Take care, keep safe and Happy Easter. M xx
Today, Eddie the eagle checked in on our telephone pole for an extended visit. Clearly overseeing the lunch time possibility of the rapidly growing lambs and considering the logistics of snacking on Mr. and Mrs. Canada Goose, who are busily setting up home on the tree stump nest in the middle of the Ranch pond. It took a little pickup truck with an exaggeratedly loud muffler (exhaust for my English friends) passing beneath his perch to persuade him to spread his impressive wings and soar over the ranch into the cedar tree forest. Watching Eddie drifting on the thermals in a clear blue sky, we are always left with a feeling of awe at his beauty, power and attitude and concern for the whereabouts of the smaller members of our Ranch family. Today, the big Bald Eagle left without filling his lunch order.....see you tomorrow...after lunch please Eddie.
Take care, keep safe and Happy Easter. M xx
I wish I could tell you which part of my body hurts the most right now ......reach for the painkiller...I couldn't tell you myself... but I hurt, so much !!!
The watery late Winter sun was trying to break through the heavy cedar boughs that cascaded to the ground. Beneath the century old canopy of branches, the ground was strewn with decaying debris that had accumulated unnoticed since the original forest had been cleared when this land was still young. With the old green farm tractor positioned beneath the swaying branches, Greg, tightly gripping a freshly sharpened chainsaw. issued his very limited tutoring on the basics of safely getting him up and down in the tractor bucket... there was as I remember no mention of trying to remain composed with my foot planted firmly on the brake and the tractor sitting at what appeared to be 45 degrees on a hilllside listening to the creak and crack of a breaking branch whilst the love of my life appeared to be disappearing under a weighty cedar bough. Somehow, together, we succeeded in clearing the lower branches of the cedar copse, the sun cast heavy shadows across a pasture deep with ancient fir needles and cedar foliage.
As the tractor engine growled and I cringed beneath the increasing pile of brush falling from and covering the ground of the cedar copse, neighbor Paul rumbled down the farm road in his rusty yellow bulldozer. Within moments, the antiquated fence line had been transformed and as rich dark earth churned beneath the tracks, a new and level fence line emerged. Thank you Paul.
Not quite as stressful for me ( but I can't talk for big brother John !) the new white picket fence in the barn yard is the answer to one of the (one of these day items) on my barn wish list...thank you John, I will think of you whenever I look at it. It has been a busy, painful and fruitful few weeks but as I review the results in the pasture and barnyard.....I will sleep well tonight. Take care, keep safe, M
Well actually it started on a laid back Sunday. Cutting, clearing, stacking, hauling firewood to the barn, raking, getting ready to fence. Lovely weather. The clouds were heavy on the horizon, but the Rain Gods were kind to us and allowed the sunshine to show through while we were in the field. Just as the tractor rolled into the farmyard, the heavens opened! Now, almost ready to level the ground under the fence line and start the REAL purpose of all this. Get the fence up so Quest and Charm can get in their summer pasture.
Take care and stay safe
Greg and Maureen
This one's for you Curt!
Many years ago, in Preston, an industrial town in Northern England, I was the irritating "little" sister....together big brother John and I would spend hours perched on railway bridges or smoky railway sidings. In rain, hail, snow or sunshine we would wait for the next steam train coming down the line, smoke billowing and whistle blowing as they sped northward to Scotland or the Southern line to London and beyond. Today the "little" sister recalled her train spotting escapades with "big brother" and, once again we were a team. As Greg, high up in the tractor bucket sawed offending trailing cedar boughs, John and I cleared the ever increasing pile of debris and fed the relentlessly hungry flames of the slash fire. As I think back over our day in the pasture, I remember that, as a young girl, I always admired my big brother and now, many years older and hopefully a little wiser, I'm so proud of him, proud of my family and so grateful to be able to share our wonderful life with them. Thank you John and Jean for joining us here on the ranch, I guess if we don't kill you, you will leave with many memories ! Take care, keep safe, M xx
Life in the sunshine is relaxed for these sheep. We are still waiting for two more ladies to give up their burden! Cutie the lamb is growing and keeping up with the rest of the lambs. She is still on the bottle, but no more cuddles. Comes to get the bottle and is off as soon as she is done. I think Maureen misses the cuddles more than Cutie!!
For all you lamb followers, just a few snipits of the day in the life of a lamb. Sleep, play, eat, and more sleep! Oh yes, there is feeding time for Cutie... Jim and Sue got a chance to help.
Chance was a bottle baby four years ago when her mom abandoned her in a puddle of ice. Still recovering from back surgery, unable to walk myself, I nursed the dying lamb on my knee, until life and warmth came back into her little body. Chance had twin lambs today, a big healthy white ewe lamb and a robust black and white ram lamb. This evening, as we turned off the the barn lights, Chance and her little family were warm and snug in the big cedar barn. The day we no longer wonder at the circle of life...is the day we will retire. Life is good. Take care, keep safe. M xx
Her name is Cutie. She was born 3 days ago as the first of three lambs. Largest of the three lambs. First born. Mommy was more interested in the other two and gave Cutie the boot (head butt that is!). Cutie was not as aggressive as the other two and lost out. So now its our turn. Bottle feeding is the only alternative and she is a Cutie. Even getting used to the idea that milk is coming from us. Oh well, life is precious on the ranch and we take care of all the best we can. Oh dear... Maureen will insist on finding the proper home for her!! G
Life is full of surprises.....Erin called this morning...one of the "ladies" had had a lamb.....but which one ? Dotty and Momma bear were both making momma noises...both were claiming the little wet body laying in the straw and at that moment in time the little wet lamb really didn't care...life had just begun. Clearly we had to make a decision and Miss Dotty was duly escorted along with the little ewe lamb to a waiting claiming pen. Momma Bear protested all morning at the kidnapping of "her" new born but our instincts were validated when lamb number two was followed by lamb number three in the little claiming pen. Tiger the barn tabby cat had to check out the new arrivals and Bella the Jersey cow, due to calve in April, was eager to introduce herself to the new members of the Ranch family. Our thanks to Erin,Sue and Dan for welcoming the new arrivals and for ensuring that all the members of the sheep barn still felt special. Amazing what a peanut or three can do !! Take care keep safe, M.
There is something really magical about a frosty January morning down on the ranch. As the sun rose through the trees and it's rays reflected on the pond Bran the Border Collie remained stoically on guard..albeit safely behind a big farm gate . Barney the big Oxford ram , currently living a celibate life in his Winter bachelor pad fearlessly taunts his canine guardian...standing just a border collie whisker away. Meanwhile his very rotund and very, very expectant harem languish lazily in the sheep barn.....apparently not missing the attention of Barney the amorous ram at all. Come on ladies....little first lamb needs some play mates ! Stay warm, keep safe, M
Its me, Maureen, (the Boss)