It’s that time of year when the long days of summer have come to an end. Since early summer, the cows and calves, and the ewes and lambs, have grazed the Forest. Their only responsibilities have been to gain weight and avoid predators. The cows have had the added task of consorting with bulls and getting pregnant.
Those days are gone, and it is now time for the calves and lambs to leave their mothers and move on to the next stage of life. The nights are noisy as the cows and ewes call for their departed offspring. The older moms probably give a sigh of relief as their mothering duties have been fulfilled for another turn of the seasons.
Faithful blog readers may have noticed a lack of posts for the past few weeks. We have a good excuse–right in the middle of gathering, sorting, shipping, etc., Pat and I told Meghan and Eamon “Good luck!” and left for Iceland and France.
We met several of our old (meaning long-time, of course) friends for a reunion. Luckily, several speak French and know a lot about Paris. We also visited Julia and Benoit, who spent a few days on the ranch last spring. They live in the farming area near Laval, and gave us tours of both farms and a nearby medieval castle, and an abbey, which happened to be the fantastical Mont Saint Michel.
We recently played host to graduate students from the University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Indy Burke brought her students on a field trip to study grazing systems. We showed them how we graze both cattle and sheep in a landscape scale rotational system. Next winter, they will visit Tierra del Fuego and learn about livestock husbandry and grazing systems on the “Uttermost End of the Earth”.