Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Return of an Old Friend

Words cannot express the joy in my heart when I heard her coming down the driveway.

For years she was my trusty steed guiding me safely all over the ranch. Then she got all tuckered out and went into a deep hibernation in the shop.  For years she slept. This winter Mark started reviving her and today she roars again.  Yay!  Long live the Kubota.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

While We Were Away

the animals did play and we had a couple mini catastrophes.

Came home to Spring!

We went hiking for 2 weeks down in SoCal and had a fantastic time.  If you are new to our page, you might not know this, but we love long backpacking trips.   We are section hiking the whole PCT and try to squeeze in a couple of hikes on it each year.  You can check out our recent hike and other hikes at

Cheers to hiking!

People sometimes ask how we get away from a ranch.  Well, we have wonderful family and friends who regularly check in on the place and the animals.  We have also tried to set everything up so that we can be gone for a couple of weeks without too much for others to do.  We have auto water and multiple large feeders for the hens and a timed, hanging, game feeder for the barn cats.  The hogs have a feeder that holds a ton of food and this time of year they have grass and grubs to forage for as well.  The cattle likewise, do their own thing in regards to food and water, as there is usually plenty of both. 

BUT- we never plan our hikes when animals are birthing.

We thought we didn't this time.

I am new to hog farming.  Everything I read online and in my books said sows will not breed back until you wean the piglets.  Everything I read said this.  Well,  not everything you read is correct because my sows delivered a month early without us around and they must have squished most of their piglets as they only have 4 left between two sows.  Crazy.  (I usually help make sure they don't squish the newborn piglets when they are in labor as the sows can roll around a bit).  I felt pretty guilty at first and it is a financial loss, but live and learn.  Some sows will breed back while their piglets are still suckling.  They most certainly will. 

Half of the new piglets!

Another mishap this time was our goldfish and koi.  Apparently an otter came into our yard and ate every fish.  Every year we get an otter than comes in, but I usually see it and make a big fuss chasing it off, not this time.  It had a feast and all our fish are gone.  Every single one of them.  The good thing is that we need to clean out the goldfish pond and build a screen to go over the top so that the otter can't get in and it will also keep our grandsons from falling in.  We have been wanting to do this, but all the fish we had complicated things. 

There is always something to learn from fails. 

I do not fail,
I succeed in finding out what does not work. 

Tiny Calypso Orchid,  English Daisy, Wild Iris