Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Springtime Relief

Crazy Days
So much has happened. So much to tell you about. I know Katie has plans to write this weekend, so I wanted to keep this to a minimum, so that she can have the opportunity to tell you all about it. Things are very good though. Life is great.

Things are busy from my perspective. Work has picked up around the ranch. I've been meaning to head out with the camera to take photos of the newly arrived angus calf, 5 bum lambs, and Pfeiffer The Dogs favorite, two pigs. I don't know what it is about those piglets, but they drive him crazy.

Wildlife has begun to migrate up into the mountains. The two sandhill cranes (I swear they're the same two from last spring) have been flying overhead making their incredible pre-historic rackett. They are so loud! I've been seeing the moose more active, and the deer have been everywhere. The elk are still in the flats, and I've yet to see any up here, but they will soon be making their way up to have their calves! 

I've been out spring bear hunting a few nights a week and I was rewarded with one of the most incredible scenes the other night. After noticing a bear den on an adjacent snowy slope with my binoculars, I spotted a sow and two cubs not 50 yards above the den. It seemed as though it was one of the first nights out of their den. The sow seemed incredibly lethargic and had a hard time keeping up with her energetic bear cubs. The cubs (one black and one brown) sprinted up and down a fir tree in between trying to wrestle with momma, only to be swatted away as they tumbled across the hillside. I sat and watched through my spotting scope for close to two hours, as momma climbed up and down the tree, breaking off branches and dropping them to the ground. She then gathered them up and seemed to be making a bed. Maybe their first night out of the den? The next evening they were gone, and I'm hoping they don't find their way 2 miles down the creek bed to our pasture. I've seen one other bear since and it makes me excited to see spring has arrived. As I was telling an old friend in an email the other night, the definition of spring in Montana, is incredibly different from where I grew up in Orange, CT!!

Here's a photo of our herd of nubian goats, a day or so before Runty gave birth: 

It's good to see green
Woke up this morning to our first real rain of the season. It feels really good. I turned over the soil in one of our gardens and this pile of horse manure is waiting to be spread so it can sit for the next 5 or 6 weeks when we the fear of frost is gone and we can finally put our plants in. Our soil seems great this year after adding much to it.

The snow has finally melted off of the picnic table. An elk didn't shed his antler there, it just ended up on the table the other night.

Water that isn't frozen!!
 Apparently you can eat juniper berries? Something that we should definitely look into.
 I'm not sure what it is, but WET seems to feel really good to me during spring.
 The grass actually has begun to grow in the south facing front yard.

We're back to having delicious goat milk and it's amazing! I tried to make ice cream the other night, but it turned into more of a milkshake than ice cream. Still really good though. Looking for goat milk ice cream recipes if you know of any. Hope you have a great Saturday, and check back soon, cause Katie has plans to get you all up to speed.