Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Taking it a step further..

You see, my dogs hangout 365-24-7 with the stock.
They like to lounge around the bale feeders,
and share a drink together.
They like to be close to the stock,
 but Lugh here,
takes this guardian dog thing
a step further than most..

Lugh is owned by Brooke en Kate Oland from Nova Scotia.
Not only does this Highland bull provide a perfect lookout for predators,
he also comes with seat warming!
You can read more about the organic farm of Brooke and Kate Oland Here

Monday, 25 April 2011

Ducks Unlimited

 This winter we have had a few ducks waddling around the sheep feeding areas, picking at the leftover grain. (Grain fed duck...)
Now, that the dugouts have water in them they are happy campers.
It is a party at the dugout with  Ducks Unlimited.

"Houston permission to land.."

The eagle, Duck has landed..


Saturday, 23 April 2011


Why is it that the whitest puppy ALWAYS has the muddiest paws?

I would not go so far as to say that spring is really here.
We still have lots of snow, but we also have large  pools of mud.
I guess, that this mud is,
the real, true first sign that spring is on its way...

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Devotion facinates me.
Whether it is a parent devoted to their child,
or an artist to his work,
a sheepdog to his job
or a guardian dog to her stock.
Katcha is not quite as snuggled up to her bulls as Buddy is to his lambs.
However, where ever they hang out,
 she is there with them.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


"Nature teaches beasts to know their friends."
~William Shakespeare

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Passion for Wildlife and photography

This is also one of my favorite websites.
Peter Dettling Photography
Peter Dettling is one of Canada's top nature photographers, he is an award winning photgrapher and has captured many stunning images of wild places and wildlife all over the world.

 Not only is he passionate about photography but is also passionate about the conservation of wild places. The interactions between man and wildlife is a topic that deeply interests him. You can read a small opinion piece written by Peter Dettling about these interactions in the Fitzhugh, a local Jasper paper.

His images have been published in many international magazines and books and featured in gallery shows across North America and Europe, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

He is in the process of opening up a gallery in Canmore, Alberta and has written a number of books.

So, take a look at his website,
you won't be sorry!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Protecting Canada's Wild side

