September and October 2019


Early September snowfall

So fall came early this year but as usual it didn’t hang around to long.  We did have a lovely fall with lots of great weather.

Here is a break down of what has happened this fall:

  • Water fowl season opened on the 7th of September
  • September 9th the Lethbridge College brought out about 40 students for a range management tour
  • September 12th Grassland Restoration Forum held a range health training day out here on The Ranch with students from The Medicine Hat College and Professional Agrologists
  • The week of the tours was the first rain we had seen since July
  •  Neal had fun moving the cows around to the green spots to make sure we had enough grass for the rest of the summer
  • We had a very good dump of snow at the very end of September
  • The cows were scheduled to go home on the 5th of October but due to the heavy snowfall the were delayed until the 10th and we had more snow just before that
  • Pheasant season opened on the 15th of October
  • We had the rest of October to get fall tasks done as we had a lovely open fall after Thanksgiving

A young golden eagle found on The Ranch under a power line.


something wicked this way comes!


A spooktaculare party

We had a lovely fall and a happy Halloween!  Now to get ready for Christmas and the end of the decade.

Shannon, Neal and the Boys


November and December 2019

Winter sunrise over the lake

Winter has been very mild this year with lots of sunshine and snow in the mountains and not much here on prairie.

  • On Nov 14th Neal did a presentation for the Grasslands Restoration Forum in Claresholmes on Targeted Grazing
  • Through late November and December Neal managed to get his paper work completed
  • Christmas was lovely and so was the weather, the ski hills opened early and we were able to get out in November!



A young man and Remembrance day


When you are really too sick to have cake but it’s your birthday and your still want to blow out your candles!


When you are really just to tired to go on

It was another wonderful year on the Ranch, Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New year and lets hope for wonderful things in the new decade,

Shannon, Neal and the Boys

July and August 2019


a lovely summer sunset

July and August were not without excitement around the Ranch, in mid July when the boys were at 4H camp the water system completely failed!  So while I was helping the boys with horses and all that fun stuff Neal was busy trying to dig out the water lines and get some water flowing.  It was well over a week with us using the motor home as home base, fortunately the boys were off to northern Saskatchewan with my sister having a blast taking swimming lessons at the lovely Little Fishing Lake.  We are still trying to get the water to the barn and an underground line put in.

In mid July we finally got some rain, enough to carry us through the rest of the summer with the odd little shower here and there.  The pivots both needed repairs but we were able to get lots of water on the grass to keep it growing.

Megan worked hard at building corrals and her and Neal spent many hours of the horses checking and moving cows.  She was invited out with the US Fish and Wildlife guys to catch and tag ducks for a day.

Well that mostly covers all that was news worthy here on the Ranch, but here is a quick recap:

  • July 2nd Megan came to work at the Ranch doing bird and amphibian surveys
  • Neal and Meagan both worked shifts at the Calgary Stampede!
  • In July the DU marsh keepers had a tour on the Ranch and Neal did a short information speech for them
  • In mid July we had a complete water failure on the Ranch which we are still trying to complete the repairs
  • Neal and Megan tore down and rebuilt most of the corrals
  • Irrigation was in full swing and so was pivot fixing
  • The Alberta Wilderness association was out for a tour and our Chair for the Technical committee, Joel Nicholson, was out with them as well as Jay Bartch a retired DU manager from the Brooks area who also helped set up the Ranch
  • Bulls went home on August 21
  • Megan finished up and went back to Lethbridge to finish her last year of school, all the best to you Megan
  • The US Fish and Wildlife were out for the month of August catching and tagging ducks

Hope your summer was a perfect mix of sunshine and rain, have a great fall!

Shannon, Neal, Boyd and Reyd



And they placed in the bareback event in the 4H achievement day!


And then 2 weeks at Little Fishing Lake in Northern SK


can you spot the spider?


Dragon fly on a jacket during the Alberta Wilderness Association tour


Reyd all cowboyed up!


slough grass,Beckmannia syzigachne, in full flower


As the sunsets over the prairie


The end!

May and June 2019


Stormy skies over the prairie

So this seems a bit late but it is the second time that I am writing it!  This is also the second time that I have had a post completely disappear from WordPress…not really impressed!  But on with the good stuff, May and June were very dry, the Rodeo came and went with out a huge rain event and I’m not sure if that has ever happened before!

