“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!” – Charles Dickens
I think that wraps up 2020 on the ranch. It was a wonderfully quiet year on the Ranch, especially the summer, however the stress of dealing with “the covid” was very real. Our families were never directly affected but everything did change. We hope that everyone came through this crisis as well as possible and that 2021 will see positive changes!
Here is what happened on the Ranch in the last 12 months:
January and February:
- Neal was elected vice chair of Prairie Conservation Forum
- We did our budgeting and planning for the year
- We went skiing in Kimberley, it was wonderful!
March and April:
- In March the world shut down because of covid-19 and all outside on The Ranch stopped
- The weather was not very pleasant but at least we had the boys home so we could review grades 7 and 5!
- Neal worked on barn repairs, at least he was out of the weather
May and June:
- Neal spent most of his time fencing and working on corrals because things had finally thawed out
- The cows came in on the 15th of May but not in the usual way, three patrons came in together and one stayed out on the Eyremore pasture until mid July. It worked so well that we want to do it again this year. This allowed us to keep our total numbers up because we kept the pressure off the spring grass and grazed summer grass harder.
- In May the cows started breaking gates! Apparently though Neal and the patrons like the new grazing plan the cows were not so happy about it!
- The bulls came in on the 10th of June, Not Neal’s favorite day of the year
- Reyd finally had his appendix removed in June, we had to wait along time for that one
July and August:
- Our time was mostly spent irrigating, looking after the cows and training horses and calving our cows
- We didn’t go camping because it was so quiet on The Ranch who would need to?!
- All 4-H activities were cancelled but the boys did get to their aunties cabin on the lake for some summer fun and swimming lessons
- The pump at the well died in July so it was panicky around here to get water to all the places it needed to go, but Neal got it all figured out in short order
- The weather through August was pretty good, the boys spent a lot of time mowing the lawn
- Neal and horses got lots of practice chasing bulls back from the neighbors!
- The bulls went home at the end of August, which is now Neal’s favorite day of the year!
September and October:
- The late summer weather was pretty good, the kids went back to school and life felt mostly normal for a while
- There were no tours through The Ranch but when the waterfowl season opened we did have a higher number of hunters out
- Waterfowl season opened in mid September
November and December:
- Pheasant season opened on the 15th of October and that was the same day that we lost 3 calves, it was a hit and run situation and very upsetting. It was quite a loss for the patrons
- The cows went home on the 24th of October which happened to be the coldest day in October!
- Halloween was weird and spooky….everyone was wearing a mask!
- Hunting season was busy, lots of first time hunters out. They were all very well mannered and kept the gates closed and stayed on the roads, well done hunters!
- Christmas was very quiet as all family plans were cancelled, this was hard on the boys as they were looking forward to seeing their cousins