It’s so good to be back home on the range. A great two days but for someone who hangs out mostly with cows it was a bit of social overload. But it was good; good info and good company, ladies that I have the love of land and livestock in common with. Though, all that info put me on brain overload, my head’s still spinning with all that I learned. My favorite part was being fed 3 meals a day (amazing for a woman who eats like a coyote most of the time) that I didn’t even have to cook. Awesome!
Met the cutest little blonde haired girl, a dog trialer and mom with a great old dog we got to watch work. Talked a while with a single mother of teenagers supporting 19 alpacas and the kids by teaching music.
Roomed with the 1997 Miss Calgary Stampede Queen; what a lovely girl. And met many other good women.
We had classesd on: Xeriscaping (my whole world, all 40,000 acres are already Xeriscaped by the Great Gardener), noxious weed identification, stock dogs, electric fencing and solar stock water pumping, herd health (instructor was really good, a teacher at the Olds, Alberta College), stock-density calculation, range health assessment, riparian (that’s the transitional area between where cattle graze the grasses and the water in lakes, rivers, or creeks) health assessment. We had a popcorn and movie night of success stories of people who were improving their stewardship of the land, hutterites included.
And we got to meet Napi, a real live Burrowing Owl. This one was raised in captivity and travels as an ambassador for “Species at Risk.” (He likes the little plaid house shown in the picture that he travels around in because it’s like his own little burrow). He even let us pet him. He does his ambassador job well.
Mostly what I came away with was a desire (and some knowledge to back that up) to do better as a steward of the precious resources of grass and water that we manage here. I love the native grass; I always have. In grade one I had to walk across just a few feet of native grass to get to the school and I remember feeling, even then, a great reverence for the grass and the lives (plant and animal) that went before that have become the earth it grows in.