Meet little Daisy, who was just a month old when she scampered off the trailer with her Mom and Aunty into her new home field at Sisu Ranch. Marked with her own special forehead "daisy", she blended in perfectly with the bright white daisies in the field and, voila, we found her name!
Daisy has always enjoyed being the center of yak attention. Having nursed for a full 8 months, Daisy has great confirmation and a wonderful thick coat, producing large quantities of fiber every year. Now 4+ yrs old, her independent and bossy personality has mellowed and she loves a good head scratch. That being said, her Princess qualities have served her well in assuming the matriarch position in the herd.
UPDATE: Daisy has two fine bull calves herself now! See Apollo and Quixote below!
This is Daisy's mom, Mandalay, watching over her. Mandalay is a Native Black yak originally from Pine Mountain Ranch via Sweet Home (where Daisy was born). Mandalay had three calves with us: Daisy, Eclipse, and Hershey. We named her after the royal Burmese capitol city because it evokes distant lands in the general vicinity (okay, just south) of her ancestral roots.
"...O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!" .............. Rudyard Kipling
UPDATE: Mandalay has left the pasture.
Here's the boss! Alpha-yak Diadema rules the pasture and the treat munching. We originally thought this was because she was expecting; we now know this is just her nature. Diadema is a 5 year old Native Black yak who traveled with Mandalay from Pine Mountain Ranch via Sweet Home. Her prickly nature reminded us of our underwater encounters with the charismatic long-spined sea urchin of the Caribbean--thus, her name. Oddly enough, one of us had a great-grandmother so (aptly?) named as well. Hmm...
UPDATE: Diadema has left the pasture.
A lightning show on a full moon night was the inspiration for Luna, a Native Black Trim cow originally from Spring Brook Yak Ranch in Montana. In addition to the moon on her forehead and the lighting strike through her nose, Luna has a dash of white on her tail and toes. Luna is 5 years old and in 2015 produced our sweetest bull calf, Marley, and in 2016 produced little Siracha.
UPDATE: Luna & Tule are now running with their own new herd in Oakland, Oregon.
Named for the beautiful tule fog that hugs the pastures in the morning, Tule is a 4.5 year old Native Black Trim cow from Spring Brook Ranch. A little shy when she first arrived, Tule has gotten more comfortable with us and her fieldmates over the past few years. Here she is sporting the first frost of the season. Tule became a new mom in 2015 with the arrival of Zorro and in 2016 we welcomed her bouncy bull calf Juluka!
UPDATE: Tule & Luna are running with their own new herd in Oakland, Oregon.
And here is handsome Drake bringing up the rear! Our young Imperial yak bull from Spring Brook Ranch is so sweet and gentle, probably quite the opposite of his namesake, the legendary English sea captain, Sir Francis Drake, who ventured into the Pacific, stopping along the coasts of California and Oregon some 400+ years ago. During his time with us, Drake sired a total of five calves: Eclipse (2015), Siracha (2016), Juluka (2016), Hershey (2016), and Apollo (2017)!
UPDATE: Drake has moved onto greener pastures.
Everybody's best friend, Skittles, is our super-friendly steer who is here to help us manage the others. He gets the task of hanging with newly weaned calves or anyone else who needs company and also serves as the herd ambassador with visitors. Skittles is halter-trained and is really much larger than this very old photo would suggest! Come on over for a scratch!
Welcome Baby Marley! Here is wee bull calf Marley, whose lovely marled black and white coat reminded us of a vintage "milkie" marble. SBR Marley arrived June 8, 2015 from Luna (SBR Sherra) and SBR Buck. (Apparently it was a busy day for Buck at Spring Brook Ranch last fall, as Marley's half-brother Zorro also arrived on the same day!). Now a halter-trained yearling, Marley is incredibly calm with a super sweet disposition. He will be a fantastic herdsire!
UPDATE: Marley is now leading his own herd in Washington!
Welcome Baby Zorro! Zorro arrived on June 8, 2015 from SBR Tule and SBR Buck to join his half brother Marley. With his solid black mask and cape, he was named for the swashbuckling Spanish-American storybook character. Zorro's cape has served him well already when he was tossed through the air by cranky Mandalay--he landed easily on four feet and just shrugged it off!