One of the biggest driving forces behind predator friendly ranching is the love and excitement of seeing and having wildlife in our back yard.
My heart beats a little quicker when I see the deer, an owl, a wolf track or when I hear the coyotes howl and yip at night.
Not only do I love this, but thousands of tourists flock to Canada ever year to enjoy the beauty of the mountains, the lakes, the prairies, the bears, moose and wolves.
Canada loves to promote their parks internationally,
they even make postage stamps of the iconic Canadian wildlife, that's how important it is to the tourist industry!
However, it is not always as wonderful as it looks.
Many conservationists, biologists and fellow wildlife lovers are trying to work towards things like buffer zones around parks, better education and looking for ways for people and wildlife to co-exist together.
One of these people is Gary Allen.
Gary uses his wolf hybrids as teaching tools,
he travels to schools to educate children about wolves, wildlife and environmental issues.
Gary has agreed to be a guest blogger on this blog , and will contribute occasionally pieces for my blog.
 I am really looking forward to this, I believe it not only broadens my view on things but also provides for interesting reading.
With his permission, I have posted a blog he wrote in 2009. Despite the fact that this is almost two years ago, the issues he writes about are still current...
nothing has changed.
Don't Pick the Flowers but Killing is OK
by Gary Allen
In a large Provincial Park of BC, a park ranger observes two people from his vantage point high up on a ridge in the alpine. He observes one person picking the alpine flowers which are in full bloom. The silence of the alpine environment is violently disturbed as the hunter takes down a grizzly bear (during an open hunting season).
The park ranger approaches the park visitor holding the alpine flowers and issues this person a violation ticket under Section 9 of the Park Act. No ticket violation is issued to the hunter.
Section 9 is titled Natural Resources Protected but this section does not apply to wildlife being hunted & trapped in BC Provincial Parks, Recreation Areas or Conservancies. In the Regulations, Division 6, Section 32(1), prohibited activity is defined. A person must not;
a) damage or destroy any natural resources or property in a park, conservancy or recreation area
b) possess any natural resource or property of a park, conservancy or recreation area
c) remove any natural resource or property from a park, conservancy or recreation area.
Subsection (2) exempts wildlife under this regulation.
I agree that flowers & other natural resources should not be damaged, destroyed, possessed or removed from a park, conservancy or recreation area. But how absurd is this law & policy when it does not apply to wildlife?
Most BC residents I have consulted along with politicians are surprised and dismayed that hunting & trapping are allowed in BC Parks, Conservancies & Recreation Areas. Steve Thomson, Minister of Environment, states in a Oct. 2/2008 letter to me that these hunting & trapping activities are the result of public consultation through Land Use Planning processes & subsequent Park Management Plans.
What this means is the local & regional consultation included submissions from the local rod & gun clubs, hunting groups advocating their right to hunt & trap in the parks in their region. These parks, conservancies, & recreation areas belong to all BC residents & the many visitors outside of BC who visit our parks. These people want to observe wildlife in these protected areas & not see the peace & tranquility of the park violated by hunters & trappers, who are killing the precious wildlife.
These local residents do not have the authority to use this Land Use Planning process to impose their local will upon the majority of BC residents who want these parks protected from hunting & trapping. Canada's National Parks do not allow any hunting & trapping because all Canadians want to protect all natural resources in these parks. The few residents of Banff & Jasper do not dictate to the Federal Government to allow them to hunt or trap in Banff National Park or Jasper National Park. So why can a very small group of BC residents impose their will upon the vast majority of BC residents? Because we let them!
Mr Thomson states that 250 BC Parks are closed to hunting & trapping. I researched the BC Parks website & the BC Hunting & Trapping regulations to see which parks are open to hunting & trapping. The 250 parks that  Steve Thomson refers to are very small parks, many of which are near large populated areas where there is no wildlife. These parks would include Alice Lake, a popular campground near Squamish & Cultus Lake. It is ridiculous & misleading to promote these parks being closed to hunting & trapping because public safety would be seriously compromised & these parks have not seen any wildlife for decades.
What Steve Thomson is hiding is the fact that most large Provincial Parks are open to hunting & trapping. These parks contain most of the wildlife & this list includes Manning Park, Stratchona Park, Wells Gray Park, Tweedsmuir Park & Spatsizi Wilderness Park just to name a few. On my blog, my letter dated Oct. 31, 2008 challenges Steve Thomson's misleading statements. Over 90% of Northern BC Provincial Parks, Conservancies & Recreation Areas allow hunting & trapping to occur. The southern half of the province is not any better.
Here are three notable, illogical situations which allow hunting & trapping in these parks.
Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park is sandwiched between Kootenay National Park on the west & Banff National Park on the east. As stated earlier, there is no hunting & trapping in National Parks. But if wildlife moves from these protected federal lands into Mt. Assiniboine Park, they can & are being killed. How absurd is that to have an unprotected area between two protected areas? Wildlife does not understand boundaries of safety & harm. Why would the Provincial Government not ban hunting & trapping in Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park? This brings up the topic of having larger buffer zones around National Parks to fully protect the wildlife that uses their habitat outside the boundaries of National Parks.
Khutzeymateen Park is a grizzly bear sanctuary where they are protected from hunting & trapping. However, hunting is allowed in this park above 1,000 meters. How can this park be a sanctuary when hunters either hike through the park to reach this altitude of above 1,000 meters or planes & helicopters are flying these hunters in there disturbing the grizzly bears? Not to mention the gun shots which would frighten the grizzly bears? Why can't the Provincial Government state there is no hunting & trapping in Khutzeymateen Park?
Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park contains an Ecological Reserve at Gladys Lake which is in the middle of the park. There is no hunting & trapping allowed in Ecological Reserves but there is hunting & trapping allowed in the rest of the Spatsizi. Again, wildlife does not recognize artificial boundaries.
Many more visitors to our parks, conservancies, recreation areas are using these areas during the Fall, Winter & Spring when hunting & trapping take place. These visitors are under the illusion that they are safe in these parks from these activities and it will be only a matter of time before they are seriously injured or killed from these activities while recreating in our parks.
I think most BC residents are shocked when they find out that hunting & trapping is so extensive in our Provincial Parks, Conservancies & Recreation Areas. These areas should be completely off limits to hunters & trappers so the wildlife has a safe refuge.
Steve Thomson , you protect the flowers by legislation & regulation, why not the same protection for wildlife?
I encourage readers to contact Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations. His Phone # is 250. 387. 6240  & email:

