Welcome to My Little Piece of the Prairies ...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Perched ...

Not the usual place one would expect to find a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago).  However, it's actually amazing how often you do in fact spot a Snipe on a fence post!  Snipes are rather secretive and very well camouflaged, so many people don't even know what a Snipe looks like.  Well, this is the bird responsible for that strange, winnowing sound you usually hear on a spring night!

FYI ... back in the day ... when shorebirds were hunted for sport, these elusive birds were among the most difficult to shoot.  The very skilled sportsmen that could in fact bring a Snipe down were deemed 'Snipers' ... a term the military adopted!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lil' House ...

On The Prairie!

There are gems on this ole' prairie that have definitely with stood the test of both time and weather and if you're an architect/good ole' country boy at heart ... you can definitely appreciate an old wooden house that is still standing!!! (Even if you are appreciating such a structure from a tropical island with a mi-tie in hand!  LOL!)  It's amazing the number of wooden structures that are still standing and this beautiful old house has always intrigued me.  I don't know it's history but I wish it's walls could talk.  I think one would hear the laughter of children, a firm voice from the man of the house, the sweetness of a mother's voice and all in all ... a happy family.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mr. Bluebird ...

This is a horrible picture to match the 'horrible' wind we had today!  UGH!  And needless to say ... the only pic I snapped on my trip home from town.  There is nothing more refreshing than the site of a lil' bluebird fluttering from fence post to fence post.  However, such a handsome lad deserves a much better portrait, so I will definitely be doing a 'retake' with a bigger camera lens ... he was to far away from me (... me, who was hiding out of the wind in the car!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saskatoon's In Bloom

Amelanchier alnifolia ... aka, the Saskatoon!  If you haven't heard of it before, the Saskatoon is a woody, fruit bearing perennial shrub native to our prairies and other North American Interior points.  I like to call it the prairie's blueberry!  And now is a great time to scout out Saskatoon patches as they are in full bloom.  If you love pie or jam or just a handful of fresh berries ... these are not only delicious but healthy to!  Lucky for me, I have Saskatoons in my garden, and know of many, many wild patches!  We will definitely be picking berries this summer!  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The LAST Field ...

YEAH!!!  I can officially say 'we are done seeding for 2012!'  I don't know who is happier ... my husband, the kids, or myself?  Well, it was certainly a busy weekend but it was indeed a good one, so with that ... have a great week everyone!  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Buffalo & Pronghorn ...

The things you see when out on the prairie!
Those that once roamed free ...

and those that still roam free ...

the buffalo and the pronghorns!  

Friday, May 25, 2012


Finally, there are some blossoms in my garden!  Yes, it's true ... they are a bit crabby despite how beautiful they look!  But, being Crab Apple blossoms ... they just can't help themselves!  At least the bees love 'em despite their crabby nature!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Buffalo ....

(Thermopsis rhombifolia)

What's not to love about the Buffalo Beans???  They can brighten the drabbest of days, they smile and nod as the wind sways them back and forth along the gravel roads and they are just perfect little rays of sunshine dotted across the prairie landscape!  And if you are lucky, perhaps you will have a little one ... or two, pick just a few for a bouquet!  

Rainy Days ...

This was as far as I ventured out with my camera ... well, I didn't even venture out.  What can I say, sometimes it's just nice to enjoy the rain from the warmth of the indoors with a cup of cocoa in hand!  :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Renegade Heifers ...

Hmm ... hey heifers ... way over by the slough ... this is NOT the field you are supposed to be in!!!  It's one of our pastures but NOT the pasture the heifers are in!  So, I spent a couple of hours locating the renegades and fixing fence that was just fine the other day!  Judging by the damage, I would say a moose went for a walk and walked right on through!  (Love them moose but they do wreak havoc on fences at times!!!)  Oh well, if someone/something left the fence down for me ... why wouldn't you check out the green grass on the other side?  It looks rather inviting!

Still Seeding ...

Last years pea stubble will soon be a field of canola!  Yes, we are still seeding.  However, we finished seeding our canola today and all that remains to be seeded is a bit of barley!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beyond the Gate

Beyond the gate lies bits of history and tame pasture for our cows for the next couple of months.  I love that old spruce tree ... all weathered and worn!  If I could see what it has seen standing high up on the hill all these years and if the walls of that old butcher shop could talk! ... Ah, beyond the gate!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Night Hawk ...

Usually, I am guilty of being a 'Night Hawk!'  However, tonight I think I will let this fine lady take on the roll!  Good Night Everyone!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Moving Cows!

It was time to move the girls off the home pasture and out onto some spring tame pasture!  It was definitely a pleasant evening to get the job done!  Happy Friday everyone and if you are one of the lucky ones enjoying a long weekend ... I hope you have a great one!  Cheers!  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Silence Has ...

