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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Terrible Horrible No Good Really Bad Day!

To those readers that have told us "You never write about the bad things that happen.  Your lives can't be happy all the time."

Yesterday morning we woke to 2 1/2" of rainfall.
There has been rain off and on over the past few weeks.
The ponds are full!
This is a good thing!
We are singing praises!

Around about 3pm, Flower Boy got a call.
Dogs have ran the fancy heifers through the fence!
(No, not our dogs.)

Flower Boy relays the infomation to me.
I hang up the phone and head home.

Flower Boy retrieves the heifers almost a mile from their pasture.
All of our cattle are "feed truck broke".
This means they will follow the feed truck anywhere it goes.
They know where their "cake" comes from.

We get the heifers back in their pasture and the fence fixing commenced.
The dogs gathered the heifers in a corner between the pond and the fence.
Remember the rainfall and the ponds being full...
The cattle broke through a small section of fence and swam the pond to escape the dogs.

To no avail, the dogs met the cattle in the land owners yard.
They proceeded to run the heifers through the yard and gathered them again on the land owners front porch!
Thankfully, the land owner was home, ran off the dogs and called Flower Boy.

As of last evening, the heifers were settled down and seemed in good health.
We will keep a close eye on them, as we always do, over the next few days.
Adrenaline and stress can mask injuries, just as it does in humans.

The land owner made a clear identification of the dogs.
The dogs owner claims it was not his dogs.
"His dogs have been chained up and always are."
We have seen said dogs running our cattle before and a message was relayed to said owner.

I don't know the law in other states, but in Oklahoma, a rancher has a right to protect his livestock.
No rancher wants to kill another person's animal or dog, but when the dog is chasing, stalking and harming your livestock, you have to do what has to be done.
 If the dogs are caught in the pastures, with the cattle, they will be disposed of.

Dogs are pack animals, descendants of wolfs.
Wolfs are predators.
They hunt.
Sadly, if the dogs that ran our girls through the fence aren't kept penned up, they will return and hunt.

Now, again, remember the 2 1/2" rainfall...
The bulls need a hay bale.
With all the rain, Flower Boy didn't think the truck could get in the lot with the hay bale.
The feed truck is a heavy duty truck.
With the weight of the bale bed and the cake feeder full, this makes the feed truck even heavier.
He decided to use the tractor.
It's a bit muddy
The tractor got stuck.
Like really stuck!

No problem!
Just pull the truck around and attempt to pull out the tractor.
It's a bit muddy
 The truck got stuck!
 Really Stuck!

Go get the white truck...
Whitey is a truck I have had for years.
I love that old truck!
She is a good truck and very dependable.

Hook a chain to Whitey and then to the feed truck.
I get in the feed truck.
Flower Boy gets in Whitey.
He backs up, tells me he is going to jerk the chain, I hold on to the steering wheel, and SNAP!
The chain breaks!
It pops back over the hood of the feed truck and leaves a nasty dent!
(sorry no photo)

Place a call to Drewman...
We might need some help.
Drewman heads home from college.
(What are we going to do when he leaves for good?)

I can't watch!
I go into the house and start supper.

Another chain is hooked to Drewman's truck and to the feed truck.
The next thing I see, out the kitchen window, is Drewman shaking his head.

Lets just say it was a terrible horrible no good really bad day!

At the end of the day, all the cattle were accounted for, no one was hurt, and I got flowers!

 Today is a new day!
The tractor and feed truck are still stuck.
Drewman's bumper has been replaced.
Flower Boy and I got to ride into work together and watch the sunrise.

No matter how bad your day might seem, don't let it get you down.
There is always a positive!

Rancher Girl

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stumble Upon the Beauty

Have you ever known a place, a property, a location or an area?
I mean really known the place?
Like every nook and cranny?
Every bend and turn?
Every hill, rock and stream?

You stumble upon something you have never seen before, at that place?

I did this a few weeks back!

Flower Boy, Drewman and I were searching for a baby.
We happened to be in a bottom valley leading to the pond.
I have played in this little valley many times as a child.
The property is the 160 acres just north of the original homestead of Rockin' B Ranch.

 I spent summers running this valley, while spending time with my grandparents.
I have never ever seen this!
 The pool of water was crystal clear!
 It was alive with toads, frogs, and tadpoles!
 Now for a Rancher Girl that loves all those things...
 How could I have missed this spot my entire life?
 As I sat admiring this beauty I had stumbled upon,
 The baby calf sat, watching my every move!
I never looked up to see him watching me.
 I must have been awe struck!
 What I did notice, was the girls were as still as statues and fixed on something above us.
 Once I saw the calf, I gave a whistle and an arm signal to the guys.
They quickly came and tagged the baby.
If there is a moral to this story, it would have to be...

Never be to busy searching for something and fail to stumble upon the beauty at your feet!

Rancher Girl

Monday, April 20, 2015

Guess What Day It Is?

Don't you just love this day?
It brings a whole new meaning to Monday!

It's been a busy time on the ranch.
Lots of babies being born.

Actually, we are only 6 babies away from completing our spring calving season.
That's something to lick your nose about!
Every calving season since the house fire has been 6 months or more.
This was due to us not being able to pull the bulls and get the cows all in sync with their cycles.