You can visit Gary Allen's website at:

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Ice Pedestals

With the shortage of hay last year,
and the exorbitant price of
 the stuff
it is only right to place hay bales on their very own
ice pedestals, don't you think?
However, it is a sign that things are changing.
The snow is slowly melting away and bits of earth, grass and lost equipment start to reappear again.
The small dugout has filled up completely, and now we are just waiting for the big dugout to fill again.

Even though the snow is moving in the right direction, we still have lots of it!


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Extended services

The High Prairie Bus division have decided to extend their services.
Not only will they bus the children of the shepherd to school,
but will, as of today, also take their sheep to town.

  All the excited, expectant faces gaze out of the bus windows,
with the sheep wondering how this day will unfold...

Exiting the first time was slightly chaotic,
but once the flock understands the bus rules,
things should settle down once again.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The best seat in the house

This is my favorite view, taken with the lousy camera on my telephone.
None the less, I love the view.

The kids have spring break, and with the nice weather we have been taking a stroll around the neighbourhood on our horses. After a very long and cold winter is feels great to be able to get out and ride again, even if it just down the gravel road.

 Sometimes spring fever follows cabin fever, 
and a little crazy fun is the way to go..

Monday, 4 April 2011

Some of the animals I meet up with during the day

My morning often starts with telling the moose to move out of our hay yard.
Mostly, when he hears me, he starts to leave. He usually goes to where our cows are and continues munching down on our hay there.

Sometimes Beli likes to help with sending the moose on his way.

Then I usually go and feed the cows grain. But before I can do that, I need to chase this very cheeky squirrel on his way.

He always teases and chatters to Alaska and Tosoxs. The hate him with a passion and I am sure they hope that one day he will male a misstep and he will end up being the snack of the day!
When I drive to the back to collect hay and straw bales I usually meet up with this coyote on his way. Often he is just looking for mice around the bales.
He also usually just trots off while I collect the bales.
I am sure that the sarplaninacs would also love to meet up with him...

And, then after all the chores are done I decided to go and have a coffee with a friend of mine down the road. Their farm is overrun with deer. They have got some compensation from Fish and Wildlife to help the deer through the winter, but I am sure they did not expect so many deer to come to this free soup kitchen! At times there are hundreds of deer, eating out of the bird feeders, eating hay in the yard, sharing the grain with the cows.. 


Seen enough deer?
I still have about 300 thousand more pictures of these deer....

Friday, 1 April 2011

What happened to March?

 Sometimes "things" just happen to me.
Like all of a sudden today is April?
What ever happened to March?
March was my recovery month, get ready for calving month and the start of spring.

Today, not even closely realising that March was over and April had arrived..
and with April sneaking up on me,
so did calving!

First, I find one calf and no momma cow in sight.
I search the herd and inspect every back end of each cow.
Nothing,  no tell tale sign of some slime, blood, a little bit of afterbirth still clinging to the tail of the cow. Nothing, and not one cow vaguely interested in the new baby.
So, while strolling around the pasture, I saw, far in the distance a red cow, alone.
Aah, she must be the mommy, I thought.
However, when I got to her she already had a baby!
So once again I surmised that perhaps she had twins.
Yes, that must be it.

While going a bit closer to her  to check her newborn I saw, to my dismay,
a very small dead calf lying close to her.
Yes, I was right, she did have a twin, just not the twins I had expected.
I moved her to a smaller coral where she and her little baby could bond together.

I gave the first calf some colostrum and hoped that his momma would materialise.
However, after a few hours nothing came to claim him.
So, without further ado, I collected him and took him over to momma with the one surviving twin.

Boy, was he happy to see her and she seemed fairly pleased to see him again.
Could she have had triplets??
She is happy with her two little babies and I now know that April has arrived and with April comes calving!
I am ready!
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