It's been a while since we updated you all! The days seem to go by faster and faster. We're starting to really appreciate the longer days when the sun sets later and later. A few months ago, 7:30 felt pretty late, and now it's still light outside. This can really be a double-edged sword though; one moment it's great to have the daylight, and the next Justin wants to work until dark or later!
This weather we've been having doesn't make us feel much like spring is in the air. In fact, it feels as though we may just jump straight from winter to summer, but I sure hope that's not the case. The mud and muck is frustrating to deal with, but we welcome the moisture in any form it decides to come in.
Last year at this time, we were in the field planting already! It's crazy how each year can be so different. This year, we're not quite sure when we will be able to get in the field. But, when we do, we'll be planting oats and corn to harvest as hay and silage for the cattle. Many of the other crops we'll be planting, such as wheat, we hope will be successful and make it to harvest. Last year during the drought, we had to hay much of these crops in order to have enough feed to last the winter. We pray this isn't the case this year. The grass is starting to turn slightly green, so we have high hopes that spring is coming soon!!
We've just passed the peak of calving season with the commercial cows. We're on the downhill slide now! For the most part, things are going pretty well considering some of the weather we've had to deal with already. Calving earlier like we do does make for more work, especially with nights having temperatures in the single digits, and/or snow and wind. We said we wouldn't complain about the moisture, but my goodness, I'm sick of bedding barns and pens!
We are thankful that we've had fairly good luck with calving this season. It's rewarding to watch the calves out in the pasture on a day that we catch a glimpse of the sun; they're out there bucking and running around without a care in the world.
The bulls continue to grow. Soon, here, we will be out delivering bulls to our faithful customers! Hope you're all excited for the Maus Angus Ranch gear you get this year!! Anyone have any guesses what it will be??
We are planning to semen test the bulls once the corrals are semi-dry and it's not so terribly cold. Sometimes a good bull can "fail" their semen test simply because the weather is too cold and their sperm hasn't had the chance to become completely active. However, these bulls are in such good condition and have been treated well this winter. We have full faith that the bulls will pass their tests with flying colors!
Back a few weeks ago, over Easter weekend, Justin and I took engagement photos out here at the ranch. It was bitterly cold and windy. We nearly froze trying to get the perfect photos captured, but since Justin rarely takes photos, we had to take advantage of the moment! We also took advantage of the calm temperament of the registered cows and snapped a few photos with them and their calves.
We spent our Easter Sunday with family and friends enjoying a wonderful meal. Then, we prepared for what was to be another storm. We spent our afternoon trying to teach a sick calf to suck. Hours and hours went into this calf. My heart almost broke when the little guy didn't make it. This life is hard sometimes, it reminds me of the poem, "So God Made a Farmer." We give these animals, our livelihood, everything we've got. But sometimes, God has a different plan.
We lost a good friend and neighbor this week. He was taken suddenly and without warning. We're reminded in this situation how fragile life can be.
Until we meet again, Rest In Peace, Steve. Have a velvet dew for us.