Farm life on Oakwood Grange

Winter is almost over


Winter’s almost over. It’s April 1st tomorrow and the beginnings of thousands of geese are migrating Northwards in the skies overhead our farm. Soon the sound of the Meadowlarks will greet me as I walk our dogs early each morning. And so, with this, a New Year comes to life on our farm. Calving is almost done with 44 calves on the ground as of this evening. Lambing starts on Friday and before too long the grass will green up and the Prairies will come alive again for another year.

hip roofed barn snow winter

The hip-roofed barn in snow

My winters are filled with the daily chores of looking after our livestock and then the endless task of editing the previous summer’s footage. It was a good winter with just a few weeks of really cold weather. One morning the thermometer outside our kitchen window showed minus 43 centigrade, the coldest I have ever seen the mercury. But it was a sunny day and as this photo of the cows at the water trough that morning would tell, we all survived quite well.

katherine dog sledding

Katherine Dog Sledding

Katherine, our 17-year-old daughter, has always had a keen interest in using our dogs for pulling. This winter she acquired a Norwegian dogsled and so every evening, after returning from school, she would hitch up her 5 dogs and head across country. Because of the openness of the land around us, she could travel across endless white countryside. This also really became one of the highlights of my winter, watching her prepare her dogs and then scoot out of the yard, only to return an hour or so later.

As I mentioned, I spend a great amount of time editing during the winter’s months. To the average person this final process, in producing a finished video program, probably seems an easy and swift measure. Unfortunately, it is completely the opposite, with hours consumed finding the exact 4 seconds of footage, from possibly 18 hours of footage, to fill a specific part of the program. In the past month I have updated my Avid editing system and so another learning curve is underway. I also have a project coming up which will require a substantial amount of animation and so another program is waiting to be learnt for that. As April sets in, I can report that the 2003 ISDS Supreme Sheepdog Championship was completed in early winter, followed by the 2003 USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals, then a re-edit on our old program British Sheep Fairs and Crafts. I also re-edited the old 1988 and 1989 International Sheepdog Championships. There were a few other smaller projects as well. It doesn’t sound too much really!!

I have a few projects in mind for this year but my major focus has to be on marketing my existing videos. We have been fortunate to find Martyn Fewtrell, in Northern Ireland, a web site designer and marketer. Martyn has enlightened us to the ways of the web, but the time has now come for me to take the initiative and work to develop this site further. And that’s the immediate focus for us now. Links to other sites have to be found and resource pages have to be written. This will increase the visibility of the site to other search engines and hopefully increase the interest in our video programs.

Have a great summer, and as they say up here, “keep your stick on the ice”!

Want to read more? Check these out!

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  • Seems like a long time ago! I was surprised to see that it was January that I last wrote in my news letter page. That seems like a long time ago......
  • Cold weather is here to stay! It's January and the cold weather is now here to stay for a few months. It's minus 33 with a wind chill of minus 43...
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