Welcome to My Little Piece of the Prairies ...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Where Are You Going ...

Hmm ... where are you going lil' wood frog (Rana sylvatica)?  I spotted this wee one on the main post of the gate I had laid down while checking cows.  Not willing to stick around for me, this was the only shot I got before he hopped along.  Small in size but big in filling our prairie sloughs with music!  Wood frogs are rather amazing for their size!  They completely freeze while in hibernation, actually stopping their heart and kickstart themselves when they thaw in the spring!

Monday, May 27, 2013

That Prairie Plover

We don't have very many plovers that migrate to Alberta for the summer.  In fact we only have three.  However, the Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) are certainly well known to most of us.  Killdeer are usually the first shorebirds to return in the spring and most of us can recognize their distinctive voice.  Wandering too close to a nest, more often than not, sparks at least one of the parents to perform the 'broken wing' act in hopes of luring you away.  Killdeer, like most plovers, tend to run, stop and eat ... making it somewhat entertaining to watch these quirky shorebirds!  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prairie Beans

Thermopsis rombifolia

Spring is just not the same on the prairies without the sway and nod from the native forb known to us as 'Buffalo Beans' or 'Golden Beans.'  After 8/10ths of inch of rain and the return of the sun today, the patches of Buffalo Beans dotting the prairie are gleaming!  I hope everyone had a great weekend and wish you all a fantastic week!

On the Road to Being BLUE ...

There is nothing prettier than seeing a field of flax in bloom early on a summer morning. Well, these little seedlings have some growing to do but they are certainly on their way to being BLUE someday soon!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rain Drops

Finally ... some much needed rain!  It's amazing how trees, grass and shrubs just seem to burst with a bit of moisture!  My ornamental cherry was certainly soaking up those rain drops!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Soaring ...

Headed back from the field, this big ole' Red-Tailed Hawk was swooping and soaring just above me.  The wind howled again today BUT we finished our spring seeding and the rain showers have started.  Hopefully some more rain is on its way!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Squawking ...

Like a bunch of old crows and black birds ... there's been a few of us, myself included, squawking about the wind the last few days.  However, in light of the devastation caused by tornadoes in the US this week, we certainly have absolutely nothing to complain about.  Continued thoughts and prayers to the residents of Shawnee and Moore, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet JB!

AKA ... 'Joe Boulevard!' ???  Our youngest wanted to name him 'Joe' and our oldest wanted to name him 'Boulevard!'  We settled on 'JB.'  'JB' is a one week old holstein bull calf that we acquired from a dairy last Thursday.  The boys are going to be feeding him all summer.  First chore after school ... feed JB!  I took the next photo last night but I had to share ... he's too cute!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy Victoria Day!

Yes, it was the May long weekend here in Canada and today we were celebrating Victoria Day, a Canadian holiday in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.  Alas, my boys  spent the weekend with their Dad at their first official motocross race ... I stayed at home and held down the fort!  Hard to believe we are only a month away from summer officially arriving!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Young Moose

My favourite character!  I adore moose (yup, might have mentioned that once or ten times before!).  Spotted this young one while checking on cows this evening. It certainly is in dire need of ridding the remains of it's winter coat and has obviously been spending time rubbing up against the trees in an effort to do so.  Hoping everyone is enjoying their weekend!  Cheers!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Night Show

Aaaaaaaah ... as luck would have it, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field late last night/early this morning, producing a G1-Class geomagnetic storm.  The northern lights definitely put on a night show!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Glimpse ...

Not the best but likely all I'm going to get.  High up in a dense grove of Aspen trees, peering through the leaves at me ... were one of the 2 owlets.  This fuzzy lil' feather-ball was certainly curious but I couldn't get a clear shot of the nest.  Now that the leaves are out, these guys are definitely camouflaged and difficult to spot!  It will be a few more weeks before they start to leave their comfy nest.  

Under That Big Sky

I apologize ... yup, another tractor image but I couldn't resist under that gorgeous prairie sky!  My husband started seeding peas today!  After a brief lil' sprinkle (not even enough to deem a rain shower), the sky seemed to threaten moisture one moment and the next it was gone.  Fingers crossed, a few more days and we should have our spring seeding wrapped up!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


At about 1:30 am this morning, my husband called it quits.  Initially the forecast for the weekend was calling for some much needed rain, hence he was putting in as many hours as he could to get as much seed in the ground before the weekend.  'Murphy' ... they (those darn weather people) changed the forecast.

Well, despite being up into the wee morning hours hooting with the owls, I managed to meet up with Mrs. Great Horned Owl first thing this morning while checking cows.  Is it Olive????  I could tell if I could see her left wing but since Mommy owl was sitting in her nest with two lil' owlets, I thought it best not to disturb.  Besides, judging by the GLARE I was given this morning ... it was not a good time to inquire if she was 'Olive!'  

'Olive' or not, I am always happy to see our Great Horned Owls!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tinkering ...

As the trees leaf out and the landscape greens up, I had to quickly experiment with my IR (infrared) filter.  The first shot was taken this evening while out checking cows and the sun was beginning to set and the second image was taken mid-afternoon, when the sun was high.  I'm looking forward to greener days and more IR experimentations!  In the meantime, we are still in the field seeding and will be for a few more days.  My hubby started seeding canola today and as you can see ... he was pretty excited about that!  Haha!  He's got a great sense of humour!  Love him!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Monday!

Well, what can I say ... more tractor pics!  Yes, the reality of spring seeding!  However, I am happy to report the day was for the most part a darn good day!  The sprayer is fixed, the flax is seeded and as I type this ... those dark clouds are producing some much needed rain!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Murphy's Day!

Hahaha ... 'Murphy' is such a funny guy!  He tried to hi-jack Mother's Day on me and he did a pretty good job! Before 8:00am this morning and about 5 minutes before my husband was done ... 'Murphy' cracked the rim on the sprayer and sent my hubby for a ride down the hillside!  This will be fun to fix tomorrow!

Shortly thereafter, he decided that this lil' heifer should have trouble calving.  All fine and dandy but she didn't really care for the situation.  Hence, I spent a good hour riding through the bush before getting her back to the corral.  Even tonight her lil' eyes were as big as saucers!  Hopefully she calms back down.

Then it was off to load flax seed and calibrate the tank and drill to FINALLY get to the field!  Once that was done, I had an enjoyable 2 hour drive to get parts, all the while missing my lunch!  :(

I returned with parts and the boys finally made it to the field this afternoon!  Alas, 'Murphy' stuck around and tested my husbands patience just a bit longer!  Murphy thought it was funny to plug some of the runs, mess with the run monitors and all and all, just give my poor hubby a few more grey hairs!

Despite all of that, no 'Murphy' can EVER hi-jack Mother's Day ... especially with my crew around!  Yes, it was a crazy, messed up day but it was still filled with love, believe it or not ... some laughter, and family time!  I have the best boys and the most wonderful husband and even if it takes screaming "Geez Louise" in unison at the top of our lungs when stuff goes wrong at least we can make ourselves laugh!  The treasures my children made tugged on my heart strings and their hugs and kisses topped my day!  I hope everyone enjoyed Mother's Day!


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