Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring time!

Spring is in the air! The grass is getting green and we have had a couple of warm days. The day I took these pictures it was downright HOT! Today it's 45 degrees and raining. Ah, springtime!

Above is Rock basking in the sunshine. He is becoming such an asset on the place. He's a strong dog with just enough patience to be really good on ewes and lambs. He'll catch and hold a lamb gently now if I need him to. He'll give ewes plenty of time to pick up their lambs and move but if they come out hunting him he quickly puts an end to it. Hopefully I can get a chance to get some trial type work sessions with him in the next few weeks.

We are the same as done lambing. About 3 that are still going to lamb is all. It took 3 weeks and was pretty fast and furious. We had some cold, wet weather that made it a bit difficult but everything is looking good now.

(Fighting for the only sliver of shade)

We had a way higher percentage than normal. I have never had quads before and we had 3 sets of those this year. I need to go through my books and check but I'm pretty sure we had at least 15 sets of triplets as well. Those make for some little lambs that have a ways to go to catch up to the twins and singles. Hopefully with some milk, grass and sunshine they'll get there by fall though.

We have had quite a bit of cattlework in amongst lambing as well. Got the winter take in calves moved out to their home and summer grass. Two days later our summer take in yearlings got here. Preg checked our fall calvers and getting ready to ship our fall calves out as soon as we can get a truck in through the mud. Also hit a few neighbor's brandings in there as well. We're hoping to get ours done at the end of May.

Basically, spring is a time to run around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. Because the next season, haying, is just around the corner! Dustin is thoroughly looking forward to it. Wish I could say the same for me. :-)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A gift from God!

Zac is 11 years old now. He ran in his last dog trial at the end of January. It was the Black Hills Stock Show and it has always been one of his favorites. I really didn't plan on running him at all this year but he's been feeling so good I thought I'd give it a go. In typical Zac fashion, he got 2nd in the prelim round and brought home money his last time out! He got 2nd and won money at his first trial when he was 10 months old as well. Seems kind of fitting, huh!

These pictures were taken just the other day (first part of Feb. 2011) and I know most people just see the gray in his face. I can't help but still see the sparkle in his eyes. This dog has been a huge part of my life for the last 11 years and will hopefully get to be for several more years. He taught me about perserverance, team work and how to handle stock. He also taught me about accepting things for just what they are! He's not perfect but there are few others (animal or human) I've seen with as big of a heart.

He still loves to help when I'm out training pups or ride along in the ranger when I go work the other dogs. He will hold sheep for any of them and still likes to compete with Jag on who can push them harder! He has no shame in the fact that he has grown to love toys in his later years.

His favorite place to be is wherever I am. It's a mutual feeling! He's laying here beside me now and when I get up to leave he'll get up, a little slower than he used to, and follow me wherever I go. It has been hard to leave him behind when we went to a couple of trials this past year because we didn't have enough room to haul everyone. We're working on fixing that problem as it's so important to me to enjoy every minute I get with him. After all, he is a gift I'm ever grateful for! Thank you Lord!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Much ado about nothing!

It's that time of year when we're pretty much just hunkered down doing the same things almost every day. Feeding livestock, processing new feeder calves, feeding, wrestling tournaments, feeding, shoveling snow and oh yeah, FEEDING!

We do have a new guard dog pup. We call her Sara and she is a Great Pyr/Akbash cross. She's only 2 1/2 months old so a long way from being helpful yet. She is a quick study though and seems to be picking up on how to read the sheep and fit in with them well. She'll be close to the house with some feeder lambs until she's old enough to be safe out with the big bunch.

Brady's wrestling season is going much better this year. He's still an 8th grader wrestling a lot of junior's and senior's but he's beginning to hold his own again. Sure has been good for his confidence. He's wanting to play baseball again this year and his dad had consented since they'll be done when school gets out and it won't conflict with haying season. Oh yeah, more late nights!

Dustin is trying to rope as much as his free time will allow. Hopefully he'll be ready to compete by spring. Right now he has to hang out in town while his brother is at wrestling practice every night so they don't get home until late on the weeknights. He's been named sophormore server for the prom in April and he cracks me up over it! You'd think someone was threatening to kill that boy as big of a deal as he makes that he has to wear something nice that night! Way to much like his Dad. Good thing I love them both!!

I'm working on memorizing some scripture verses this year. Thought I'd share the one I'm working on now.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)