Monthly Archives: May 2014


Spring is definitely here, and with it lots of twitterpated birds (gotta love Bambi don’t you?), and new babies.  We were just leaving our place last week heading to watch our daughter’s regional track meet when we met a momma badger and her baby.  Badgers are tough, mean, and cute as heck as babies.


Even this baby thinks he is tough.  Listen to him growling at me.

Also ran across some geese, but didn’t get a picture of the goslings.

IMG_3883However, I did capture a picture of some twin antelope fawns while sorting a few bull calves and their mommas into a different pasture.  Antelope Babies

And just in case you missed this picture last spring, baby skunks are cute as the dickens, too.



Until next time… JARW

Still Wrestling

Eye on SparrowI am much slower getting down, I’m much slower getting up, and I felt a little bad for my wrestling partner, but I wrestled the tail end of our calves on Sunday and am absolutely no worse for the wear.  Granted– these were the babies, the last calves to be born over the last few weeks, but still…  it counts as a victory nonetheless.  I can still do it… only slower.  We also got the CIDRs put in the heifers, the CIDRs pulled, shots given, and all the yearling heifers bred yesterday for 2015 spring calving.  All those heifers will be hauled to summer pasture tomorrow.  The circle continues.

IMG_3793Tomorrow is the last day of school.  Our college student finished up about two weeks ago.  The Wild Child’s dance recital is later this week, along with the regional track meet for our high schooler.  Nothing says late spring more than constant running.  We were home for the last several months pretty much solid while calving, and now it seems we can’t buy a day at home between chasing kids, brandings, and getting the heifers AI’d (artificially inseminated).

Last summer the Wild Child made a pop-bottle bird feeder at Bible school.   Ibird 1t has set on the deck pretty much being ignored until this week.  Now the birds are going crazy over it.  (Thanks Mrs. G!)  We are loving watching them all visit.  bird 2This morning it was up close and personal as the Wild Child opened the sliding door to feed the dogs and two birds flew in the house.  bird 3IMG_3811Hope your day is just as exciting.

Until next time… JARW

Spring Work

Weaker SexI’m so sorry for being so absent over the last few months.  Life has just been crazy.  Since my last post we have put in CIDRs, taken out CIDRs, branded five different days, cleaned sheds, replaced a wheel bearing in the tractor, fixed some fence, moved the heifer pairs to new pasture, moved the cow pairs to new pasture, went to one of our daughter’s track meets, went to her academic awards banquet, disked some fields, and hauled home some seed.  Those are just the things I can think of.  Pine was the mechanic– and me?  Well I’m the “go get” and “hand me” girl when we mechanic.  Papa was the fence fixer.  I was the shed cleaner and the hauler of many tractor loads of barn “fertilizer.”  As a side note, I worked on the sheds that I was sure we wouldn’t need again.  Silly me.  Of course the weather changed and that shed with the windrow down the middle of the alley would have been the handiest.  Needless to say, like everyone else, we have been busy, loving the moisture and cooler temps, thoroughly enjoying working with our family and friends, and trying our best to stay on top of everything.

For those not familiar with the CIDR term, I explained things a little better last year.  Here is that article.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the last couple of weeks.

Pine pulling calves to the branding stove.


The Wild Child running for more supplies, or maybe just to get a cookie.IMG_3616

Lulabelle– the Wild Child’s 3-yo cow.IMG_3608

Part of the crew heading out to gather pairs. IMG_3575

Bringing in pairs to sort off the calves for branding.IMG_3595

The patriarch and matriarch of the ranch– my father and mother-in-law– looking over the calves during morning chores. IMG_3556

Some of the calves out of the 2-yo heifers.IMG_3554 IMG_3553

Practicing riding a calf.IMG_3543

“Good work, boys!”IMG_3522

Damp calves standing in the branding corral.Calves

He never did lose his glasses, even during the fiercest battle wrestling calves.IMG_3723

A nice pen of calves at the neighbor’s branding.IMG_3745

Getting ready to throw the shot put.IMG_3780

Modeling her medals and showing off her other academic awards.IMG_3789

Until next time… JARW

Memory Makers

Girls BrandingWe love memory makers, and living on a ranch truly allows us to make new memories daily.  One of the biggest memory-makers over the past few weeks was the Wild Child turning five.  She has been counting down the days for 61 days… seriously– counting them down.  Every morning she would say “Only 52 more days until my birthday.”  “Only 28 more days until my birthday.”  We knew exactly at any moment we thought to ask (or not ask), how many days were left.  She wasn’t disappointed and got to have a birthday party with a few friends, and then a birthday party with some of her cousins when they came for Easter.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  She also had a great time riding, playing a little baseball, flying kites, and hunting eggs.  She sleeps well every night.

Now spring is here in full force, and with it all the spring time jobs.  I love branding time.  It might be a lot of work, but love the kids all working together, getting to work side-by-side with the family, enjoying the laughs and hard work, and watching the smiles.  Here are some of my favorite memory makers from our first branding at our home place.

Big Brother

IMG_3457Fathers and Sons 1Alexys 1IMG_3468IMG_3462Life is grand.

Until next time… JARW


Awww Spring

I wish there were a way to bottle the smell of spring so you could smell it instead of reading about it.  For all those living the same life as me, you can understand what I’m talking about. For those of you that have never experienced life in the middle of nowhere, the smell of spring is absolutely amazing.  I step out the door in the morning to the smell of green grass freshly washed with the recent snows and rains.  Truly, you can smell the grass, and if you listen hard enough I think I can hear it growing as well.  There are signs of spring emerging everywhere.  My favorites are the crocuses and the Mayflowers.  The crocuses shot up everywhere seemingly overnight.  Crocuses 1

I love their fuzzy little stems that keep them warm on these cool spring nights, and even warm through the recent 6+ inches of cold wet snow.  These little beauties are strong and steadfast, always signaling that spring is here.


The crocus is also known as the American Pasque Flower.  This is most often the first flower to bloom in the spring and the pasque, along with the motto “I lead”, was designated the SD Floral Emblem.  The stewards of this beautiful ranch, Pine and his father (known as Papa by his grandkids), are the ones who first told me where to find the earliest crocuses.  The Mayflowers are out in full force, too, showering the prairie with patches of white and purple.  April showers usually bring May flowers, but this year I think it was the April snow that encouraged these beauties to bloom.  May Flowers

Hoping you love these little blasts of beauty.

Until next time… JARW