Welcome to My Little Piece of the Prairies ...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bye-bye ...

Out for a late evening walk with the kids and dogs, we bid farewell to the remaining hours of July.  Hmm ... where did it go?  We also noticed the Tree Swallows that were 'flocking' together last week appear to be gone.  With the cool weather we've had lately I can't blame them for leaving a bit early.  They usually stay till August but it would appear the warm south is calling them. *SIGH*  Bye-bye sweet July ...

Back At It ...

Impressed!  Yup, I am certain my 2 young lads were indeed excited to be back in the hayfield once again!  Probably about as excited as I was.  However, I will admit, I like 'making hay when the sun shines!'  Despite a cool start to the day, we managed to wrap up many pretty green bales with NO rain!  We even had an audience that enjoyed what we were doing!  At one moment, the boys and I counted 9 hawks soaring above!  These juvenile hawks were sitting a few fence posts apart just taking the scenery!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Summer Sunset

O it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please.

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Another cool, overcast day but the sky was clearing ... or at least I was being optimistic!  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In the Mirror

Somedays, seeing life in the rearview OR side view mirror emphasizes just how fast your day has gone and it makes you a bit frustrated ... or least it does me!  My hubby started knocking down more hay early this morning and in between a few little rain showers, we gathered cows and calves and trailed them home.  After sorting out the yearling heifers and doctoring some cows, with some 'unexpected interruptions' during the whole process, we were finally able to trail 'the girls' to pasture once again.  The yearling heifers will remain at home for a few days but they too will be moved out to another pasture.  Needless to say, we accomplished what we set out to do today but the day went by much too fast ... despite it being a VERY LONG day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reality ...

Nope, nothing fancy ... just reality!  We spent the day moving our haying equipment home and yes, it did seem to take the day!  UGH!  Thank goodness tomorrow is another day!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pondering Summer

There has been a 'crispness' to the air the last couple of days and each day is getting notably 'shorter!'  Hmm ... I know it's still summer but it feels like 'autumn' is around the corner!  Perhaps we will have an 'indian summer' this year ...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Problem With ...

The first pick of Saskatoons ...

Is they never quite make it into the bucket!!!

Haha!  Caught!

Oh well, at least there is enough for breakfast!
Mmm ... fresh saskatoon berries!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The A's and B's

More rain, hence we didn't even move haying equipment home today.  Even though the rain makes it tough to hay, the apple tree and my garden beans, along with so many other plants and crops are savouring the water!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Juicy Morsel ...

... To perhaps celebrate being done baling the hay 'in this field?'  I'm okay with celebrating that!  One less mouse or vole and hay bales galore!  While our youngest was helping his Dad haul square bales into the stack, our oldest was baling and celebrating the fact that we finished this field tonight and we'll be hauling the equipment home tomorrow.

Monday, July 22, 2013

More Peas ...

♫ Rain, rain go away ... there are many of us who still need to bale some more hay! ♫

A few rain showers over the weekend combined with some cool, overcast skies have definitely put a damper on baling hay.  However, the peas are certainly starting to burst with pods, which of course means 'snack-time!' during crop tours with Dad!  The boys can't wait!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Healing Spirit

 Dogs are not our whole life, 
but they make our lives whole.  
~Roger Caras

Sweet, sweet Gambler!  Awe ... this lab-collie cross came into our world almost 3 years ago!  We adopted him with a very battered and broken spirit.  It was so broken, that he feared the man of our house for almost 2 years which broke my husband's heart!  However, with LOTS of patience, Gambler has grown pretty sweet on that 'man of the house!'  In fact, nobody can quit give ear scratches like that 'man of the house,' so Gambler tends to favour sitting by him whenever he can!

We think poor Gambler will always carry around some baggage from the past but he has come such a long way!  He loves his forever family and we love him!  He seems to be a much happier boy!  His spirit is healing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Waiting ...

We headed into Calgary for a 'Shower-Q' today!  Shower-Q?  It was a joint, 'his and her' wedding shower and barbecue and it was wonderful!  However, we had to wait for the train ... and waiting for the train is okay, especially when your vehicle is full of boys!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Lesson on Haying and a Life Lesson!

So today was the day ... the boys wanted to start baling on their own!  With that request, their Dad went over the in's and out's and the RULES!  He rode a few rounds with each of them just to make sure they had it under control and soon my babes were off like lil' farm men, baling square bales!

They each took turns driving the tractor, while the other watched the baler, ensuring the bales were tying properly.  Travel with the square baler is at a very 'slow' pace, so it's perfect for the boys driving the tractor and learning how to square bale.

