Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sunday Scenery

Okay, I know this is being posted on a Thursday.  I am a little slow, but the photos were taken on Sunday.

This past Sunday we moved about 130 cow/calf pairs and 4 bulls home from their summer pasture.  They had been out on the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge for the summer.  It is a beautiful location which I had never visited before. 

The refuge headquarters are about 35 miles away from our place.  We had four stocktrailers for hauling cattle.  Three of them are shown here.  Each trailer took at least 4 loads.

The cattle were happy in their pasture.  Here a few are resting before we put them in the working corral.  This pasture had our black cows with their calves (most of them whitish, some black).  Our black cows are bred by Charolais bulls.  Charolais bulls are white.  The calves grow up to be great feeder calves and then beef for you!
This is the working corral that we rented.  We could move the panels around to make one huge pen or two pens of varying size.  We had two pens plus the built-in alley way.  One pen was smaller so we could load the trailers and the other, larger, pen kept us well stocked (no pun intended) with more cattle to load. 
On the drive to their new pasture, I saw these two adult moose.  The photo is not great as it was with my cell phone but I just had to share!  These moose were only about three miles from our place.  Some trips when I went past they were laying down in this soy bean field. 

This was the view out my window.  (Before you discipline me for taking photos while driving you need to know I have already gotten a tongue lashing from our 22 year old son.)  In this photo you can see a cow nose peeking out of the trailer (sometimes it was an ear), the oil wells that are now plentiful just west of us and the green grass.  Green grass is rare this time of year. 

Then there was this crazy thing.  A couple of weeks ago C&P were out checking cattle along with her parents and saw this sheep in with our cattle.  It is not ours.  We think he was a stray and was just happy to find company as he has been with our cattle ever since.  Poor guy has not been sheered in a few years.  We'd like to find the rightful owner, but in the meantime we have a woolly cow!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 37/52: Andy again

I think I am a bit behind on my Andy weekly photos and posts.  Oh well, I will try to catch up!

This week Andy spent a little time in the yard.  He liked the pile of leaves - like any kid!!

The leaves are not pretty any more like when they were on the trees and turning.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week 36/52: Hang in there Andy

Andy visited the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge.  Here he is checking out what I thought was a bird house but it had electronics in it!!  Oh well, perhaps it was a thrill for the refuge staff to see Andy peeking in at them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 35/52: Yellow Field Pea Harvest

The grain harvest has finally begun at NoDak Herefords.  With spring planting being late, so too is the harvest.  Brett is a farmer through and through.  He did a majority of the planting, all of the spraying and now is running the combine.  (Hmmm, reminds me of the story of Chicken Little!)   Don't worry, others on the farm have kept quite busy too.  Christopher seems to be a full time rancher.  There are always cattle to check and fences to repair.  He is running here and there all of the time!  Mark has been swathing canola.  I am the "go-fer"  which means I try to help any of the guys when they ask.

I did get a few photos to share with you.

Andy thinks he can drive the big combine.  Brett is not so sure!

Here is a view of the combine.  It is in a field of Yellow Field Peas.  The plants look just like the peas you can grow in a garden.  We wait for them to dry down.  When the peas are hard and dry enough it is time to combine.  The front part of this combine has a special type of header.  It is called a flex head.  A flex head is designed to skim across the ground and be flexible enough to (hopefully) go over any rocks and just "scoop up" the pea plants & pods.  All of this goes through the combine.  The seeds end up in the hopper (holding tank) and the rest gets spat out the back.  If we are lucky, our cattle will get to come into these fields this fall.  They will love to eat the seeds that got away!  Also any green plants that will be there.  This is called "after grazing".
Brett had filled the hopper on the combine with peas so it was time to dump them into the semi.  Once the semi gets full it will be taken to a storage building (grain bin) on our farm.  The peas will stay in storage until we decide it is time to sell them.  Marketing is vital to running a profitable farm and is quite time consuming.  It is one thing that we always need to improve on.  We hope the peas are 'food quality' which means you could end up eating peas raised at NoDak Herefords!