The cows came in on schedule and Neal only had to treat one calf.  He did treat four bulls and sent one home.  We used all of our tame grasses and all the native and hoped for rain every day.  It’s a wonderful thing to have carry over grass in the spring to provide early summer and drought situations grazing, if not for that we would have been in trouble.

Here are the highlights of May and June:

  • Our summer student Megan, started working with Multi Sar in the southern Alberta areas
  • Cows came in on the 15th of May
  • We had 293 pairs
  • Neal attended a PCF meeting in Calgary on the 2nd of May
  • The bulls came in on the 10th of May
  • on June 26th Environment and Parks had the field portion of their contractor field training on the Ranch

Hope everyone had a great summer,

Shannon, Neal, Boyd and Reyd




Prairie onion



Reyd found the old cattle scratcher on the north end of the Ranch



something wicked this way comes


March and April 2019


early cinqfoil

Happy spring everyone, I hope there is lots of sunshine and warmth and it is only raining in the evenings and on week days 🙂

Things are going well here on the Ranch, unfortunately most of our moisture came in the form of snow but we did have a lovely easter with lots of sunshine and even the first wiener roast of the year! Neal turned the big 50 this spring so I think he is perhaps,looking at life from a slightly different perspective now. The days have been full with fencing and corral repairs getting ready for the cattle…it’s an ongoing battle but it keeps him busy until the cows come in!

Our summer student this year will be a wildlife specialist, as all the GVI has been completed, she will be job sharing with MultiSar and then the whole team will be here to do our wildlife surveys.

Neal has been busy with all of his committees and jobs around the Ranch and now that the boys are both riding well and will be able to help with cattle moving this summer 🙂

So here is what has been happening on the Ranch:

  • Cows come in May 15th
  • We have the same patrons as the last few years
  • They have increased the cattle head but will be pulling cows earlier than usual in order to keep the AUMS the same. With the lack of moisture last fall and low moisture levels this spring we are unwilling to increase AUMS.
  • The summer student starts here at the Ranch in July but will start with MultiSar in May

The only crocus I was able to find on the Ranch this year and it was in the yard!



one of these things is not like the others!!


Happy 50th Neal!


Gone riding!


September 2018 -February 2019


Our smokey summer

This is a very weird blog, I have had some bad luck in that I lost all my photos and due to technical difficulties I have been unable to get onto the web page for updates!  It looks like we are off and running now, so I will dig around and find some old photos and take new ones and I now know how important it is to backup photos, that is about five years I will never see again 😦

So what has happened around the Ranch in the last few months?  Well lets do a little review.

September 2018

  • We hosted a tour for the Red Deer Watershed Authority
  • The Lethbridge College came out for a day of Range Management
  • The Foothills Restoration forum came out for a day tour
  • The weather was super nasty for most of the month!

October 2018

  • The weather improved
  • The cows went home October 20th
  • Hunting season started, they had good weather and lots of success

November 2018

  • Neal attended the PCF board meeting in Lethbridge
  • Neal spent a lot of time winterizing the Ranch and enjoying the lovely fall weather

December 2018


  • Started on next years budget and the year end report
  • Took time off for Christmas

January 2019

  • Welcomed in the New Year
  • Welcomed in some early lambs, our last years ram was named Houdini for a reason!
  • Posted our 2019 summer student position.  As we are done the GVI we will now be focusing our efforts on Wildlife Surveys
  • Neal attended the PCF AGM in Okotoks and he is now the vice chair
  • More budget work and the year end report work
  • The weather was excellent for the first couple weeks and then turned cold and snowy and stayed that way!

February 2019

  • Have had several good applicants for the summer student position and we will be doing interviews in March
  • Neal has been working on his summer grazing plan
  • Happy Valentines everyone!
  • We are getting lots of snow so that is great for spring moisture and lots of green green grass

Well that has been the last few months as we seen them.  I will do some digging and update with photos if I can get some old ones and new ones

Shannon, Neal, Boyd and Reyd

July and August 2018


Our smokey summer

Cool nights and late mornings means that summer is drawing to an end. It was hot and fast, much like the fires in B.C. right now, but it was good! We had some company, did some camping and stayed outside more that inside and that makes for a great summer! So what has been happening around the Ranch these last two months?

