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!

December 2017


Merry Christmas everyone! We have had such a wonderful December that we almost forgot it was winter until a couple days ago when it suddenly turned cold and snowy! Now we are having a lovely white Christmas.

There isn’t much going on around here until we are into the New Year:

  • Neal is going to the Native Prairie Restoration and reclamation workshop in Saskatoon in February.
  • Neal will be attending the Prairie Conservation Forum AGM is in the Calgary Cabela’s meeting room on January 18th.
  • Otherwise it is budget and annual report writing and staying warm.

So wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Good night to all and to all a good night!



A perfect sun rise

looks like we have a pole cat!

a perfect sunset

A perfect sunset

November 2017


Three flowered avens

Happy fall everyone!  It has been so long since my last post that I am not sure where to start…So lets review.  We had a lovely spring with some moisture then we had no moisture for the rest of the summer.  We did have a decent grass year because of the spring moisture however, things were getting very brown by early July.  The fire hazard was very high and there were several fires in the Brooks area but not on the Ranch.  We had an increase in our local great Blue Herons, I’m guessing it was due to a shortage of water in our drought affected area.  I tried on many occasions to get a picture but they move way too fast for me, one morning there was a group of 5 flying out of the canal!

So here is what has happened (last few months) and what will be happening around the Ranch:

  • The pheasant season has gone well, there were a lot of hunters early in the season but now with the snow they have slowed down.
  • The cows all went home on the 28th of October.
  • Neal attended the fall SRM meeting in Lethbridge.
  • Neal is currently working on the 2018 budget.
  • We did have a summer student, Ashley Dyck, from the U of S, she worked on ground truthing for the GVI.
  • We had the barn tinned in May and it looks great and really keeps the weather out!


March and April 2017


Two little blue flowers on the prairie now!

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz….I know where the birdies is 🙂

Welcome back spring with all your lovely sunshine and birds and grass and greenery!  It is lovely out there, out here.  All our spring birds have returned, the ducks, geese, swans, robins, meadow larks, black birds and all the other birds.  Even the lady bugs are back and the ants….there is an abundance of those this spring.

As we prepare for the summer season there are a few things that have been going on:

  • We are excited to have Ashley Dyck starting as our summer student this year.  She will be continuing on with the GVI research and helping implement the invasive species plan.
  • Neal attended the AIA conference in Banff this spring.
  •  Lethbridge college had a field trip on the Ranch Neal assisted in teaching about how range management affects wildlife.
  • Cows come in on May 20th this year
  • Neal took his applicators tutorial course at the end of March and is planning to test in May, he hopes it will help him implement the invasive species plan.

Well that seems to be all that is exciting and happening around the ranch these days.  Enjoy the rest of your April and happy Easter and spring to all.

Shannon, Neal and the boys







Career day

on career day I had an artist and a Rancher!


February 2017

Well the ground hog didn’t have any good news for us in the west and so far he was right.  We have been having lots of cold and snow.  Even though we welcome the moisture we don’t enjoy the bitter cold that came with it!  We were fortunate to be in Fernie skiing when the powder came and were storm stayed and got in another day of skiing :).

I must say we had at least on winter weather phenomena  this year and I have a photo of it!  We had thunder head clouds and Dinosaur Provincial Park had thunder and lighting that day.  It was like a summer storm day just not green or really all that warm!  We did however get a snow shower…my camera of course froze up so no pics of the rain drops!  We also had lots of fog and hoar frost, the frost is always beautiful and one day we had two pheasants sitting in the tree out front!

So there are a few things going on around the Ranch this month:

  • We have had the first of our lambs born, just after the bitter cold, triplets and all are well.  These will be for the 4-H projects
  • February 22 is the closing day for summer student applications for summer work on the Ranch
  • Lethbridge college has confirmed that it is coming out in April for a field day
  • Neal has been working on the year end reports
  • We have been busy with building maintenance and getting everything ready for spring

With the long dark days of winter behind us (hopefully), we are looking at sunshine and melting snow 🙂  We have not seen any geese yet which is very unusual as we normally see a few scouts in early February.

Valentines day, bloody valentines day!  Should be a day of love but is usually a day of dread!  Good luck to everyone, in or out of love and relationships, remember that love is all around us and it is usually easier to find if we close our eyes and open our hearts 🙂  Best of luck to everyone,

Shannon, Neal and the Boys


Tank the momma and baby Eunice, welcome spring 🙂

January 2017

So happy new year everyone 🙂  I hope 2017 is treating you all well and that you are staying warm.  Hopefully all the bitter cold weather is behind us as spring is very slowly approaching but every day brings us one day closer to the growing season.

Things are very quiet around the Ranch at this time of year but we do have a few things happening:

  • Neal attended the PCF AGM in Lethbridge last week
  • We have posted our summer range technician position to all the Universities, if you know some one who is interested feel free to contact us for more info
  •  We have begun implementing our invasive weed management plan for this year starting with burning of downy brome on the Ranch
  • Neal is attending the AIA annual conference in Banff again this year
  • Neal is actively working on his pesticide applicators course and trying hard to love it

This winter has been foggy and cold, I have no pictures to share 😦  But I most certainly will have some for February.  Until then stay warm and happy!  I can hardly wait to hear what the ground hog has to say about our spring weather!!!

Shannon, Neal and the boys

December 2016

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope the holiday season finds everyone happy and healthy.  This is the time of year for rejoicing and reflecting, so I hope everyone has an easy time finding things to rejoice about and that all your reflecting is merry 🙂

On the Ranch we are always grateful for all that nature provides us, we have the weather, the view and always an opportunity to do something positive for the environment and as I always say “if your’e lucky enough to live on the Ranch…you’re lucky enough!”

So just a few photos from 2016 on the Ranch and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life.








See you next year,

Shannon, Neal, Boyd and Reyd 🙂

September, October and November 2016

Red poppies for remembrance day


Well it has been a bumpy road this fall, technology wise!  Lots of problems and lots of lost photos, but we are back online and not anticipating any more issues.

I hope everyone has had a great fall, the weather has been fantastic, I know everyone thought it was all over but the shouting when Thanksgiving came with snow and cold but mother nature has blessed us with a lovely October and November thus far 🙂  So the big question is what has been happening around the Ranch?  Lets see…

  • The bulls went home the last week in August
  • The cows went home October 20th
  • According to Neal it was a great year, the cows and calves were in excellent health with only a few to treat, one bull had a rough go but he recovered with minimal treatment
  • The pheasant hunting has been great with more hunters out than we have seen for a few years now
  • Upland hunting seems to be very popular on the ranch again this year
  • The Foothills Restoration Forum had a Range Health School out here on September 14th and 15th
  • Perry McCormick, the Ranch’s DU management committee representative, is retiring at the end of November.  He will be missed but I’m certain we will see him around during hunting season…the Ranch is part of his history
  • We have seen more Great Blue Herons this year than we have in the last 11 years.  I have a picture of one that was on the canal just yesterday
  • Neal is glad the weather is holding out as he still has some work to do on the barn and around the yard
  • When the weather does turn cold he will be keeping himself busy with budgets, computer work and plans for next year
  • I know we will all be taking a moment on the 11th to remember those who gave their all for our fantastic freedoms, Lest We Forget

I have added many photos this time to make up for all that have been lost, until next month, peace be with you,

Shannon, Neal, Boyd and Reyd