Getting Comfortable Being Back Home

One of the heifers that we brought home last Sunday is trying her darnedest to feel comfortable in the surroundings here on the farm.
She has been walking fence lines to make sure she is aware of the boundaries. She searches out the other animals that she was pasture mates with at the farm where she was on grazing duty.She especially likes to hang around with Topanga’s young calf. The two must have bonded back at the neighbor farm and they watch out for each when we are in the pasture with them or if the dogs are not on leashes.
Seeing her today made me laugh because she found a good mud spot and smeared the stuff all over her face before parading up the logging road and back through the pasture field. She was such an unusual sight that even Topanga’s calf didn’t want to be seen around her.
We see cows do this in the summer time when flies and other nuisance critters that bite or sting are bugging them (pun intended). It seems that this mud mask is just because she wanted to feel special after being away from the farm since spring.
Within a few days, the mud will dry and flake off. Or the rain will come and wash the whole thing away. We will have to watch and see if she continues to mud-up or if it was just a one-time thing.

Susan’s note: This site is nearly out of data space, at last check less than .07%  is left even after deleting and downsizing. I will continue to post on this page as long as I can before I am blocked completely. If you would like to see the whole story including pictures, please visit the new farm blog at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com or simply click this link. The follow button is now working on the new site, even if you signed up before, the connection did not go through due to some very technical keystrokes that I failed to execute. By trying the follow button now, you will be prompted to insert your email address and will get an email to attest that you are indeed a human. If you see the words ‘Cowpies to Treetops’ below the heading of Schmidlin Angus Farms, you know that you are connected. Thank you for hanging in with me on this journey of switching.

No Longer Welcome

Susan’s note: This site is nearly out of data space, at last check .08%  is left even after deleting and downsizing. I will continue to post as long as I can before I am blocked completely. If you would like to see the whole story including pictures, please visit the new farm blog at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com or simply click this link. The follow button is now working on the new site and you will be prompted to insert your email address and attest that you are indeed a human. If you see the words ‘Cowpies to Treetops’ below the heading of Schmidlin Angus Farms, you know that you are connected.

Our loaner herd of cows consisting of Topanga, her calf and three bred heifers had been serving on pasture grazing duty at a neighbor farm since spring. This herd has been doing a fine job all summer long, keeping the pastures trimmed up and the fire danger low for the farmer who no longer keeps his own herd of livestock. It is a win, win situation, we don’t have to worry about feeding the critters and the neighbor gets pasture maintenance.

By August of a typical year when the summer sun dries the dirt beneath the grass and there is no new growth, we move the loaner herd back home. But the muggy summer without the sweltering high temperatures and the thunderstorms of August kept the grass growing so the neighbor farmer was happy to keep the herd well past the normal dates. That worked well for us since Topanga was quite pregnant at the time and we don’t like to haul animals so near to calving. It was August 17 when Topanga birthed her heifer calf, Donna. You can review her story from the post called A New Late Addition dated 8/21. Continue reading

The Getaway Garden

An overgrown garden and a black wheelbarrow heaped with foliageThe garden had gotten out of hand early this year, I believe it started way back when I began planting.

For some unknown reason the spaces between rows just seemed off. I always try to think as I plant and space things according to how they grow. For zucchini plants that grow tall and round with those huge leaves, I like to give them a wide berth so they don’t feel cramped. The lettuce on the other hand can be squished and even planted along with the seeds of something like radish and can still produce an abundance. Continue reading

During The Logging Lull

We had tried to make it up the hill into the forest  driving the Gator via the back road, this is the old skid road we have to get up the hill. It is much steeper and more narrow than the road we have been using. The thought was that there would be low vegetation like grass, vines of wild blackberries and dog fennel, growing on this seldom used road would help with traction.

Mike had the Gator in low gear and in 4-wheel drive as he began up the road but ran into trouble of the first switchback, he could not get enough traction to propel the vehicle both up and around the tight turn. It took a 12-point turn in order to get the Gator facing downhill to make it down the short trek to the bottom.

Our loggers have both the Barko machine and the large shovel stuck up here while the roads dry out enough to move them back downhill. Luckily the crew has projects on other properties that they can work on while this site is on mud delay.

grass pasture with black angus cowsSince we have been stuck on the lower end of the property, we have noticed that the pastures have started to green up from our series of thunderstorms over the last week. The herd is enjoying the fresh greens since this is most likely the last growing spurt of the summer.

Up And Down

The last few warm days has certainly helped to dry the farm out a bit. The loggers have been chomping at the bit hoping to get the pole truck in for a load of long logs but it has just been too slippery on the slopes that lead in and out of the property, the landing where the logs are neatly decked and the edges of the river crossing. low Nehalem river looking upstream from our bridge

With all the rain, the river had risen as the excess moisture flowed into the stream but has once again receded to acceptable levels for crossing. Of course I forgot to snap a pic while the river was high so here is a picture of what the river looked like before our 2-1/2 inches of rain in two days, the river doubled in size, and is now back to looking serene just like this photo! (You just have to use your imagination on this one). Continue reading

The Thinning Project

Some of the trees that have been pulled from the thinning projectThe thinning project is coming along nicely, its a good thing because even Jackson the dog (who would not move out of the frame while I snapped a picture) is embarrassed by the woods on this corner of the property.

The trees are dragged full length to a small landing area at the front of the picture before the Barko machine cuts the limbs off and measures each tree. The ones in this picture are not good enough to be sold at any of the mills and will be put into my pile for the firewood project after the limbs are off. Continue reading

When The Landing Is The Highway

Cows walking through log landingSimply wanting the cows to move from one area to the next can be a challenge, especially when we place our log landing right in the middle of the path that they chose to use as the highway between one pasture and the next.

We have large fields for the cows to meander around and this time of year they have many, many acres to do just that. They tend to think of all the ground as their space and make their paths wherever they feel compelled to walk. If one cow walks a path, several others will walk the same path and before long there is a highway with designated stops and hazards. Continue reading