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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started this over in the horse talk forum. http://www.horseforum.com/horse-talk/were-headed-ranch-752178/ But it went 10 pages with only a little talk about horses, so I'll continue over here.

I have retired to the Philippines. We currently live in town in the student boarding house owned by my Goodewyfe and her sister. Plans are to build a home on our ranch property within the next 2 years. Meanwhile, we're getting the place in order.

Here's a shot of the little Native style house currently occupied by our caretakers. And of the outbuildings, a toilet, shower, tool shed, and chicken coop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
News for today is that we picked up a weanling heifer. Lacking a squeeze chute, I took advantage of the tiny delivery truck to put in the ear tag. Nice, gentle disposition, she settled right in.
 

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The view from your ranch is stunning!

The Heiffer looks bigger in the pasture but I know she isn't as big as she appears because she doesn't take up that big of a space in the truck.

BTW, that is quite a carrier rack on the truck:) :)
 

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Subbing because I love your ranch and stories! It also reminds me a lot of when I lived in Costa Rica. I miss that place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The view from your ranch is stunning!

The Heiffer looks bigger in the pasture but I know she isn't as big as she appears because she doesn't take up that big of a space in the truck.

BTW, that is quite a carrier rack on the truck:) :)
I never tire of that view. Sometimes I get frustrated with this or that, then I look up and realize how incredibly fortunate I am.

Yes. Mr. Escobar, our caretaker, is standing a few yards down slope from the cow. And I'm taking the photo from uphill.

On the grillework, there is still a heavy Spanish colonial influence on the sense of aesthetics here. Couple that with the native love of decoration and even mundane things like stock hauling trucks have a flair to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One of our side projects is helping with the reforestation here. Years of uncontrolled clear-cut logging of the tropical hardwoods in the mountainous areas resulted in ecological damage such as landslides and flooding.

The yakal saplungan, or Philippine mahogany, produces a tall, dense, straight grained tree favored by the loggers. It only produces seeds about once every 5 or 6 years, and so has become rare and endangered. A friend of ours is on the faculty of a state university where they have cloned this tree. They produced seeds last month, and he gave me several.

I planted some directly into the ground, but they didn't survive. I have about 20 or so in seedling bags that have sprouted. Hopefully, they will strengthen, and I'll plant them around in various spots on the ranch.

A few are in the flower bed at our house in town. Most are in the shady area by the well at the ranch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I've mentioned that it's rainy season here. The old saying "I can't dance, and it's too wet to plow" I quite literal in my case. It slacked off a bit today. Enough that we could cross the river and check on things. The two cows are doing fine. They're still on picket ropes until we can trust them to come to a call. The cow shed is done, so that's the next project. We'll only feed them there, and use the same call each time. Should be OK, we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes Walk, I have no desire to bring the first world rat race to this retirement. Things will happen when they will. Sometimes the way I want, and sometimes ...... not. I've planted trees that won't mature until I'm 80. I'll wait.

the horse search is ongoing. Most I've seen so far are much too small, in the 12 hand range. I'm holding out for 14 or so. Also, most are terribly undernourished. If I had a bunch of money, I could go to a touristy or wealthy area and buy from a stable. But such is not my lot.

One of the small ones is definitely in our future though. Our son and daughter-in-law are expecting their child in just a few weeks. I'm thinking a POA size would be just the ticket. Family tradition. My first pony was a gift from my grandfather.
 

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So cool seeing things done the old way, like the cow shelter. Enjoy your retirement, definitely a beautiful place! I hope the world never loses these places that haven't been industrialized yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good to see that natural plants and trees are appreciated. Here in California we are swamped with invasive species, but then we re engineered the entire interior valley wetlands that we had. Small efforts are being made, however. We just went through a massive removal of bamboo in our riverbed.
I wouldn't go so far as to say the native flora are fully appreciated. Filipinos have undergone centuries of being indoctrinated to believe that all things Filipino are inferior to things from more developed countries. The joke goes that Filipinos have been subjected to over 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, and over 100 years of Hollywood.

A naturalist friend of mine explained it fairly well. Ecologically, mindset of the Philippines is where the US was in the early 20th century. The prevailing attitude is that anything not domestic (crops or livestock) is to be eradicated as a pest, or hunted down for food. There are efforts to educate folks and preserve native species, but it is an uphill struggle.

In order to preserve the small amount of forest on our place, we had to micromanage the fencing and clearing crew. They had done this sort of work before. The usual method is to kill everything down to the dirt with aggressive slash and burn. This, to make way for "useful" plants, i.e. crops. But we wanted to do it differently from most land owners. We were communicating this across 2 languages, as well as 2, sometimes 3 different Filipino dialects.
 

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Oh, I think that this is a world wide problem. The entire state of California, which is one of the wonders of the world thanks to techtonic activity is being used as a giant re engineering program. Dams, levees, concrete lined riverbeds, large populations living on top of a destructive fault. I could go on, but I do not want to hijack your thread. I'm just happy to see any appreciation for the natural world in any part of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Added to the menagerie today. A couple of weed eaters, Thing One and Thing Two. My earlier prediction of attitude on a string came true. The larger one did not want to leave the bean vines to go down to the weed patch. Sat down like a dog. I ended up carrying her down the hill. The little billy is affable, and seems to like people. He fell to eating right away. The nanny stood there and stared at us. She finally started eating after we left them alone for a bit.

I plan to make some portable fencing, so we can section off weedy portions without worrying about the picket strings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mehbee the nanny is preggars and weeds don't agree with her:) :) :)
That would be good, I think. But highly unlikely. She is supposed to be only a yearling. They are both also rather skinny. I'd like to fatten them up some before they get to burning energy procreating. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I love the palapas for the cowshed, lucky dang cow!
I think the cows only care that they have a dry place when we feed them. I think lucky me instead. Except for the wire fence around it, the whole thing is from materials harvested from our property. Only cost to me was the labor.

It's intended to be temporary. By the time it gets rickety, and needs replacing, I'll have a better idea of how I want things laid out.
 
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