Sunday Muse

“The calf lay shivering while Ophelia nuzzled and prodded.  Before long – twenty minutes, at most – he was trying to stand up.  I watched as he’d make his way to kneeling, then waver and crash into straw.  Ophelia was patient while he found his balance, his long legs awkward beneath him.  Finally he found a teat.  Not an hour old and he stood strong on his brand new legs, poking his snout into her.  I peered in from behind and saw the seal of his tongue against her skin: a perfect suction cup.  It took her the better part of the day to lick him clean.  By afternoon, snow was dripping from the barn roof and he lay in the straw in his fluffy black coat, fresh as if he’d just come from beneath a blow dryer.”  ~ from “Only Half” by Katie Powers, Taproot Magazine, Issue 14::Wild

In a moment of complete serendipity we stumbled on this much loved article where Katie describes her experience of first time calving and milking.  So timely as we await the spring time arrival of Tilly’s and her daughter, Tansy’s calves.  Spring and the miracle of new birth… so much to look forward to.

If you, also, happen to stumble upon this wonderful article, we were those ‘dairy kids’ she describes getting on the school bus in the second paragraph 🙂

Late Winter

As we go through our normal day to day late winter chores, this year we’re busy getting ready for some early arrivals.  Nine of the ewes were bred early by two ‘bad boy’ fence jumping rams and are due, not in April with the rest of the flock, but in the next couple weeks.  It is a challenge to adjust our usual spring lambing and feeding routine to a winter one, but we’re working hard on the logistics.

We’re also working with Tilly, the family milk cow (wow, it feels really great saying that) who will be having her first calf in March.  We’re so excited about this addition to our family and our daily routine.  So wish us luck for the next month or so, it’s been a long time since we’ve milked a cow.  Oh, and be sure to stay tuned for the baby pictures ☺