Thursday, March 19, 2009

Seasons

Wow, this week has flown by! It's Thursday already!

The Bag Lady is still trying to get her paperwork organized for the dreaded taxes. It is slowly coming together, although you'd never believe it if you looked at her office!

Once she is finished with that, she will start her spring cleaning, in spite of the fact that it feels nothing like spring yet! According to the long-range forecast, it isn't going to feel much like spring for the next 15 days, either. Sigh.

Calving season will start within the next couple of weeks, as well. The busy time on the ranch is approaching. Ranching in northern Alberta has seasons, just like the rest of the world. There is calving season, then fencing season, then comes haying season and there is cow feeding season. Sometimes calving season bleeds into fencing season (one year it even bled into haying season... that was the year of the lazy bull!).

This year it looks like cow feeding season will once again be bleeding into calving season. As long as it doesn't bleed into fencing season.....

In northern Alberta, cow feeding season lasts until the grass is long enough for the cows to eat. Most years, this happens sometime in May. For some reason, this year the snow seems to want to hang on and hang on (it is snowing again this morning). And on this ranch, calving season is going to start earlier this year than last. For several years, the Rancher set back calving season so the calves were born later in the year. The advantage of this is that the calves were born when the weather was nicer, so there was less chance of them being born in snowstorms or really cold weather. This year, the Rancher kicked the bull out earlier, so calving will start sooner.

Many years ago, the Rancher almost always arranged for calving season to begin in March, and the Bag Lady spent a lot of time managing calving season on her own, because the Rancher was still working (at his seasonal job). This year, the Rancher's work ended earlier so he will be home to help with the calving. (Luckily for him, because he is the one who turned the bull out early! If it had been up to the Bag Lady, they wouldn't be calving for another month or so!)

22 comments:

Leah J. Utas said...

And sometimes all those seasons run together.
It is an exciting time, though, all those new baby cow faces.

the Bag Lady said...

I am looking forward to the new baby cow faces! And hoping the weather smartens up before they get here.

Christine said...

I realise (having an uncle with 200 head of black angus) that calving season is mental.

But.

eeeee! calves! cute!!!!


/city girl

the Bag Lady said...

Christine - I know - I'm looking forward to the cuteness, just not the slogging through the snow and mud, trying to ensure the babies aren't in any kind of distress from the weather.

Tom Rooney said...

You just can't trust men when it comes to running the bulls out in March can you BagLady?

Terrie Farley Moran said...

And here I thought the bull/cow gettogether was entirely spontaneous.

Terrie

the Bag Lady said...

Tom - exactly!! Sheesh. If it had been up to me, we wouldn't be calving until May....

dfTerrie - well... some of it is sorta spontaneous... we just try to manage the 'when' - the rest is up to the bull! :)

VeeGettingHealthy said...

We don't even have our homestead yet and I'm tired just thinking about all the "seasons" necessary! Wow! Vee at www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

kcinnova said...

All this talk of bleeding is making me a little woozy...
Hope the weather straightens up before those calves start coming!

Reb said...

Are you going to name them again this year? Lucky for the Rancher that he is going to be around.

the Bag Lady said...

Vee - you're in Arizona, though, aren't you? Your seasons will be slightly different than ours...

kcinnova - sorry about the talk of bleeding.... :)

Reb - I don't know if we'll name them again - have to see if anyone is interested!

Redbush said...

I thought that kicking the bull out earlier meant the calves would come later. Jeeeeesh, can't do the math. I'm glad the rancher is helping you out this time. I hope the weather is better!

the Bag Lady said...

Redbush - I hope the weather improves, too! And soon!

Geosomin said...

I'm looking forward to the cows :)
Last year I really enjoyed the pictures of the new ones and the stories from calving time on the ranch. There was a time when I almost went into veteranarian school instead of biochem, so I love seeing and eharing the animal stories and all that goes with them.
Hopefully it'll warm up soon enough for the little ones...

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - I'm glad you enjoy the stories and pictures of the cows and calves! I always get so excited about the new calves, I'm sure I'll be posting lots of pictures again!

Hilary said...

You have a lot of new readers, Baggie. I think they need a calf named after them too!

So the Rancher likes to hang around and just shoo the bull.. ;)

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary - that was pretty punny!
Might have to see about naming the new calves, but don't have any yet... calves, that is!

Scrumpy's Baker said...

Sorry I haven't been by in so long. Cute new layout!

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, SB! Good to see you!

carla said...

Im with terrie.
I thought the bull wined and dine and gave the cow all his bull**** and she merely fell in love and then wandered off in to the pasture holding hands.

Tricia said...

I didn't know that the time of calving season was managed, although now that I think about it, it makes sense.

the Bag Lady said...

Carla - and so it is, for about 2 days, 'til she's bred, then he loses interest and moves on to the next cow. Just like some human males....

Tricia - oh yes, lots of things about ranching are managed. We are actually quite old-fashioned - the big, modern ranchers do far more 'managing' than we do.