May 2009


Where will it lead us from heee-re? yeah.    Why is it I can find a song for almost anything that happens around here, but I can’t find my keys in the morning?    It must be one of the worlds biggest mysteries. . .  A black hole may be easier to explain, I suppose.   Anyway, our girl Angie is back.  She went to meet a new boyfriend about an hour from here.  We heard that she and he were making noses in that back pasture of Best Nest Farm.  I hope they weren’t giggling at 2 in the morning.   I’d have to ground her for that!  When we brought her back today, she started calling to her old friends before she got out of the trailer! 

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And then when DH led her out to the pasture, all the others wanted her to know that they are now hold higher stations than they used to before hs left.  You can see that Q is trying his best to look menasing.  He’s clawing the ground using his front hoofs; just like the bulls in cartoons!  But I’m sure Angie had something to say about that.  She can hold her own with Q and has more than once told him what for!

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They all were quite curious as to where Angie had been and why she smelled different.  And the girls all wanted to update her on the happenings at Smiling J since she’s been gone.  There are so many things that happen on a daily basis: weather, the cars going by, various things those 2-legged creatures do on noisy machines while they watch, new grasses coming in and oh we’re now back in the front pasture with a new kind of mineral block.  So many things to discuss. . . 

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They just wouldn’t leave her alone to settle in.  Well she has at least 2 weeks before we mess with her again.  Now how do you think we can get her to pee on an EPT?  We just have to find out if she is in the motherly way. . .  Oh dear, I guess DH is just going to have to find that out without me.  I’m not sticking my hand anywhere near the rear end of a cow! 

Thank you, Jason and Joanna  at Best Nest Farm for letting us introduce Angie to Willie!   We can’t wait to see if the results are positive!

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    A few weeks ago we moved the “ladies” to the back pasture.  During this time DH cleaned out the run-in shelter very well and replaced the straw with clean straw.  So this evening before dinner, we “drove” them from the back pasture to the front. May 09 Move to Front Pasture 001

     I understand that on larger ranches cattle drives require significant numbers of people, horses and, often times, support staff who follow the drive with supplies and food for the drivers.   Some pastures are so far apart that these drives last for days.  During America’s early years cattle drives could last for weeks and were treacherous not only for the people involved but the animals as well.       

     At Smiling J Farm we a have much more abbreviated version of the cattle drive.  It only took a few minutes and there were only two of us on foot to drive our small herd.  But it was as important for us to get every one of them safely into the front pasture as it is for any rancher to move their herd. j0144381

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    Who would want to risk hurting this sweet little face?   “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”  Okay name that movie. . .   OK don’t, I was just making conversation …. Anyway this is our baby, for whom we still have no name!  Don’t blame me I found several for DH.  He must still be chewing on it for some reason.   Maybe because he still needs to register Momma (Southern Belle) and the other heifer.   (I wonder if cattle work ever gets done?   If it’s like housework it doesn’t. . . )  What was I talking about? . . . oh. . . yeah the front pasture.   We wanted her to get to the front pasture safely with all the others.   So we took things nice and easy.

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      We realize that there are a much smaller herd here on Smiling J Farm and that the risk while moving cattle is a lot lower than most other places.  BUT there was a risk of the “ladies” eating things in the transition area that is not good for them.  And we didn’t want them to mess with the Elderberry and Grapes which grow there.  So although our drive was more like a walk, we had to make sure that they didn’t stop too long in between pastures.  

May 09 Move to Front Pasture 007  So here was have opened the gate.   Do you know how hard it is to take pictures and move cattle at he same time?  Of course it helped that DH had the sweet feed in a bucket and was moving toward the front pasture.   I still had to let hte camera fall around my neck to prevent damage to the elderberry tree!  Silly Gretchen and Q wanted a taste but I wouldn’t let them!  I should have taken a picture first, but I didn’t want them to eat too many leaves. 

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        Ah the lure of sweet feed. . .      May 09 Move to Front Pasture 009 

But it didn’t take long for them top realize that sweet green grass is even better! Our work was done for the day and the ladies got settled in quickly.   Now we feel like old hands at that we’ve moved them twice now without incident.   I bet Ben Cartwright would be proud!    May 09 Move to Front Pasture 010

    When we moved in I noticed that there were a few rose bushes planted right behind the house.  I’m no rose aficionado but the flowers were quite pretty.  So we appreciated them when they bloomed last year. 

    This year I trimmed them a bit and one of them has just exploded with blossoms.  I’m afraid I didn’t get pictures of those flowers, but we did cut a few and appreciated them inside for a while.  One of those three plants may be resting for the year. It has leaves, but no buds. Maybe it needs food. I’ll have to read about roses and see what I can do for them.

    Off by itself about 130 feet or so from the back door is a small circle of those scalloped rounded bricks.  It was loaded with grasses and weeds and one small rose bush.  I spent three days digging and weeding around that bush.  It looked a bit lonely out there near the barn.  So then I planted a few bulbs of Lilly of the Valley.  None of them have shown their noses yet, but maybe they will soon.
     Yesterday DH and I noticed that the little bush was blooming. It has one flower and a small bud which wanted to open too. He said you have to get a picture of that. This morning I did just as it was drizzling a bit. We thought we’d share them with you today. I hope you enjoy!

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