Monday, February 27, 2012

First REAL snow of this Winter

We received about 8 inches of snow on Saturday night through Sunday.  It is VERY fluffy and will blow like crazy if we get a lot of wind.  It is no fun trying to walk through this stuff to check cows or move pairs up to the big barn.

This weather made a few more calves drop.  Sometimes pressure changes in the weather encourage labor (in cattle and people)!   Mark & I were up for three hours (3-6 AM) tending to new calves.  One little one only weighed 52 pounds (a nice average for a newborn calf is 75-80 lbs) so we put that one in the calf warmer for an hour.  Hopefully "we" don't loose any ears or tails with the cold weather.  We have about 36 calves running around now. 

This morning was the first trip to the vet.  A heifer was calving but one leg was down.  The guys tried to help put things in place but no luck.  She kept pushing til the head was coming.  So, there was a c-section with a dead calf.  Bummer.  But the heifer will be okay after she heals up.

Guys were busy moving snow today.  There should be lots of snow piles now.  I remember when the boys would look forward to that.  Now, they like to make them - not play in them!!

Another storm is brewing but it sounds like we should miss most of the snow.  We sure hope so!

We have a busy day tomorrow with appointments so the weather better hold out!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fruit of our Labor, or...

So maybe it is not the fruit of OUR labor, rather the fruit of 0505's labor!! 

She had a nice calf to start off our crazy morning.  Our youngest son is helping a neighbor work his cattle.  Our eldest son and his girlfriend went to Billings for a horse sale this weekend (sure hope they don't get stormed in there) so we had a couple of extra duties assigned to us.  The phone call has been starting something like this, "Hello, how is my most favorite mom?"  Any mother knows there is trouble or a favor to be asked!  So, at 9 AM, Mark heads downtown to complete the sale of one of their horses.  He comes home, calls me, "Can you come help pull a calf?".  So, I grab the chain and handles and out I go.  We got the momma into the barn to help her deliver.  Her calf was coming backwards.  Now this is often a problem, but the calf popped right out (with the help of a calf puller) alive and ready to go!  We did not have to do much prompting to get the little guy to breath (a common problem with backwards calves).  I checked on them about an hour later and all is well.  In the meantime, I help with the rest of feeding chores.  But, just wait, another of those, "How is my favorite Mom?" calls!!  Now there is someone coming to buy a mule that the "lovebirds" own.  So, Mark takes care of that while I check in on his Mom.  That is finally all done, it is noon, and Mark still has to head out to feed cows.  Oops, he checked on the baby in the photo.  We need to help him.  His momma has some large teets so we will help the calf get started on them.  (getting milk (colostrum) in the first few hours is very important for the life/health of the calf).  Now Mark can go feed cows!

Oh, and did I mention it is cold along with a nasty wind?  Yes, a storm is brewing.  We are under a winter storm warning - forecasting 30 mph and about 6 inches of snow.  Even our cat, Cole, is looking for a spot in the barn!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sponsored today by the letter 'S'

Here are a couple of sites from our roadtrip to Bismarck yesterday.  We have had basically no snow all winter.  Well it decided to snow and mess up the highways the night before we had to make this trip.  So, brave hubby came along - and drove for me!!  Anyway, the roads were not as bad as I expected but we enjoyed hubby's company!

St. A's Snowman

This is the snowman that staff members must have built outside of St. A's Emergency entrance in Bismarck. I got a chuckle out of him! He has on the hair "net", red votive candles for eyes, blue plastic gloves pulled over fly swatters, croc type shoes and the surgical mask. The nose is something orange (pen maybe?) that looks like a carrot. Oh, and a scarf.

Snowy Seaman

It is a large metal sculpture near Fort Mandan at Washburn, ND. Also there, in 12 foot tall metal sculpture form, are Lewis, Clark and an Indian. You can see the park bench in the background for something to try to judge his size. I think he is about 8 foot tall.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter 2011-2012

WOW!!  This is the best winter ever!  We have had very little snow.  I had to look up the average for North Dakota.  The National Weather Service states that our average is around 24 inches.   Currently, it is zero!   The only snow at this ranch is in the shade - and we aren't complaining! 

I don't think that I have ever been able to check cows (at 3 AM) without snowboots.  However, this year, I can go out in my tennies (sneakers, whatever you call them)!  No need for heavy coveralls, coats, boots, and all since our temps have been above average too.  Yes folks, this is the life - healthy calves being born and this wonderful winter!

Here is a bit of photo evidence of the winter:

2012 Winter Wonderland

This photo was taken the afternoon of 4 Feb 2012 in North Dakota, USA. We have NO snow!! It is very rare (never in my lifetime) to have no snow in Feb and the temp was 40 degrees. No winter parkas, just a sweatshirt. Beautiful.   Shortly after taking this snapshot, the little boy on the far swing was stomping in the water puddle below his swing!!


This photo was taken 5 Feb 2012.  The only snow is along the  shrubs and what was packed in (ice) on the driveway.  Notice the water in the lower right corner.  (As of 20 Feb, the snow/ice is gone from the driveway and most of it along the shrubbery has melted as well!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

This week on Fotos by Friends (FbF) the theme is orange.

First is a tractor from my father-in-law's collection:

Orange Slices

It is that time of year again.  Calving has started and so have my 3 AM checks!  They are cute when they are little, but later is another story!!

I have joined a Photo group to share farm photos.  If you would like to see what is happening on other farms/ranches around the globe you can click on this link:

Farmchicks Farm Photo Friday

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The topic this week for Fotos by Friends (on Facebook) is Pets (from our past or present).  So I snapped a couple of a couple of our dogs.

Lori (White German Shepherd) thinks she is a lap dog!
She loves to lay in Mark's lap on the chair.

Rufus ( Australian Shepherd )

We have one more dog, Pandora.  I better get a photo of her or she will be jealous!!