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Northernhorse Blog

The Beaver Pond

I missed spending time at the Beaver Pond this year. I love to ride my horses down there and see what those busy little beavers have been up to. I’ve been watching them for 40 years now and they have made some big changes in that time.

This year there was a canola crop between home and the beaver pond. Between the near impossibility of riding through canola crops and the extreme heat, I made very few trips down to the pond.

So my walk down to the pond today, Halloween, was very interesting. Much has happened over the summer. The beaver are basically moving the whole pond over to where a grove of trees that are of interest to them are standing. They made a lot of progress in one summer. Almost all my trails, mostly game trails, along this side of the pond are blocked with fallen trees and brand new trails have been developed. Some of my old trails will likely be under water next year.

FARM GARDENS

It seems we old farm wives have trouble cutting back on the gardens. Come spring we forget there are no longer 6 kids, silage crews and hay crews to feed. The main garden was twice it’s current size not all that long ago. And then there were potatoes and corn in another garden down the field.

We have added raised beds and another greenhouse. This summer with the excessive heat those raised beds required a lot of regular watering. Dave had to haul a 500 gallon tank of water from one of the dugouts on an almost daily basis.

Porcupine Quills and Family

Once more our day didn’t even start out as planned. You get really used to that when you are farming and/or have a number of animals under your care. Today Cruiser got to take a trip in the trailer to the vet clinic. His curious nature got him a nose full of porcupine quills. If there were just a couple, we would just pull them out ourselves but with this many he needs a little anesthetic. So we called the vet, loaded him up and headed to town.

The quills got pulled out and we were back in the trailer and heading home in no time. I forgot to take a picture of his new nose ornaments but had a couple of pictures of Ed when he learned that the cute little tinkling thing running across the pasture should be avoided.

It was interesting when we returned home.

Deer

The deer haven’t been a problem for the past few years. A really hard year of deep snow and lots of cold weather a few years back decimated the population around here.

But I think it is recovering.

During the winter of 2014 when things got tough a nice little doe brought her fawn into our yard and lived here with us for the winter. She and the fawn became really quite trusting of us and didn’t even get up when we walked by them. They ate hay with the horses and practically killed the couple of small apple trees we had growing in the garden at the time. They do seem to love to eat the twigs of the apple trees.

The last few years we seldom saw deer in the yard.

Reminders of A Different Time

Some folks get rid of every old piece of equipment. Some folks not so much. We are somewhere in between.

We recently got one of those garbage bins that they come and empty so we could get rid of some of the “junk” around here. We have always had lots of outbuildings. Outbuildings on a ranch are a magnet for almost anything that could possibly be used in whole or in part in the future.

And This Is How It Starts

Winter.

The season we all love to hate. Officially it doesn’t start until Christmas time but when you are living here in central Alberta you would either be new to the area or delusional to think this beautiful fall was going to last until then. This year the fall has been warm and dry and exceptionally beautiful but we all knew the day would come when cold and wet would take over. And when it is cold enough… the wet is snow.

But for tonight I think I will let the darkness take over the scene and pretend until morning’s reality proves it wrong that my flowers are still all gloriously cheery and bright.

While I figure out where I left my warmer muck boots.