Getting That Spring Itch

The weather has taken a turn toward spring as the forecast calls for our first 70 degree weather day of the year. Even though it is still freezing at night, the warmer days has me wanting to get the garden started, but first I need to get some dirt turned over.

The last dry-ish spell we had several weeks ago didn’t allow me to get the tiller out of storage before the rain muddied up the area where I like to put my cool weather veggies like radish, lettuce, broccoli, peas and early carrots. The main part of the garden, where Mike uses the tractor to break open the ground, still has a few more weeks to go before I can plant the long rows of onions, potatoes and beets with nearly a month to go before I can put out tender tomato, pepper, eggplant, cucumber and squash plants.

The itch is getting stronger and I feel that I won’t be able to ignore it’s magnetic pull so between other farm duties, I am going to spend some quality time playing in the dirt.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

How Did He Do That?

While the internet is full of pictures of dogs, cats and all kinds of pets I couldn’t resist a story about the two farm dogs Jackson and Butler. As many of you know, these two dogs are brothers out of the same litter. They are polar opposites of each other with demeanor, bravery, memory, cuddly-ness, willingness to please, dirty paw factors and selective hearing loss. Continue reading

Info As Requested

We have had several calls regarding the bulls we have available in the bull pen. The last five have been growing steadily and all but one are now over a year old and each are ready to take on a herd of their own. They range in weight from 800 pounds to 1400 pounds and are all good eaters.

The bulls we have left are #37 Bluff (sired by Renaissance), #39 Rudy (sired by Prowler), #41 Bo Bridges (sired by Renaissance), #42 Big Wheel (sired by Prowler), and #44 Boggle (sired by Prowler). Boggle is the only one not quite a year old yet, he will turn one year next month.

Mike has all the registration paperwork on each of the bulls and can give the EPD information to callers or American Angus Association registration numbers for those who want to view online.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

Red Alder At The River

While feeding the main herd across the river I noticed yet another sign of spring. It didn’t matter that the temperature had been 27 degrees when I woke up this morning or that we had been having spitting showers of tiny snowflakes on and off most of the morning. The alder trees along the river are beginning to redden.

Very interesting and too long to share full version can be found in a publication by the USDA:

Native American tribes from Alaska to Southern California have long recognized the value of red alder and put its bark layers, roots, leaves, twigs, cones, and sap to use for a variety of purposes. The inner bark was often dried, grounded into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups or mixed with cereals when making bread. Various layers of the red alder bark yield red, red-brown, brown, orange, and yellow dyes (Moerman1998). The various colors from the bark were used to color baskets, hides, moccasins, quills, and hair. The native Americans of the Pacific Northwest extracted a red dye from the inner bark, which was used to dye fishnets. Oregon tribes used the innerbark to make a reddish-brown dye for basket decorations (Murphey 1959). Yellow dye made from red alder catkins was used to color quills. A mixture of red alder sap and charcoal was used by the Cree and Woodland tribes for sealing seams in canoes and as a softener for bending boards for toboggans (Moerman 1998). © Tony Morosco@ CalFloraWood and fiber: Red alder wood is used in the production of wooden products such as food dishes, furniture, sashes, doors, millwork, cabinets, paneling and brush handles. It is also used in fiber-based products such as tissue and writing paper. In Washington and Oregon, it was largely used for smoking salmon. The Indians of Alaska used the hallowed trunks for canoes (Sargent 1933). Medicinal: The North American Indians used the bark to treat many complaints such a headaches, rheumatic pains, internal injuries, and diarrhea (Moerman 1998). The Salinan used an extract of the bark of alder trees to treat cholera, stomach cramps, and stomachaches (Heinsen 1972). The extract was made with 20 parts water to 1 part fresh or aged bark. The bark contains salicin, a chemical similar to aspirin (Uchytil 1989). Infusions made from the bark of red alders were taken to treat anemia, colds, congestion, and to relieve pain. Bark infusions were taken as a laxative and to regulate menstruation. The Pomo boiled the bark in water to make a wash to treat skin irritations and sores (Goodrich et al. 1980). Bark poultices were applied to reduce swelling. Chewing the bark helped to heal sores and ulcers in the mouth

I had no idea there were so many uses for the trees until I investigated. Now when I look at the aging trees along the river and see much more value that the need to keep the riparian area shady, I see the need for many more to be planted.

All the farm stories with pictures and recipes can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

 

From Around The Corner

When I don’t have other pressing chores to do, I wander out to the bull barn to spend quality time listening to an audio book while bundling firewood for the next round of deliveries. Sometimes it is only an hour or two, other times, especially when I get to a very interesting part of the book or if I need to make sure I have enough supply for the next load, or if I need to get a crib emptied so it can be filled again with split wood from across the river, or if I’m trying to avoid other necessary chores, I can spend several hours puttering along in the barn.