Been Replaced With Song!
Meet the Band:

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)  

This crazy looking bird is about the size of a Blue Jay but has the most incredible repertoire of songs!!!  In fact they have the largest vocal collection of an Alberta bird ... over 3000 song adaptions!!!  And the best part ... he loves my yard!  And we love to listen to his crazy songs!  

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

I've spotted Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in our yard before, however, the only reason I spotted this lad today was due to him flying in front of me!  They tend to stay in the top of the tree canopy and they have wonderful 'Robin-like' songs ... so unless you spot them, one tends to think you are hearing Robins!

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus)

My crazy 'yellow darts' and their friends the Pine Siskins have also returned ... eating us out of house and home when it comes to niger seed!  There is certainly nothing more cheery than brilliant yellow plumage of the Goldfinch fluttering and darting about ... and even cheerier ... their trills, tweets and tweeters!  

So there you have it ... today's band ... at least what I spotted outside my front door.  I know ... BIRDS!  What can I say ... sometimes I digress but alas ... they are seasonal!  :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Swooped By a Turkey Vulture

Cathartes aura

While out checking cows with my youngest child and my 'faithful' old german shepherd, 'Sam,' we came or should I say ... this Turkey Vulture 'swooped' onto us!  I'm not really sure what to say to poor Ole' Sam ... I know he is getting up in years but apparently this Turkey Vulture had 'shiny eyes ... or a salivating beak' for my hound!  I think the vulture swooped down and flew just a few feet above Sam about 4 times.  I don't think Sam gave him a moments notice but I think this Turkey Vulture needs to go find a meal somewhere else!  Sam isn't going anywhere anytime soon ... at least I certainly hope not!  Aside from this vulture's sweet eyes on my hound ... they are a very COOL bird!  Smaller than eagles but bigger than hawks ... they are a fair sized bird.  They can have a wing span of up to 183cm!!!  They are definitely not found province wide, so I am happy to report we live in their zone!!!  I guess that would be the 'VULTURE ZONE!'  Haha!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

As The Sun Sets

Long days but our pea fields are seeded and we've moved onto the flax!  Soccer is in full swing and I haven't had much time to 'explore' with my camera in hand!  However, I noticed my 'Ruddy's' have returned ... so I might have see what I can find tomorrow!  In the meantime, the sun is gone!  Good Night!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sand and Tonka Trucks

Boy, n.:  a noise with dirt on it.  
~Not Your Average Dictionary

Ah ... yes,  the sand pile and the Tonka Trucks!!!!  If only they could talk and tell you the miles they have on them!  I am certain we have a couple of dump trucks that may hold the world record for accumulated miles!  This particular 'fleet' of Tonka Trucks is an all-season fleet, with less hours accumulated in the winter but still put to work.  However, now that it's spring again, the 'fleet' is back working overtime!  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, 
but their hearts forever.  
~Author Unknown

There is something so special about 'gifts' from your kids ... they always melt your heart!  Kids pour their heart and souls into the gifts they make and I am very honoured to receive such treasures!!!  My fridge can attest to it!  Today, I woke up to my lil' boys jumping on our bed yelling "good morning, Happy Mother's Day ... we love you!"  With hugs and kisses, we had to hurry to have morning coffee outside so I could be presented with my Mother's Day gifts!  These potted geraniums were made at school and knowing how much I love to garden, the boys were pretty darn proud of their gifts.  They explained how they decorated the pots and how the plant tags fell out so they 'aren't sure if they will have pink or red flowers!'

I've been a Mom for 7 1/2 yrs now and I can't imagine life not being a mom.  The two angels in my life that call me 'Mom' are indeed busy souls but they make me laugh, keep me busy and most importantly bring peace to my world.  I find great comfort in my kids and I am honoured to be their Mom!  With that, I had a super Mother's Day and I hope everyone else did too!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


A week ago, my wonderful husband headed out into our garden with his blow torch! No, he's not a fire bug ... he was just doing a burn down on our asparagus!  I always let it go to seed in the fall, do a burn down in the spring ... and "ta da" ... a week later (at least this year) ...

Fresh Asparagus!

I might just have to pick a bundle and throw it on the barbeque tomorrow night!  There is nothing more tasty than fresh asparagus with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper done up on the grill!  Mmmmmm ...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Grain Farming 101

Spring Seeding!

Yes, it's that time of the year, out here on the prairies!  We've begun 'sowing' our seeds and in this particular field ... peas!  Hopefully we can have them all in by the end of the weekend!  The weather is supposed to be wonderful ... so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the 'Ole' Green Gal' (aka ... our ancient 4-wheel drive tractor) holds together for another year!


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