Last year, as well as, this year and years to come, the bulls are pulled before calving starts.
They are held in the pens at home.
And will return to the girls on, or about, June 1.

Flower Boy is doing a great job of keeping up with tagging of babies.

This man has a love for those babies, just as their mommas do!
Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than watching Flower Boy walk to the calf, talk to it, examine it, tag it, and direct it back to it's momma.
He is so in tune with the cattle.
If mamma tells him "You aren't messing with my baby today!"
Flower Boy won't push or force the tagging and examination.
He simply tells momma "Okay, I will check with you tomorrow."
Normally, the next day, Flower Boy gets the job done and momma is okay with it.

We have also had quite a bit of rain this past week.
There seems to be a leak in the rain gauge, as Flower Boy checked in one morning and there was an 1 1/2" in the gauge.
That evening there was only a 1/2 inch left.
None the less, the ponds are filling and the grass is growing!

Between rains, Drewman made his way home too!
We have started phase 2 of the working pens.
There was some pipe cutting
 and some hole drilling going on!
All in all, we set a few posts and did a mock up of the sweep tub.
Can you see the vision?
If not, we will keep you updated on the progress!

Thanks for stopping by!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday at the Pond

Happy Wednesday!

Rancher Girl

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Muscovy Ducks on the Pond

Last week I posted this photo on Instagram.
I asked the question "Who knows what kind of ducks these are?"

Several of our followers knew!
They are Muskovy Ducks.

Back in October, this strange looking large duck arrived on our pond.
This is about as close as I could get to it.
This photo is using the 300mm zoom lens on my big girl camera.

This large odd looking duck would arrive on the pond, hang out in the trees for a few days, disappear for a few more days, then return.

I continued to tell Flower Boy, "That duck has escaped from someone's pen.  We should catch it and let it live with our ducks before something gets it."

This happened until January.

Two strange looking large ducks arrived on our pond.
They have yet to have left.

The pair has become more friendly.
They don't mind us, or the dogs, being near them now.

Muscovy Ducks are native to Mexico, Central and South America.
I have never seen a wild Muscovy Duck in our neck of the woods.
They are a tropical bird, so I have researched.

Since when did Oklahoma become "tropical"?
Our weather pattens have been a bit off these past 10 months, but tropical we are not!

Muscovy Ducks prefer habitats with water and sheltered trees.
NOW, this is more like our area.
Below is a view from our front porch.
Next best thing to any tropical paradise I could ever imagine.
I guess this pair of Muscovy Ducks agree!

Research shows Muscovy Ducks are intelligent, shy and silent.
They can fly, although they don't get far off the ground.
This is probably due to their size.
Mature males can weigh over 15 pounds.
They are perching ducks.
 Our pair perch on our dock each night.
They also nest or perch in trees.
Muscovy Ducks have long claws on their feet, which allows them to grab and climb.

Muscovy Ducks are the only ducks that are not genetically derived from Mallard ducks.

Although I feed our pair,
Muscovy Ducks eat insects, roots, stems, leaves, seeds, fish, reptiles, and small mammals.

The female is the smaller of the pair.
She is also the more solid black in color.

The pair will breed up to three times per year.
The female will lay between 8 and 16 eggs.
Her nest will be in a hollow or hole of a tree.
She incubates her eggs for 35 days.

We believe the female has found a place and has started building her nest.
We will keep you posted!

I have also read, the Muscovy male can be aggressive.
We have observed, when our domesticated ducks arrive to the pond, the male Muscovy greets them.
His greeting doesn't seem to be aggressive, but the other ducks are only in the pond for a short dip.
They quickly get out of the pond and return to the pens or go to the other side of the pond, away from the Muscovy pair.

We really enjoy watching the pair and hope they "home" at the ranch.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Rancher Girl

Friday, April 10, 2015

Total Eclipse of the Moon!

We all know how I love to watch the sunrise, sunset and the Oklahoma sky.
I mean, goodness, most of my Wordless Wednesday posts have some sort of sky photo in them.
I have even posted about a former eclipse.

Since the passing of My Daddy, I have become infatuated with all things above me.
I find myself always looking up.
Rarely do I look down.
I think it may be the words My Daddy told me when he left me.
"Head up, shoulders back and keep moving forward."

Two weeks, or so, ago my BFF made a social media post about a "Blood Moon" eclipse happening on April 4, 2015.
We made plans to bring in my birthday by watching the eclipse.

Flower Boy researched the time it was to start and made sure to have me awake.
That isn't an easy thing to do.
A Rancher Girl has to have her sleep!
The big girl camera battery was charged.

Reports were those in Northern America may not have the best views of the "Blood Moon".
None the less, we would be able to see the eclipse.
That's all that mattered to me.
I do have a man in the moon, you know!

Here are a few shots from the early morning start of my birthday and what I considered to be a gift!

Just as Flower Boy had researched, the sun came up and it was too light to see the "Blood Moon".

It was a great start to a wonderful day!
I hope you enjoy the photos, as much as we enjoyed taking them and watching the eclipse.

It has been a busy time for me.
I have failed to blog much over these past few weeks.
I do hope to change that.
I have so much to tell you!
Maybe I will catch you all up on our happenings next week.

Thanks for stopping by!
Rancher Girl