UPDATE: Zorro has left the pasture.
What a special day! Baby Eclipse arrived on, you guessed it, the great supermoon eclipse on September 27, 2015! A wonderful surprise and SBR Drake's first offspring! Born to Mom Mandalay, Eclipse is a gorgeous Imperial bull calf, black from head to toe just like Dad. He is mischievous and independent, seeking out and 'hangin' with the older 'cool kids', Marley and Zorro, at only 3 days old! Now a steer, Eclipse has left his childhood buddies behind as he is getting bigger and moving up in the herd.
UPDATE: Eclipse has left the pasture.
Our first born-at-Sisu Imperial heifer, Siracha, arrived on the hottest day of the year (August 19, 2016) to Mom Luna. The heat inspired us to name her after the popular hot sauce, but we chose the original Thai spelling and pronunciation, with Siri for short. She is a delicate version of her half brother Eclipse--all black from head to tail!
UPDATE: Siracha is hanging with Luna & Tule in Oakland, Oregon.
One week later (August 27, 2016), the morning after an evening under the stars listening to inspiring South African music, we woke to find Tule's Imperial trim bull calf in the middle of the field! Big boy Juluka is named for Johnny Clegg's apartheid-era band: he is black and white, fluffy, and full of spunk! Siri's best friend is super friendly and loves a full body scratch whenever he can get it!
UPDATE: Juluka is hopefully scampering around greener pastures. We miss his sweet, sweet face!
Happy Halloween! Mandalay's third calf, a sweet milk chocolate heifer arrived on Halloween weekend (October 29, 2016) so of course we named her Hershey! Most of Drake's calves have been deep black Imperials, so Hershey's lightness and her cute brown button nose was a surprise! At one week old, Hershey has already had an adventurous start, accompanying half of the herd (the pesky youngsters) on a several mile walkabout the neighborhood.
UPDATE: Hershey is hanging with the girls in Oakland, Oregon.
We waited through the longest, rainiest Oregon winter for him to arrive and when the sun finally came out, so did Apollo. Named for the mythological god of the sun, Apollo brings a smile to everyone's face and his white forehead reminds us of his sweet half brother, Juluka. What a fun combination of friendly and spunky!
UPDATE: Our buddy Apollo is weaned, recently steered, and is now for sale.
SBR Samson arrived at the ranch in the summer of 2017. A blue ribbon winner at the 2014 National Western Livestock Show, Samson was a 4 yr old IYAK foundation bull who had not yet had the opportunity to hang out with any lady friends. Samson has since settled into the herd and formed a fast friendship with Skittles. We love his fuzzy face and deep bull grunts! Time will tell if he gets friendly with the girls...
UPDATE: Happy Fatherhood, Samson! (see Quixote below!)
SBR Jasmine has joined the party! Arriving in the dark of a November night after a long journey from Montana, Jasmine is spending time with Skittles and newly weaned Apollo to ease into the herd. Jasmine is a big and beautiful 5 yr old IYAK foundation royal cow. We are so excited to add top-of-the line 'Jazzy' royal genetics to our yak gene pool! Here's hoping she and Samson start getting friendly next summer!
SBR Hallelujah is here!! What an incredible surprise! Two weeks after Jasmine arrived at Sisu, we discovered that this little Imperial trim heifer calf had hitched a ride! A big surprise because Jasmine had not been with a bull for >9 mo.--except for one 2-day trailer trip (with SBR Radar)! All summer while little Halle was secretly growing in her Mom Jasmine, we practiced a waltz to the Leonard Cohen song for a November charity event. Then, later that month, when she appeared suddenly under the trees, we ran into the house for binoculars & the radio greeted us with a soaring, and oh-so-apt version of Hallelujah. Halle's seemingly "immaculate conception" only reinforced the suitability of her name! Hallelujah! We are so happy she's here!
Proof is in the pudding! We are so excited to welcome SBR Samson's first offspring! On his first day of life, SISU Quixote climbed the base of an alder to gaze upwards "to reach the unreachable star"; a week later we packed up house and yak (!) to continue our quest for "the impossible dream"! Looks like he inherited his Dad's woolliness -- definitely the fluffiest baby we've had on the ranch so far! And a cool example of yak genetics in action: two trims (Samson and Daisy) can produce a royal!