Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good NEWS!

The snow has stopped. It is now 41 degrees with a wind of 4 mph at almost noon today. Yay! The snow is melting...the drifts are going down...the sky is trying to turn blue...the sun is out!

Now, not to get hit on the head with a clump of snow when it comes cascading off the roofs! It is still hard to walk about, because the snow is still very deep.

Marvin was able to get in and out with true determination and CHAINS on his pickup tires. Frankly, I did not think he would be able to get out and then back in. What a guy! I am so going to keep him!

I am planning on going out again and see if there is a skunk in the hen house. The cats really smell of "skunk"...or maybe the dogs got into one. But the smell is in the air. I also noticed that some eggs were eaten yesterday in the quonset. That usually means a new skunk has taken up residence in the quonset. My cats have been very good about not eating eggs.

One time I was searching for eggs inside the hen house inside the quonset and I was running my hands under their nest area...there was something in there and it was not a chicken! YIKES! These little eyes in a little black face with a white stripe was staring back at me. There are times that I can move quite fast if I have to, and this was one of those times.

I really hate it when the skunk burrows under the chicken house and has it babies under there. I mean how convenient for the skunk. Fresh water daily, fresh feed, fresh eggs what else do they need. There is even mineral out.

The back part of the hen house where the egg boxes are located is rather dark, so I go in there kind-a blind and feel around...well, I use to do that, but now I am bringing in a small flash light to check them out BEFORE I put my hands in to feel for eggs.

For some reason I am very tired today. Well, it is time to take my old dog Kaina out for a walk and check on the "skunk" problem.

....everyone take care....hope you are well...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The wind is from the WEST!

Where is that darn door to the chickens???

Marvelous Marvin shovelling out the door to the chickens. East side of quonset. The worst side to be on at any outbuilding during this storm.

Marvin between our home and the old house!

Judy and Boo-Boo (Anatolian dog)

Here are a few more pictures to try to show how deep the snow is in around our home. The drifts are now being blown around by the west wind and they seem to be getting smaller in places!

Where is all this snow going to go???? We live right off a channel of water, beaver ponds, and the St. Mary River...we may be roaring with water if the 60 degrees they are forecasting for this weekend materializes! JOY! Get the sandbags!

With this storm the snow pack in the mountains should be good...I would think, hope.

My rain gear is coming in handy with the deep snow. Pop on my rain pants and nothing gets wet and the wind does not get through! All right, that works really well.

Take care everyone! Stay safe and be good to each other!

I am feeding all the wild birds with my chicken feed. They love going in the quonset...I just wish they would not poop all over everything. Those darn starlings are everywhere! I am just glad that I just got more feed!

As Marvin and I were walking in the backyard by the channel of water, two Blue Heron flew up from the water...such a joy to see...could not get my camera out fast enough. They took off and went to rest in the trees by the horses across the channel. It is fun to be this close to water until a person thinks of flooding! Always something to be concerned about!

It just keeps a-coming!

Here are some pictures to depict the depth of the snow that swirled around and formed huge drifts. It is unreal, you can hardly get through the snow to walk anywhere. It is up to my hips in most places on the flat. Then there is the bare earth at places around the house. The bare spots are nice for our old dog, Kaina. She is nearly blind, deaf, and has trouble walking. She lives in our front heated porch. I have to take her out so she can follow me by smell so she doesn't get lost in the snow. Poor little girl! She is a blue heeler cross and has been a fierce protector of the ranch and her family (us)!
Some of the pictures were taken from our deck and you can see the depth of snow that swirled around the old house, which we use as storage. It needs to be torn down as part of it was already.
It is hard to see the depth of the snow from pictures. Marvin shovelled 3 feet of snow off the deck, this is the probably the third time it has been shovelled off ! It is in the 20's with the wind makes it quite cold.
This is suppose to continue until 6a.m. on Thursday! or did they change that to Friday!
I hope where ever you are you are safe!

Monday, April 27, 2009

SNOW DAY...again!

This is the east side of our quonset...where the door to the chickens is/was...the drifts are very high...snow on the ground as I was walking was over my knees...then there are places where the ground is rather bare! However, anything to the east has huge drifts around and beside it. So, I plowed/walked through the snow drifts to the west side and what-do-you-know -- no snow drifts, so I went in on that side.

I told my pup (year old) Anatolian, Boo-Boo to go to his pen/kennel. He looked at me like -- are you kidding? So I plowed through the snow to his pen...his house was completely buried as was his kennel...yup, it is on the east side of the shop! So I dug out his dog house.

This weather is crazy.......good moisture, but crazy. This is so very hard on the livestock (cattle) or what-have-you. Especially when we are calving as are other ranches. The snow is heavy and wet, with slop underneath. This will certainly do wonders for our grazing meadows, if all can survive the continual storms that keep washing in! This is suppose to keep up through Thursday of this week.

I know my van could not make it out of our ranch road. I hope everyone is safe where they are and not experiencing too much bad weather. I see that tornados are tearing through the countryside. When I lived in Illinois...we were in the tornado ally part, just as Rockford was, every April brought the scare of tornados. I remember when our little housing development was nearly wiped out with a horrific tornado that tore through the homes. Our street was left standing, it was on my Mom's birthday, April 21, 1967. I saw this BIG BLACK upside down hat black blob heading for our housing development. It went in the same road I would have gone in if I did not go "up-town" to pick up my Mom's special banana cream cake. When I got the cake the sirens were sounding. I drove the mile back to our housing area and could not get back into my home. I had to go to the highschool and register and get a special card that I really lived there. Was I ever glad to see my Mom, she was at home that day! Earlier in the day I had seen all these "little" tornados hitting down all around the area and splattering the sky with debris!

