Susan in Sutherlin.  Caylin and Susan had hauled her up on Thursday so we could do a single brand inspection instead of two separate ones and save Tim several hours extra driving on Saturday.  Brie is a Roar granddaughter, so it was nice to get a chance to see her.
 
We loaded the dynamic duo up around noon on Saturday and they were off to their new digs and new herdmates from Diamond G Murray Greys in Vader, Washington.  Tim is just getting into the all natural, grass fed and finished, raised on the ranch from start to finish beef market up in his neck of Washington, and I think he's going to do very, very well.  He knows his market, knows what it will take to make and sustain it and is willing to do what it takes to establish himself.
 
The future just keeps looking better and better for grass fed and finished Murray Grey beef producers!
 
 Brie gets a nose out to say goodbye
 So does Beau
 Just like two kids in the backseat of the station wagon

Late September

With lows dancing around in the high 30's to low 40's lately, the trees are taking the hint
 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Maple Madness

Dale figured it was time to finish dressing up the outside of the gate area with some new Japanese maples.  By coincidence, I had just spotted Liesha's ad on craigslist that Mackenzie River Maples would be open the very next day, Saturday.  We would be making our third trip out there to get Japanese maples from them; their selection, prices and most importantly, knowledge makes it our go-to place for all things Japanese maple.
 
As we figured it, we would need three maples to dress up the long side of the wrought iron fencing paralleling the driveway.  So of course we bought five.  Dale's thought is that you just can't have too many Japanese maples, and he's totally correct.  Three still for the fence we originally planned for, and I pretty much have figured out where one of the last two will be going.  The last one is a very special variety that will want careful placement to insure the best colour and visibility, so I am still working on that one.
 
Now, with supposedly cooler, wet weather on the way, the time is about as perfect as it gets to plant them and get the iris divided and moved.
 
I love the fall, and this year, it just won't get here fast enough for me!
 





It's a Fiesta!

No, I'm not decorating early for Christmas.  Our best pals Trent and Carla and the kids were coming over for a Labour Day BBQ so I thought I'd make it look festive.  Like the look so much I may never take them down!
 

Bold Begonia

What's not to like about this begonia?  Drought and cold hardy, pups like mad, beautiful blooms and leaves - it's all good!
 


Controlled Chaos in the Pasture

Last Sunday we had a load out party in the maternity pasture.  The girls from Bend and the gang from Sutherlin arrived to pick up various cows, calves and bulls.  The girls had just left Salem and the Oregon State Fair (with Norm, the huge winning bull calf, now headed to Sutherlin) to come collect Nellie and her little monster girl Lilly as well as drop off Norm for Ted, Susan and Caylin to bring to his new home in Sutherlin along with his half sister Cassie from us.
 
All in all, it actually went very smoothly.  We had put a halter on Nellie and Lilly - Nellie for the first time in her 10 years and Lilly for the fourth time - and both did surprisingly well and improve by the minute at their new home.  Norm of course simply walked out of one trailer and into the other without a fuss; he's an old hand at that.  Cassie saw the open trailer door and hopped right in, as calves seem to be more than happy to do, and the caravan of 3 truck/trailer combinations headed off into the sunset, headed south and east with a stop at the Rodeo in Junction City for a bite to eat first.
 
As always, we are sad to see everyone go, but happy in knowing that they will be an important part of their new herds for many years in the future.
 

 Our darling Annie, now a seasoned show cow and momma, with her little boy Carl
 And speaking of brats, that is Zoe (I think) with Banshee the Brat, long yearling heifer, another fine Roar X Millie daughter
And they're off!

49 Degrees of Separation

It's the weirder than average time of year up here, weather-wise.  Another lovely, mini heatwave which trashed the Corvallis Wine Walk plans we all had - alcohol and 90+ degrees don't mix well for me.  But, there is another one in March, and I don't care if it rains, to me it just makes it that much more fun to do.
 
In the meantime, the watering continues, unabated.....
 
 From this (it actually hit 39 but by the time I got up it had gone up a bit)....
 .....which fooled the trees into thinking it was time to turn.....
....to THIS totally unnecessary bump of almost 50 degrees 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Roar's Son Reigns at State Fair!!

Norm, aka Three Sisters Bravo (JB Roar X JB Ziva) kicked the competition to the curb at the Oregon State Fair this year!!
 
Major congrats to owner/handler Eden and the whole gang at Three Sisters for such a fine job!!
 
 Champion Intermediate Other Breeds Bull, Grand Champion Intermediate Other Breeds Bull and Reserve Supreme Champion Bull!!
 Chillin' in his stall
Eden and Norm make the rounds

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bye, Cy

Bittersweet as always, the weanlings started heading home today.  Matt and his buddy Lonnie arrived yesterday from Washington, and this morning they headed out with Matt's new herdsire, our big guy Cy.
 
Many, many thanks to Matt for choosing such a fine young boy!  It'll be hard to wait to see his first offspring hit the ground in 2017!
 
 'Alright, something's up, I can tell'
 Walked his big butt into the trailer with zero fuss and bother
 'Okay, something is DEFINATELY happening here!'
Off they go!