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!
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. :)
The Purple Martins may have left early this year, due to the drought I would imagine. They come every spring and usually don't leave until August, but I noticed they haven't been around for a couple of days. Just guessing there may not be enough food (flying bugs) to keep them fed as the heat and drought have affected many other things here - like bugs. The grasshoppers seem to be the only insect that is doing well in this heat. They are everywhere and are eating up everything they can.
A couple of momma birds raised their young in interesting places on the place this year. A swallow couple built their nest at the end of the front porch. They raised 5 little ones that flew the nest over the fourth of July. They are beautiful birds and we enjoyed having them around, along with the purple Martin's and hummingbirds that hang around the feeders on the porch as well.
A young Mockingbird built her nest inside the cherry tomato plant in the garden. She raised 5 little ones as well. We didn't pick the tomatoes around her nest for several weeks. Those little ones flew off last week and we hope they all make it. We look forward to seeing them all again next year!
The garden is winding down but still gives us much to enjoy. I've canned marinara sauce and salsa with the yummy, garden fresh tomatoes, as well as enjoyed Gazpacho several times during these warm summer weeks. Last night I canned several jars of new potatoes from the garden. Hopefully they will taste good this winter. I've never canned potatoes before! We've put up dozens of quarts of green beans, squash, and zucchini in the freezer, along with bell peppers and green chilies. Dozens of onions and potatoes are drying in the shop along with cayenne peppers, sunflowers, fennel and many other herbs and spices. We still have flowers blooming in the garden and the bees and other insects are loving the garden as much as I do.
The equine are doing very well, even with the heat. They spend much of their time dozing up by the barn since they have no pasture to munch on.The cows are goats are doing good also. They get up early in the morning and walk around the pasture for a couple of hours finding something they like. Then they spend the rest of the day munching on a round bale or sleeping in the shade of the trees during the heat of the day. They rouse themselves again in the late evening for another bite when the goats come in to get their feed and get put up in their pen. Everyone seems to just be taking it slow and easy during these dog days of summer. Hope you are too!
Spring has arrived! The winter wasn't a hard one at all, not like the last couple of years, but it's always wonderful to see everything starting to green up again. The flowers are blooming, trees and shrubs are budding out, flowering and starting to leaf. We have gone from temps in the 40s and 50s to the 70s and even some 80s in the last couple of weeks.
Kidding season is winding to an end. As of last night, all the Lamancha ladies have had their babies. We now have 4 purebred Lamancha doelings and a lone buckling. We lost another buckling from Blondie but we think that was due to her pregnancy toxemia and induced labor. It always makes me sad to loose one though.
We have 2 fullblood does that are due anytime, so we are keeping a close watch on them. They, on the other hand, seem very unconcerned and can't figure out why we are at the barn so often!
Of the 7 Boer ladies that have kidded, we have 11 bucklings and 4 doelings. All but 2 of the bucklings will be wethered and disbudded. 3 of the doelings have already been sold and we may be keeping Rosie's little girl. She is an outstanding doeling! We have already talked to some friends about possibly showing her this year. We think she will do very well.
The drought has broken here and we are so appreciative of the rain without any "bad" stuff. We have received around 10" and it continues to rain steadily and softly. The ground is soaking it up greedily and it appears to get greener by the minute!
The gardens are ready. We were able to get all 4 raised beds together and filled with a mixture of good soil, manure, sand, compost, etc. As soon as the rain tapers off, we will start planting. The drainage is amazing with the raised beds. We planted 50 strawberry plants the other day and they are looking great!
We are muddling our way through the other big planting project and working when we can to get all the 650 Arizona Cypress trees planted. We hope to use them as a windbreak for the cattle, a home for wildlife, a block from the nearby 'junk yard' and just because we would like to see more trees on this place! We have planted a little over a hundred already and hopefully we'll get them all in soon.
Here are some spring pictures from this morning taken in the rain. Enjoy!
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.