  • Kyla completed her work on the GVI and is busy writing her reports in Lethbridge.
  • Bulls are soon to be pulled for the season.
  • There has been many cases of foot rot and pneumonia in the cows and calves.
  • We just got new shingles on the house, the last few storms took many shingles off…I was disappointed that we were not able to get a discount even though many shingles were already removed for him!
  • we are preparing for the annual management and technical committee meetings.
  • the foothills restoration forum will be holding their range health training day here on September 13.

That just about covers the Ranch activities for now.


May and June 2018

20180517_191045.jpgPrairie Crocus, Anemone patens These beauties showed up a little late this spring as we usually see them in April

May was a wonderful month with lots of stuff going on…snow going out and cows coming in! The grass came in fast and everything caught up fast.

June has been wonderful, the cows and calves are healthy and happy, the bulls have come in and all seems well.

So this is what has happened on the Ranch lately:

  • Neal and Kyla finished all the fencing around the Ranch in May.
  • We have had the pivots up and running…but not with out repairs.
  • This year we used a sea salt fertilizer on the pivots and we will see how well they work.
  • Neal talked at the society of Range Management Summer Meeting out in Beechy, SK.
  • Neal and Kyla will both be working at the Calgary Stampede’s Cattle Trail, Kyla will be there on July 9th and Neal on July 10th, be sure to stop by and say hi if you are out that way!
  • The cows are out on the big native pastures now and loving it.
  • The bulls are all out.
  • The Society of Range Management International Mountain Section is having a summer tour on July 28th in Airdrie.
  • Kyla is doing her range health assesments and ground truthing for the GIV.

That is about all that is new and exciting around the Ranch. We are all looking forward to school being out, no more lunches to pack and lots of riding to be done!

Shannon, Neal and the boys

Kyla hard at work

March and April 2018

The very end of April and we get our fist dandelion!

The very end of April and we get our fist dandelion!

This has been a very odd season but it would seem that spring has finally arrived…we had a lot of snow and a lot of water! But now we have lots of green grass and green leaves so all is as it should be. I think this is the first year that all the spring birds were here ahead of the spring weather!

We have a new summer student, Kyla, she is a lovely young lady and I am certain that we will all have wonderful summer working together.

The cows are coming in soon and the crested fields are ready for them, with this being such a late spring there was a couple of weeks that we were wondering if the grass would be here before the cows.

So what is happening on The Ranch:

  • We have been having trouble last summer and already this spring with people thinking that it is okay to park and camp overnight on The Ranch. Camping is never allowed on the ranch even though it is public land, the regulations in the wildlife act set out for The Ranch state that the property must be vacated between 11 pm and 4 am
  • Neal and Kyla have checked all the fences and have most of the repairs done
  • There are plans to do work on the corrals
  • Cows are coming the weekend of the 12/13 of May
  • Neal is still actively involved with the PCF and the AIA.
  • He has been invited back to SK to speak on grass management for Native prairie Apprieciantion Week
  • Kyla has joined us for the summer

Well the grass is growing, the wetlands are full and the sun is shining so all is well with The Ranch. Hope everyone has a great spring,

Neal, Shannon and the boys 🙂

January and February 2018

January super moon over lake San Fransico

The new year is here and there is alot of good bad and ugly! The year started with some very cold weather then it warmed up and was so lovely…it felt like spring was just around the corner, unfortunatley it wasn’t and then it got cold and stayed there!

What all has been happening around the Ranch lately:

  • In January Neal became a new director for PCF
  • There has been alot of paper work happening and everyone is trying to stay warm
  • We had 3 ewes lamb with twins, 1 ewe had very little milk so now we have 2 bottle babies!

Reyd and Boyd warming up the day old lambs

  • In February Neal went to Saskatoon to present at the SK PCAP Reclamation and Remediation Workshop

This has been a very cold February and I keep hoping things warm up soon 🙂

A frosty January day

The boys enjoying the freezing sunshine

only snow drifts left on the prairie at the end of January

lots of snow on the prairie now!