Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Official End of Calving Season 2015

With Ruffie's midday delivery today, we close the calving book for 2015.  A few days early, but hey - at least she chose to calve around noon instead of last night in the rain.
Mother and daughter are doing fabulous.  I'm sure everyone is looking forward to a rare late season treat of cute calf pictures all winter long!
 0930.  About 3 hours from delivery
 I'm sure it was just a leaf, but she's on high alert no matter what
 A very unsympathetic Millie watches her gal pal going down for the count
 The new arrival, 72 pounds of cuteness in heifer form
 "Yum.  Love the taste of fresh iodine in the afternoon"

 "Mom, people are WATCHING!!"

The obligatory cute calf butt shot

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rainy Days Are Here Again

There is such joy in the return of the cooler, rainy weather we so cherish up here that you just have to carry a camera at all times

 The sunrise finds a little sliver to peek thru the rain

Autumn Blazing

The pictures say all that is needed about fall in the Pacific Northwest

Friday, October 9, 2015

End of the Legacy

At around 0730 this morning, I had my hand on the maternity pasture gate, headed out to feed, when something, obviously a bird but I never saw it, ripped over my head at a speed I'd never seen before.  It startled me enough to try and track it to identify it when I saw the top of the ancient Legacy Oregon white oak in the south pasture topple, followed by the rest of the tree, in a shuddering, lingering crash.  I yelled for Dale, saw that at least Pony wasn't in that pasture but didn't know where the sheep were.  Going out to the barn I found them behind it, safely out of harm's way.  The cows in the north pasture scattered like leaves in a hurricane when it came down, but then of course went back to eating once they realized it had no impact on them.
It was saddening to see the old soldier crash to its death.  We knew it wasn't much longer for this world, as it was rotted out thru the heart of it when we moved in back in 2006.  The OSU grad student who studied it over the course of the summer of 2007 said it looked fairly healthy but definitely had some problems. 
I'm so glad that a lot of pictures of it exist and that my good friend Mimi from Germany and her family had a chance to see it.  Somewhere we have a picture of the entire family plus my brothers and their kids, ringed around it holding hands.  It took all probably 9 or 10 of them to make it around the trunk.
Goodbye, old friend.  We will leave the stump for the vultures to roost on and remember you for the quiet dignity and towering strength you had for so many centuries.

 6'3" Dale in the pix for scale

Light and Colour

Playing with the light and colour change on the Dawson Road treeline of 'October Glory' maples and sweetgum trees.
 3 days ago, midafternoon, above and below

This morning shortly after sunrise

Monday, October 5, 2015

Goodbye to the Jellybean

After just shy of 6 years of very near perfect service (and well into the 6 digits on the odometer), it was time to say goodbye to our beloved Jellybean.  Saturday was a lovely fall day, and we had a few errands to run up in Corvallis, so off we went fairly early to make the rounds.  On the way back out of town, we decided to stop by Wilson Motors, to have a look at the red Edge Sport sitting under the portico that we spotted on the way up to Wilco and Home Depot (no Jerry's in Corvallis, a cryin' shame, really, so we have to make do with HD when we're up there).  We knew from browsing online they had one, now it was time for a closer look.
Several hours later, after we made the trip back home to empty the Jellybean of approximately 1345 pounds of stuff that had accumulated in all of its voluminous storage areas - and then after driving the new Edge home to pick up the Jellybean's title that we had forgotten - the new Edge was snugly lodged in the garage.
It's always sad for me to say goodbye to a fab vehicle.  I think the Wonder Wagon (Saturn wagon) was probably the hardest, as we had been so many places with it tagging along obediently behind the RV and it had been such a great vehicle for us and the dogs.  I always get a bit teary eyed as we say goodbye to the old soldiers, and Jellybean was no different.  Dale had just finished yet another 2000 mile round trip to San Diego and back in August, and the extended-extended warranty was only going to be good for about 20K more miles, then we would be paying handsomely for a third party warranty.  Even tho it was flawless, it had a LOT of miles on it and well, things in the newer cars that go wrong tend to be VERY expensive to fix, especially as electronics start wearing out.  So it was more of a financial decision than any other reason to trade in the old gal.
I have to say.  3 days with the new one, and we just keep getting (mostly) delightfully surprised at the things it can do.  The Sport comes with the 2.7l dual turbo V6 and if you remember the bad old days of turbocharged engines, forget what you knew, because this new generation is beyond belief.  Turbo lag?  Dim, distant memory.  There is NONE.  Turbo whine?  Some people like it; Really Big Red's PowerStroke 6.0l turbo diesel can make some awesome noise when you romp on the go pedal.  The new Edge just goes all throaty and almost V8ish when you say GO.  No whine.
The dash takes some getting used to, but Dale drove it at night for the first time tonite and he was absolutely in love with it all.  The 3D speedo means you can actually see how fast you're going at all times, day or night.  The tach is finally just a very small digital dial that isn't annoyingly in your face - it's an automatic trans after all, you don't really need to see where the revs are for shifting.  Unless of course you stick the 6 speed auto into 'Sport' mode and go all flappy paddle shifting on it.
There's so much more that I could go on about, including a few annoying things that we tend to figure out with the help of over 400 pages of owners manual.  The gist of it - this is a FABULOUS vehicle, quiet, powerful, handles firmly and crisply, tons of room, comfortable, well thought out ergonomics, maybe a tad too much nanny gizmos (lane departure warning, cameras all over the place, bells when you pull into the garage warning you're too close on all sides, adaptive cruise control, accident avoidance, blind spot warnings, etc etc etc), and a truly awesome look at night with all the various lights blazing away all over it.
It was sad to say goodbye to an old friend, but a lot of fun learning all about the new friend - still dog hair and drool free, for the moment.
 Jellybean's last time in the garage
 New Edge home at last
 New and old

October Glory

October.  The very name invites many sensory images in our minds.
Such as....
 ...The annual dress the poo flinger for Halloween....
 ...cozy campfires to sit around and make s'mores....
 (yes, that is a full sized excavator there for scale)
 ...trees putting on their fall finery....
...and a lone little violet, making a VERY unseasonable appearance