As you may have noticed, this is a hard time of the year to keep up with a blog... There's so much to do and enjoy outdoors! :)
We spend almost every minute outside, either taking care of, or just enjoying the animals and all the little ones around the place, or simply being outside in the wonderful weather of Spring.
Calving season is winding down since the spring calves have pretty much all been born - except for Hope's calf due in June. Everyone is happy, healthy, and growing like weeds.
Most the goatie kids have gone to their new homes to learn how to be show goats. We miss them, but did keep four beautiful doelings this year, so we still get to enjoy their antics. :)
We are very excited about our new buck! Since we have kept several of Roy's offspring, we started looking around for a buck with some different bloodlines than the ones we have been breeding the last several years. We were lucky to find a great guy that has an amazing pedigree and was shown as a youngster, so he's very easy to handle and used to being with people.
Introducing 2DOX Big Event... We'll be adding new pictures and his impressive pedigree to the website soon.
And of course RR Roy Rogers will still be with us. He truly makes some amazing show goats for our young 4-H and FFA friends.
We have little chicks and guinea keets that are hatching this week... Ahh, the joys of chasing those quick, little ones through the grass, trying to catch them as their very protective mamas are trying to keep you from catching them! Looks like we have lots and lots of guinea eggs being hatched this year.
The gardens are planted and doing very well. We are already enjoying fresh asparagus, lettuce, bokchoy, chard, radishes, onions, spinach, mustard greens and yummy strawberries.
And just for the human kind, we finally got the deck built on the pool. Cousin Mike did a great job for us and we are looking forward to many years of enjoyment with it! Thanks Mikey. :)
Just to share... some pictures of the lovely sunsets we've been having this week, along with a full rainbow!
I just looked at the calendar on the wall and it's almost August!!! Between running errands and keeping appointments, mowing the yard, putting up all the lovely garden vegetables, and taking care of all the critters, July has flown by and is now gone, Amazing!!
~~~ “I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~~~ ― Andy Rooney
We have been very busy around the place Petunia's heifer, Rose, and Poppy's bull calf, Rick were weaned a couple weeks ago. They weren't very enthusiastic about that but it was time. Both the kids are over 7 months old now. Rick took to his halter and lead training very well and has graduated to having his halter off. Rose is a bit more stubborn and is still wearing hers 24/7. She will allow you to pet her while she's eating but that's about it. Leading Rose is still a rodeo but we are seeing some improvement.
Dolly Moo's two extra calves were pulled off her in July. Her heifer, Hershey is still nursing, but needs to be weaned soon. She is an amazing calf for her age and is doing very well. We bought a new little girl last week to help us with the extra milk. We named her Biscuit. She still a bit wild but settling down nicely, :)
The garden has taken up a lot of our time this summer. We try to raise most of what we eat and really enjoy fresh vegetables from our own garden. This year we planted 5 heirloom tomato plants. Due to the cooler weather, I had began to wonder if they were going to make this year... then July came and "Wow! It's absolutely amazing how many tomatoes those 5 plants have produced! I'm still busy canning tomatoes, salsa, and marinara. It will taste really good later on and the fresh, vine-ripe tomatoes we've been eating are yummy!!!
Occasionally we get a visitor that ends up in the wrong place. :/ Early one morning I found a black snake caught up in one of the sparrow traps. He wasn't too happy until we let him out. They're good snakes to have around.
We did take some time off this summer for some very pleasant activities. One beautiful Friday some friends came over from Arkansas with their kids and we spent a lazy and relaxing day floating the Illinois River and enjoying good company. We are so lucky to be so close to the great rivers and lakes nearby!
Around the first of July every year, the Oklahoma Draft Horse and Mule Association holds a driving clinic near Locust Grove, OK. Members volunteer their time, their horses, and their equipment to help teach others how to drive wagons and carts, as well as to log. After the driving clinic, they have a BBQ dinner. There's lots of good times to be had for everyone attending. :) You should join us next year!
I always know that summer is over when the Purple Martins leave our place to begin their southern journey home to Brazil. It's hard to see them go, just as it's hard to see summer come to an end. We'll miss the busy days and staying home to enjoy our summer lives. And now that August is here, it's time to wrap up summer and head back to work. Nothing is quite like summer! Til' next time. :)
Patticake cleaning her new baby
And it's a heifer! Frazier Creek Patticake's little girl was born October 29th in the middle of a lovely warm fall afternoon.
Her sire is Frazier Creek Garrett from Frazier Creek Ranch in Rattan, OK
Patticake had a normal and uneventful labor - thank goodness! and is very proud of her new daughter. :) Both momma and baby are doing well. :)
We hope to have many more Murray Grey babies on the ground in the next year.
FYI - We are in search of any interested young people that are heavily involved in 4H or FFA that are looking for quality show calves. Please contact us if you may be looking for a unique and easy to handle show calf that present well in the show ring. To learn more about the Murray Grey breed, please look over our MG page. Murray Grey cattle are a great breed. :)
Good news first. :) Mike traveled to Antlers, Oklahoma last Sunday to pick up the rest of our Murray Grey heifers. Thanks Larry and Ron! Everyone made it home safe and sound. The new girls have settled down and today we turned them out in the big pasture. Cows are so funny to watch. :) They ran, jumped, bucked, and played as hard as they could and then ran straight back to the lot and wanted in. Dolly, the Guernsey milk cow, was right there with them all...bucking and kicking like a youngster - NOT the very pregnant cow that she is! LOL We enjoyed their antics for quite some time before they decided to settle down and graze. It looks like they will all be fine and they seem happy with their new home. I will try to get pictures of them all posted this weekend.
Well, the bad news... One of our new MG girls from the first trip, Tatiana, went into labor this morning. Although she tried valiantly, she was unable to deliver the calf herself. Mike stepped in to help her, but he ended up having to take her to the vet. Tatiana was in a lot of trouble. It took four of us working with her another hour and a half to get the calf pulled. The vet said the calf weighed about 110 lbs.…much, much too big for a heifer as small as she is.
We were greatly surprised as MG's normally have easy births and are known for their low birth weight calves. At this time she is unable to stand. We are hoping that she will recover and that her legs are just paralyzed from the trauma of such a hard birthing. Tatiana is such a trooper. She is trying to get up, and is eating and drinking now that we have her home. We are hoping that she makes a full recovery and in time will have more little ones that will race across the pastures kicking and playing. Her friend Poppy is keeping her company, standing watch over her, licking and comforting Tatiana during this sad and stressful time. Animals never cease to amaze me with their compassion and understanding. They are a joy to my heart. :)
Russell Ranch is located in beautiful NE Oklahoma, just a few miles from the Illinois river in Green Country. There are lovely rolling hills, lots of wonderful lakes and rivers, and forests full of wildlife.