5 April 2018 – Snowing and 35

It has been awhile since I’ve written, as I was hoping to report on the arrival of more calves.  I can report on the birth of only one.

This is Lilly.  Easter Lilly.  Born to Cowboy and Linda’s Moo-lah on Easter Sunday.

Lilly resting at one day old


Dave and I had Cowboy Dave and Linda over for Easter brunch, we all enjoyed some good eats and mimosas and it was a beautiful, sunny day.  In the early afternoon, Cowboy and Linda headed home and immediately called from the High Lonesome.  “She’s calving right now!”  said Cowboy.

Pilot Dave and I jumped in the mule and headed over to the southern pasture on the High Lonesome.  Cowboy had tried to isolate Moo-lah to give her some peace and quiet while she delivered, but Nosy Rosy and Frita decided they wanted to hang around.  Then Rosy and Frita got into a full-on brawl, head butting and hoofing at the mud and trying to kill one another.  Cowboy Dave and Pilot Dave chased them away with whips while Linda and I kept an eye on poor Moo-lah.  Moo-lah headed off to a corner of the pasture where she laid down, stood up, laid down, and then finally pushed out a little girl!

Cowboy checking out Moo-lah and her new baby


The calf was so cute and after trying several times to get up, she figured it out quickly and went right to nursing immediately.  Cowboy wanted to call her Ester Williams because it was Easter, but Linda vetoed him with Easter Lilly.

First day and already running around the paddock

She’s so dang cute, and T-bone is super excited to have someone to run and play with. When she was just one day old, her Mom took off to go eat.  She was wandering around the paddock, bumping into things and then tried to crawl out under the barbed wire to the National Forest.  Pilot Dave went and got her.

Who needs the gym when you can carry calves around the paddock?


The other cows are still looking like they might pop, and every day we check them multiple times.  Every day we say regarding one cow or another, “She looks like she’s going to give birth today.”  Every night we check again and the cows all lay down and look at us as if to say, “Get a life, people!”  Nothing to see here!  Moooooove along.”

Dave and I like looking at the cows, but the weather has not been very nice this spring.  It is snowing again today despite the near 50 degree weather we had yesterday.  The day before that it was snowing.  Tomorrow we are expecting more snow and the low temperature is going to be in the single digits.  Ugh, winter, just go away!  We are so ready to put away our winter coats, hats, and mukluks, and just be able to throw on boots to go outside.  Just like waiting for calves, waiting for springtime weather really has nothing to do with what we want.

Everyone is sick of snow, except for Arrow, who loves to run and play in it.


Maybe we should just relax and enjoy what remains of the winter.  We do have many things on the docket for spring projects and when the sun comes out and it is no longer a muddy, mucky mess, we are going to be busy!  We went to Rapid this week and bought all the materials for our fencing project in the north pasture.  That will be several days of post pounding and wire stringing.

We got ready to move the cows across the National Forest to the April pasture, although we probably won’t move them until they are all done calving and at least when the snow melts.

Cowboy Dave checking out the fence line while Pilot Dave takes a break from post pounding.


We also bought oat seed that we are going to be planting very soon.  As a trial, we bought some very expensive alfalfa seed that we will attempt to grow with the oats as a cover crop in one little area of our southern pasture.  Dave is champing at the bit to get out there and sew these seeds, but it is difficult to do in the snow and the mud.  We did spend one day “harvesting” rocks.  Actually just picking up rocks.  The field we cleared last year produced several large piles of rocks over the winter.  Too bad we can’t find a market for rocks, we can sure grow ’em here in the hills.

We celebrated two years in South Dakota on the 4th.  We can hardly believe all the things we have learned, seen and done since we arrived here.  We have met some really great people and have made friends for life.  We have seen some amazing changes of seasons.  We have learned so much about building fences, painting cisterns, feeding cows, building chicken coops, cutting firewood, maintaining gravel roads, removing snow, planting crops, fixing tractors, starting and putting out fires, cooking on a wood stove, living off grid, keeping bees, building furniture, and the list goes on and on.  This has been an amazing ride where the highs and lows both go to extremes, and we love it.  Our only regret is we didn’t move sooner.

Rainbow from the back deck

That’s it for now.  We will continue waiting for the calves to come and the weather to improve.  Time to go scrape the snow off the solar panels!

Arrow loves T-bone