Springtime Spruce-Up

Dave dropped off newborn calves and their mothers and a pair of bulls prior to the cattle drive. The larger bull centered with the garage is a direct lineage from my father’s herd.
Feller fix at the garage continues from last summer- now trenched around the corners and far side. The hill behind the garage rolls a lot of water against the footing, and the dirt floor gets squishy, I hope this helps to dry it out.
Stones and tires keep the corners from collapsing via erosion and errant road cows.
A steel bar helps pin the tire in place.
An old mudflap off the Viking found afield, and now used to direct the gutter above. The trench line continues out past the garage and to the roadside drainage. I’d like to fill it all with gravel…
Newborn calves and their mothers get valet service; the rest of the herd makes a 15 mile hike.
The meadows are starting to green up- it has been cool and snowy up to last week.
Bear swatted or deer/elk bumped, this house a bluebird nesting level to the ground and sideways to the house. I fix it in place so she doesn’t fall out.
Bear or wind.
Possibly the bear is just a casual vandal, which would match other houses he’s swatted down.
Maybe the bear is blameless and wind waggled it back and forth, weakening the steel til it snapped.
Wired back up.
Saturday the 29th, and the cattle make their 15 miles from Dave’s ranch to ours, for our summer pasture.
A long trek for wee little new calves, but the older cows recognize the ranch and know they are heading to their first sweet grass of the season.
Riders push the last of the herd.
This big fellah didn’t mind the hike.
A neighbor’s fence was down along the way and their herd tried to mix in, so everyone has to get sorted in the corral and the few neighbor’s that folded in get folded back out and trucked back.
Cows low for their calves, as the excitement is over and its time for dinner.
Riders push the last through the gate.
The swarm of ATV’s arrives from the rear, as a single calf heads up for an adventure- pushing through the fence for one last little rodeo.
Drought has pushed hay prices, and the herd is reduced by about 1/3 down to 130 pair.
They will all end the day in the lower hay pastures, which aren’t hayed any more.
I’ve been up in the “pink bedroom”, original to the 1800’s section of the house. The mask was pristine a few hours ago.
This is all the pink that remains now. I pulled all the paper/board from the wall/ceiling to clouds of black ash, bug dust, and mouse droppings.
All the planks get hammered tight, plus a few screws here and there, then all the seams are sprayfoamed. The sprayfoam here is from an earlier triage sans demolition.
Before I foam the seams, I need to pull that window casing. This window used to slide up and into the small little space of attic above- which has been an insect access route problem forever.
Behind the top casing is a May 17, 1950 Great Falls Tribune with linoleum on canvas wallpaper, and a base layer of sprayfoam applied from below the thin black line of panel from my window fix in 2020. The panel was flipped up then, and I fiddled with it til it dropped in place. The newspaper fix had never been set in place, or the wind in the walls had blown it caddywhompus.
Directly above is the air vent for the attic, and til last year, an insect highway.
The paper disintegrates to powder, but a few pieces stay intact long enough for a picture.
A horizontal foam panel blocks of the attic, and a vertical foam panel refaces the removed planks. Then I sprayfoam all the plank seams in the room.
While the foam kicks off, I create these bird strike helpers for the two West facing upstairs windows. The bottom left panel has a mud-smack from a duck.
The kicked foam is cut smooth to the walls. No more dust, bugs, air, mice: next comes the foam panel.
Just a little trim board with holes drilled through, and cords with knotted ends.
The herd has spent the night in their new digs, and spend the day chillaxing and walking off the swollen heel-bites of an agro bad dog border-collie.

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