When a problem arose, the boys turned everything off and usually 'pulled up a stump' ... I mean bale, and awaited their Dad.  

We couldn't be more proud of our lads today!  They worked together and they worked hard!  The tractor didn't have air conditioning, so it was hot and they put in about 7 hours of baling.  However, the boys have also wanted to start building their own cow herd.  Aside from 'Lucky and Miss Lily,' the boys each purchased a yearling heifer this spring!  In order to pay for the heifers, the boys are having to do chores and help with things like 'baling' in order to pay off their 'heifer loans!'  So, a bit of a life lesson ... nothing comes cheap and you have to earn the things you want!

Well, we raked and baled until about 7:00pm and then a little rain cloud 'showered' on our baling parade!  With that, we had supper and headed for home!  Tomorrow will be a new day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer's Saviours!

I've always been fascinated with damselflies and dragonflies!  Perhaps it was their 'boogily-googily' eyes!  Haha!  All I know for certain, is that they are saviours in the summer when it comes to reducing the mosquito population!   And trust me, if you are stuck in a hayfield ... damselflies and dragonflies are a very welcome sight!

So back to the 'never-ending' hayfield it was (or so it feels like it will never end!).  We are baling both small square bales and large round bales in this field.  It was a great day for haying but the clouds did finally roll in!  Alas, there was no rain ... at least not while we were still there.  Hopefully the rains stay away and we can finish up in the next day or so!  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Hay Hawks ...

If you know me, then you know one of my passions is capturing 'Birds of Prey,' especially hawks!  They are NOT an easy bird to photograph but haying season does help!  They LOVE the juicy morsels scurrying for cover under the swaths and the hay bales make for a perfect place to devour dinner!  The trick is photographing while driving the tractor and  baler!  Who says a photographer can't multi-task?  When the Swainson's Hawks abound ... multi-tasking is in order!

Yes, we are still baling!  The weather has not fully cooperated so it's been a bit slow!  Hopefully, in a few days, we will bring our equipment back home to finish up our remaining hay fields!  Enjoy the remainder of the week!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Unloved ...

A weed is but an unloved flower.  
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There is certainly 'beauty' in this beast but a beast it will remain!  The Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) is one tough ... 'WEED!'  I think it will forever remain 'unloved!'  Although, I will admit, I do love to photograph them!  LOL!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Peas ... Lots of Peas!

Brrr ... cool days!  It was overcast, windy and only 13C today!  Aside from the fact I had to dig out my sweater, vest and lil' wool mitts, the peas are coming into full bloom and loving the cooler weather.  However, we have more haying to get done, so I am hoping the sun and warm temperatures return SOON!  

When last week got ahead of me, I forgot to mention that the last photo I took of 'JB' (Joe Boulevard ... Growing) was used by my dear friend and superb artist, Gena LaCoste as one of her daily water colour paintings!  Gena is an amazing artist.  She has a remarkable way of capturing the prairie and western life with her paint brushes!  Please check out her blog (http://genalacoste.blogspot.ca) and website (http://genalacoste.com)!  You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Boys of Summer ...

The 'Boys' were out on an evening stroll and a beautiful evening it was!  

Catch 22

Ah yes, one of those situations ... the crops need a drink but you have hay down!  Now, if only you could request the rain to fall on the crops and not the hay!  It never quite works out that way does it?  I think I've finally caught up from the week getting ahead of me. I hope you are all enjoying the weekend ... what remains and wish you a fantastic week.  Cheers!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Prairie Icons in the Night

Welcome to the historic ghost town of Rowley, Alberta!  I love visiting this place.  There is certainly a 'prairie spirit' that continues to reside where residents no longer live and the Rowley Community Association has certainly worked hard to maintain this historical gem!  Filled with history and historic buildings, the grain elevators were saved from the wrecking ball and continue to stand as majestic prairie icons.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

That Solar Max and a Bit of Haying!

My good friend and fellow photog came out from the city to visit for a few days ... in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights!  After such an amazing display just the night before, I wasn't sure what we would actually see for aurora but we got lucky!  I guess they were correct in saying 2013 would be a 'Solar Max' year!  After only a few hours of sleep, it was back to farming reality and back to the hayfield!!

We finished our first field (of which I took pics and managed to delete!  Oops!) and have since moved on to the next but alas we've been racing against those dark clouds!  Rain is a good thing ... except when you are trying to put up hay!  


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