I never really knew the actual impact this had on me until my husband and sons were driving through Nebraska. The sky was green/gray, very quiet...I told my husband we were driving into a tornado. He said, no that it was just dirt being blown around. I knew better. We came upon a small town that was destroyed by the passing tornado. I just broke down, it was so devastating! Whenever I see something on TV about a city/town destroyed by a tornado it just made me a wreck, and I could not stop crying. I am better now, but it took a very long time to get over seeing what a tornado can do firsthand.

So, I am glad that I left northern Illinois and the "tornado ally" area. I know there are so many other states that experience the same type of weather! We may have our 45-85 mph winds and sometimes upwards to 100 mph, but so far we have not had any tornados out here. When I first moved here, the wind scared me and made me ill. It would roar down from the Rocky Mountains and crash into our little stucco house that we were living in at the time. The old windows would rattle. I was home along one time and the winds were unreal. I thought this must be what they experience in Florida when the hurricanes come in. I found some heavy duty tape and crossed taped the windows.

We do experience bad hail storms out here. One year a horrible hail storm roared in from the north with tennis ball size started out -- ping-ping on the windows, then pong-pong, then crash-crash. I grabbed the children, who were very young, and put them in their bedroom. At first I could not find our oldest son, I called his name -- I could hear a muffled sound coming from inside the bedroom, he was hiding under his bed and very scared. The windows began to break and the hail came crashing into the house. When it was over, there was over 3-feet of hail inside piled up on the walls! We had purchased our first new vehicle that was full of dents! I was wondering where my husband was during all of this chaos and rather mad that he was not here to help. When he finally dragged himself in, he explained that he was out in the corral and under a bale wagon trying to get out of the hail! Sorry, honey, for the bad thoughts!

So, every area on our earth experiences some very severe weather at one time or another. But I never want to see another tornado coming at me!

Take care everyone, stay safe during this turbulant time of the year!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Grizzly tracks and Meadow Muffin

Meadow-Muffin with Judy
Meadow-Muffin with Marvin

Pretty Meadow-Muffin, Marvin raised her on a bottle since she lost her mom. So she is very attached to him. I fed her at times, too, so she is always looking for something from us when we are near.

Meadow-Muffin coming for a visit

Grizzly track with my heavy-duty mud boot
Track probablly measures about 12 inches

Nice clear track of the bear

The horses had a visitor yesterday afternoon...someone passing through their area...on the way back to the river and beyond.
My husband saw the bear out of the kitchen window and yelled for me to come see. He said my "bear" was back. Indeed. The bear stood on his hind legs when the horses came to see what was going on, then dropped down and went off into the back area to the river.
Our snow is melting today, the temps got upwards to 40 degrees. Will be good moisture. But to say I am tired of snow and winter is an understatement!
I was getting all excited about our lawn greening up when along comes this April snow and covers everthing with, in places, more than 18" of snow.
This is a brief post, I hope everyone's day is going well...take care and treat everyone with kindness.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baby Calves...spring is really here!

Looking toward Divide Mountain from our pasture "up north"

Chief Mountain from the pasture

Two shy little Angus calves!

One little calf that actually let me take it's picture!

Started taking pictures and everyone got up and left!!

Right before everyone left! Red and Black Angus cows and calves

The sun is out and about is the is 50 degrees, but with the wind it feels a whole lot colder!

I took these pictures up north about 3 or so miles from the home place. Jason and Kara are calving out up there. This is where they plan on building their home. They have good corrals up there.

The view from this pasture is beautiful...and if you go up to the highest hill, the view is are the gusts from the wind!
Wind in our country is a constant, always there, ever moving and blowing and running around the valley -- blowing things here and there -- the wind brings in moisture and then just as quickly, removes it from the ground! Never content, always dashing up and down the valley in and around and over the mountains.

If it is not blowing in the early 10 a.m. it will usually begin to blow.

I went up north to get some pictures of the cute little calves...but every time I focused the camera on them or their mothers they turned their heads. The mother cows took their babies away to "safety". We were in the Gater (4-wheeler), so I suppose that made noise and made them apprehensive for their calves. They are very protective of their little babies.

It is time for me to go collect eggs from my chickens and check their feed and water. I hope you all have a good day and are enjoying some good weather where ever you live!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beautiful Day

First picture is of a wool ewe with her little wool lamb.
Second picture is a little "flock" of lambs.

It is a beautiful day here today! YAY!! The temperature is 60 degrees and it is wonderful! There are still snow drifts around the house but, for the most part, the snow is disappearing, fast. There is suppose to be some moisture moving in within the next few days...maybe it will be rain this time (yeah, sure).

Anyway, it is best to take each day as it comes and enjoy what you can. I have been busy sewing little and big Easter lambs and that was fun but rather crazy there for a few weeks. Each lamb/ewe takes a whole lot of little stitches to make them "just so".

I have put a new listing in my shop of size number 2 -- you can order the color of the lamb you want and the color of the bow.
This message was started on April 7th but had problems with the system and is being published on April 8th. The skies are rather cloudy at this time and it is in the 30's and cold!
We had another visit by a grizzly yesterday evening close to our home. I took a walk "out back" by St. Mary River with my dog, Boo-Boo...he left me at the river and found some good tracks to follow. I decided to go back by myself. On the way back through the brush, my mud boot caught on a root in the snow and then I slid on some mud...I ended up with my face in a pile of snow. I can say this has never happened to me before!
Later, when I heard that there was a bear in the area, and there I was face-down in the snow...well, I really had better not go on these walks back in the brush by myself.
......have a very good day today...........