I have great views out the open end of this barn. I can spot the bald eagles when they decide to sit in the far fir trees and chatter back and forth with each other while they guard the river flowing beneath them. Views of the show barn critters can be spotted as they graze the pasture or lounge in the wooded area. Pegleg the cat meanders through the barn with her whispered meows as she pokes around the equipment for a tasty mouse but usually tires of the game since she rarely finds anything (she keeps the supply down considerably with her daily hunting routes).

The bulls of the bull barn and surrounding pastures usually don’t pay any attention to me unless it is mealtime, then they will line up at their manger in the hopes that I throw in some hay or grain to begin the meal. There is an exception to the bulls noticing when I am in the barn and that is #41 Bo Bridges. The first time we encountered Bo the calf, we found tucked under the sloped end of the bridge taking a nap while his mother grazed a ways away from the comfortable bed he had found.

Now Bo is over a year old and typically hangs right with the other bulls in the big pen, except when I am in the barn bundling. Bo likes to stand right at the edge of the open end of the barn and watch my technique. He doesn’t make a fuss or move around a lot, he just stands there chewing his cud and observes my procedures while the rest of the bulls hang out along the fenceline or under the trees at the far end of the pasture.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

For And Aft

Our newest cow to deliver, Scooter, has brought her baby closer to incorporating into the main herd. But she is still wary that the other calves will pick on her little Vespa so she hides her around the brushy fence lines while she grazes, goes for water or eats hay. This tendency will only last a couple of days until Vespa is strong enough to join in with the gang of calves that cavort around the field. Until that happens, we go in search of the calf at every feeding to check up on her, make sure she has been nursing, and that she had not somehow gotten herself stuck on the wrong side of the fence surrounding the field.

There are dangers being on the outskirts of the herd. The river is just beyond the fence and riparian area and we have lost calves before who have wandered too close to the edge and have fallen. The coyotes hang around the fields in hopes of finding tender newborns, they wait for the mothers to become inattentive or temporarily when they temporarily misplace their babies. Or a calf could just simply lay down for a nap close to the fence and when they try to stand up, slip under the bottom wire and end up on the wrong side.

A whole lot of commotion breaks out when a new mother is not able to get to her new calf on the other side of a barb wire fence. All the calves run to see what is going on, the mothers all run in an attempt to corral their little ones. Babies are crying for their mothers and mothers are bellowing back. When all the hoop-la is going on it is easy to find where the wrong-side-of-the-fence baby is located. When the baby is sleeping, we have to guess where the mother put the baby down for a rest and begin searching the brushy growths along the fences.

It is amazing how small a newborn can look when curled up. Babies can set themselves into a small depression and nearly disappear from view, add buck brush, snowberry and wild rose bushes and the calf can be invisible.

It was Mike who spotted an area in the fenceline from across the hayfield that looked suspicious and a good spot for a calf. Quietly we walked along the fence so we didn’t spook the sleeping newborn if she was indeed in there. It was much easier to see the little pile of calf from the wrong side of the fence rather than the right side of the fence.

Startling a sleeping baby is not a good thing to do since they usually bolt and run the wrong direction. I nearly walked right up to the baby before I saw her in the middle of the brush on the wrong side of the fence. I gently woke her up by stroking her back and murmuring softly. When she started to wake, I urged her to stand up. The fence was too low in this spot for her to get back over to the other side so I had to coax her to walk along the fence before finding a spot where I could lift the barb wire enough for her to get back to her mother. By that time the whole herd was there along the fence and the noise was tremendous.

All is well now that we have Vespa reunited with her mother.

You gotta see the pictures of the happy family! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.

 

#35 Scooter And Vespa

We had been watching Scooter because she looked close to calving. During the morning feeding she was in the middle of the main herd eating like the rest of them. During the day, Mike noticed her moving away from the herd toward the spring at the far back end of the field. Scooter headed for water wouldn’t have seemed different from the many trips the cattle take either individually  or in groups heading for the water source, but the way she walked with an urgency and her tail slightly elevated gave clues that she was about to deliver.

Moving away from the herd to give birth is common and especially smart during this time where our little trouble maker, KAOS the bull, has been picking on newborns. We avoided checking on Scooter for a couple of hours so we did not spook her too far uphill where it would be harder to help if need be. By the time we did go looking beginning at the last spot Mike saw her heading, we found Scooter and her newborn comfortable under some big fir trees beyond the spring. Scooter had found a safe spot from the bothersome KAOS and all the other critters of the herd.

Welcome to the farm SAF Vespa, born 3/27/2020 a sweet little heifer weighing in at 72 lbs.

All the farm stories with pictures and recipes can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I get credit for directing people to browse and may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!  And is now available on Kindle also.