Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter "Work"

Weston's heifer
Weston has a heifer. Mike and I picked her out last spring after Dawson announced that he wanted to give Weston the calf from his cow Betsy. We liked this heifer better and hopefully she will grow up to be a good cow for Wes.
Setting posts for temporary feedbunk

We set up the feedbunk around the hay stack in the weaning pen. Mostly it's soft ground and the posts are pretty small, so setting the posts doesn't take too long. We'll have the calves in the corral for about a month, after which they will be turned out to rejoin their family groups.
Mike runs the tamping bar

Over Christmas, we spent a lot of time in the valley with our special visitors from Kentucky. Our son-in-law's family spent the holidays with us. In a four day period we celebrated two birthdays, Hanukkah, and Christmas!

Pat making slaw

Ready to roast

We celebrated with games, hikes, music, story-telling and vegetables. Many delicious vegetables, including Jon's mom's famous cole slaw and roasted beet, brussel sprout,carrot, sweet potato,onion veggies. And there were treats, Lebkuchen-German honey cookies, and our traditional chocolate covered coconut bons bons.

Prairie clouds out north

Southwest, sun setting behind Wallowas

Pat and I had a pre-Christmas-dinner mother's walk in the afternoon. We caught a beautiful sunset in the snowy cold landscape. It felt good to be out of the hot kitchen, where the wood cookstove and the electric stove were roasting, stewing and baking.
Mike surprised Prairie with a new old banjo, that he had restored for her.  I love that playing music is a regular occurrence around our house. Which also inspires much dancing, especially by the six and under crowd (and me).
Stays and posts

We're making progress on our fencing projects. Cammie, Gabe and the boys have been coming to the river and helping out a lot. We got all our wood stays and posts cut at a local family mill. Mike is also building a section of mostly steel fence for one difficult steep pitch. Wildfires come through pretty regularly and he wants to try and get more longevity out of that difficult section.

Dawson casts

Last week, we gathered the cattle and sorted off the calves. While we're feeding them for the next month, as long as the rest of the herd stays where we want them on the range, we can take advantage of some down time. There is always fencing...but what about fishing and exploring?
Wes visits Ellie's Fairy House

Dawson has the fishing bug and is following in his dad's footsteps in that regard. Gabe used to fish for bass in the Snake River when we worked at Dug Bar. He was almost six years old and I said I would cook any bass he caught, but he had to gut them.  Weston is mostly interested in cows, herding cows, looking for cows, mooing like a cow, bugling like a bull, anything cows.

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef