Welcome to our ranch near Canada's west coast in Beautiful British Columbia's West Chilcotin mountain region. Where calling the vet means hollering back at the house to bring your kit, new friendships are formed from the back of a horse and true fun for a five year old is getting a machete for Christmas. Where 'cutting the dinks off' has a totally different meaning than what first comes to mind, Muck Boots are a household name, a hand shake still means something and the coffee is always on.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Emerging from Calving.....


Greetings all!  Hope spring is treating you well and there is no lasting damage from the long cold winter.  


View from the kitchen table.  

We have pulled through another calving season here on the ranch.  It's been a fairly long one, and I have to say that although it's been a learning experience (as usual), I haven't always enjoyed my lessons.  We've really felt the effects of having poor hay quality last year, and despite buying good hay, protein licks and mineral, our herd is not in the shape they should be.  As a rule though, the momma's are healthy and strong and for the most part, the babies have been as well. 

Pile of calves, waiting for momma's to come back from the feed pen.  

We were lucky to have a great crew again this year.  Our Kiwi friend Rob came back for the season, and that was a huge bonus for me especially.   Having someone with his experience really gave me a new outlook and we spend many hours with our heads together, discussing this method or that treatment, and good things came of it.  

Vince is the all around handy man and cheerfully fills every gap.  From helping with the stock to cutting fence rails, from feeding cows to fixing fence, he is certainly an essential part of the team and we are lucky to have him.  

Mum's old dog "Fat Pat" found a great warm bed in the calf shelter.  I never did get a decent photo, but sometimes you couldn't hardly see her in there, snuggled in with all the babies.  

Astrid and Laura rounded out our calving season team and did a darn good job of it.  They cleaned pens, milked cows, helped on night checks, organized foster calves, wrangled kids, swept floors and made bread.  And then some.  Phew....

I'll get back to telling you some stories (there are a few!) but for now I'm out the door.  I have been meaning to get back to writing and had a few extra moments this morning I thought I'd best take advantage of.  
We having started branding and sorting and I'm headed to Three Circle this morning.  So nice that spring has finally sprung and the grass is green and growing!   


Cheers all, I'll be back soon.  :)  

Punky  




Sunday, 19 February 2017

As the season begins to change

Here we go again.  How can it be that our 'quiet' winter has so soon turned to 'ack.....calving season!'
We are beginning to make the preparations to move the cows up to Six Mile, where the best calving facilities are.  Technically we should start about the 1st of March, but the cows are famous for not watching the calendar and we already have two on the ground (alive and well).  I think we are going to start this year off with a 'bang' again as it sure looks like there are plenty ready to go.  

A few photos from the last couple of weeks......

 Having a good roll in the warm sun after being brought in to close pastures to be fed.  
Trailing in.  They are looking great.  Once again, I'm riding trusty Tiffany, following Tally, Squirt, Ducky.......

Momma and baby.  We've seen quite a few moose over the winter actually, and it is nice to see.  Having less snow than usual has helped them out, no doubt.  Not so easy for the wolves to run them down.     

Puss trying to help Jackson with fractions.  Ha.  His next trick is to lay right on top of the workbook because he is so much more interesting than math.   

Rocky is also very helpful.

Cows trailing to the feed grounds.  Do you see the sun dog?  I took this through the tractor window so it looks a bit smudgy.  

Another one, same time.  Little green arrow at the top is odd.  (Again, taken through the tractor window.  And happy I was to have that window between me and the outside temperature! 

Oh, and I have to tell you about my newest acquisition!  Brady is a huntaway/border collie cross.  I have high hopes for her, but time will tell.  I got her from a working cowboy that has crossed the parents before, with great results.  He says it takes the necrotic-ness out of both breeds but I guess that remains to be seen.  She is super cute, friendly as can be and keen to be part of the team.  She also looks like she should be pulling a dog sleigh or protecting sheep but who am I to judge?  She is already as big as mum's awesome female Zip, and is only just over 3 months old.  But what the heck, if she doesn't turn out to be a working dog, she will certainly make a great companion for the kids.  
This photo doesn't show her size at all, but you get a good look at her sweetness.  

   
"A quiet moment"

Love this photo.  
Ben was helping me bring a couple young horses down from the meadow as they needed some extra feed.  

All the best folks.....my next post will come from the calving barn!  
Cheers,
Punky  

No filters.  Just lots of big sky.  




Thursday, 26 January 2017

It's all about the Lifestyle, Right?

We saddled up one dreary morning this past fall, and trailered down to Three Circle to round up a pasture full of young cows to move them out to another range.  As we got there, it started to darken and get colder.  By the time we headed out, the rain/sleet was blowing sideways and we were all quiet and dreading the long cold day ahead.

As we rode out of the yard, Amy splashed up the driveway, snug in her warm truck.

With our horses trying to spin to get their hind ends towards the wind, and our own collars up and hats pulled down, we stopped to say a quick "hi".  Amy rolled down the window and cheerily sang out.  "Oh hey, I see you guys are headed out lifestyling today!"

Shocked silence and then the first real laughter of the day.

We use that phrase a lot now.

Cause that's funny.  

Best laugh as cry.

:)  Punky







Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017

How time flies.  
11 years ago on January 1st, the world become just a bit brighter with the early arrival of one of the sweetest and most kindhearted souls you can imagine.  
As many other years, we celebrated Jackson birthday out on Anahim Lake, surrounded by good friends, good food and amazing scenery.  





One again, Amy outdid herself with the cake.  Trees, a campfire and a fishing hole (all edible)....what more could a guy ask for?  


 We headed for the heated shop as the sun went down and the temperature did too!  

In other news, life is still wandering along at the ranch.  Vince, our handy young French friend, has become an important part of the outfit and we are happy to say he is going to stay with us for a full year.  Hurrah!  Eli is busy still trying to 'move' into the barns and shop, building shelves and organizing tools and all the bits and pieces.  When he isn't under the house in a nightmare of plumbing, working on the blackest generator known to man or trying to figure out the amazing electrical systems around here.  But we are getting there......  

The boys and I took a bit of time off of the homeschooling over the holidays, but not much.  In the beginning, I really saw the improvement in their attitudes, and now I can say I can really tell the difference in their actual work.  It's nice to see.  I still rely heavily on the internet (I suspect that won't change) but also the knowledgeable people around me.  It is coming together.  

Quick cast near Grandpa Eric's house as we wait for the Kelly Kettle to boil for the hot chocolate.



General Meeting at Five Mile.  

Cheers all, and the best for 2017!!  
Punky