Being below also leads to an interesting perspective. When you look up, others maybe looking down.
Day 21 – Below
This big guy is the newest addition to the farm. He arrived yesterday and today was the first time I really got a chance to look him over. He will be one of the cleanup bulls we will use on the cow heard after the first of December. From afar he looked pretty good. Up close he looked really good. From below he looked big! So far he seems to have a very gentle disposition and did not mind at all when I laid down in the grass right next to the fence so that I could view him from below.
Every face has a story to tell. This little ones face tells a story of new life and new discoveries. The calves are always the curious ones when I walk into the pasture. Their faces draw me too them, for each one is unique and different. They get close and then dart away, only to come close yet again. This one was enjoying his afternoon meal when I noticed him. He was the only one nursing at the time and paused for a second to take me in with his big eyes. Eyes that are full of expression and life. Like all of the others, his faces tells a story.
Again, making the rules up as I go along…Today I knew that we would be working cattle, thus I decided that today’s photo would be Cattle. The challenge here was to find a new perspective and to keep the images under 15. I had 25 images today.
Day 3 – Cattle
This calf is in the working chute with a few of his buddies. I was not interested in getting all of them in my frame, I just wanted one. One in the right spot that I could catch its face, its expression. You see I watch the cows. Every day I see them walking behind the house to go out to pasture or come in for water. Seeing them calms me. At the end of a busy day or at the start of what will be a crazy day, I stand at my back door and look out and watch the cows. Sometimes I go to the fence and just watch and listen or get on the Gator and drive out to see them and check on them. To me they are calming. To me they are a wonder and a beauty to behold.
Today the sun is shinning, the birds are singing, the trees are budding, the grass is greening up and we are in the season of mud. Yes, there is a mud season in Missouri. We don’t just have Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, we also have Mud.
Now mud can mean many different things. It can mean that the gravel road you live on will not dry out so you have to pad your departure time and plan your attire on wither or not you can show up with mud on your hem. It can be the time of year where political campaigns slinging “mud” back and forth so much that you can’t tell which way is up or who to cast your vote for on Primary Day. Kids love mud season because that is when they can splash in the mud puddles and get their cloths and each other muddy. Mud is also the season when farmers start itching to get in the fields because mud means that the ground temperature is just about right to start putting seed in the ground.
Above all else, mud means that we will be working calves and weaning them from their mama’s. Weaning happens about the same time every year, give or take a few days, and we are always in mud season. This year will be no different.
Now the lots where we bring the cattle into to sort the calves from the cows are not necessarily muddy, but when you have 60 animals in one space and the ground is soft, it becomes muddy, fast. Add in the organic matter that also usually ends up somewhere on me and you have a “slick” situation.
Last Saturday ended up being a pretty good day here on the farm. At first I was not for sure how it was going to go. You see the wind was blowing like crazy, it was cold and we had cattle to work. Mama cows and baby calves all had to be brought in off the corn stalks they were enjoying eating so that they could be checked, vaccinated and poured. I was not worried about the cattle at all. We know to take our time and be careful with the ladies and they in turn are calm and easy to handle. I was more worried about having three small helpers. Three small helpers who were going to want to help, but because we still had (and have) corn to harvest, we were needing for things to go smooth which in turn makes things go quick. In the end it was all because of three small helpers that we had such a good day.
The plan was to work the cows in the morning and then after lunch work the baby calves. We had everyone moved through the chute and back together by 12:30!! (Just the right time to enjoy the chilithat had been cooking in the crock-pot all morning.) After working the cows, which our oldest, Wyatt, helped with, I gathered up the girls and told them it was their turn to help. Let me tell you, help they did! I had a very proud farm mama moment when the girls got right in there and helped with the calves. They were just the right size that the baby calves actually moved better for them then me and Gpa. The kids walked behind the calves and gave a little push every now and then. I wish I had a picture of all three of the kids helping, but I was lucky to get this shot of just Wyatt for today’s Farm Picture Friday. Photography is not allowed when there are jobs that need done. (Which means don’t have a camera in your hand when you are supposed to be working.)
Just goes to show you that sometimes the best help can come in small packages.
There are miracles happening around us every day. Some times we get to take a moment to sit and watch them happen. Yesterday I was able to witness such a miracle, the miracle of birth.
Mama Cow 29T was in a shady spot behind the house acting “calve”. I was checking cows and noticed her right away. Her tail was in the air, she was restless and she was urinating frequently. She was in the spot I remember her calving at last year and like last year the rest of the herd were in the same area. This is unusual for beef cattle. They tend to go to their own spot in the pasture to have their babies.
The longer I watched I began to see the signs that yes indeed she was VERY close to having her baby, so I parked the John Deere Gartor close by and made myself comfortable. I snapped pictures and then changed the mode on my Canon Rebel T2i to video. Here is what I captured.
The other mama cows in the picture were starting to move and I was worried they might step on the new calf, so I stopped recording so that I would move them away.
She began to lick him off as soon as she could stand up and get to him. Amazing that they know exactly what to do! Amazing that their bodies do exactly what is needs to do. Amazing the miracle of life!
This is the picture that I shared on the Country LINKed FaceBook page yesterday asking if anyone wanted to see video and you all did! More to come on how this little guy and his mama are doing. For now enjoy watching a baby calf being born!
Today’s Farm Picture Friday finishes up my daily posts for National Ag Day and Ag Week. It has been fun this week having guest bloggers and I can not thank them enough for being on here. Thank you Rebecca, Miriam andKate! Your posts were all wonderful.
This week has been about Agriculture and the people who work in the industry, but it takes everyone working together 365 days a yearto have a safe and abundant food source. So, thank you! Thank you farmers, ranchers, consumers, scientists, cooks, truck drivers, store owners, teachers, equipment dealers, seed guys and so many others for all that you do for Agriculture.
As you can see in this weeks picture, the guys are slowly herding the cattle back to their pasture. The calves will be weaned (taken off their mama’s milk) soon and we needed to give them their booster shots and castrate any calves we did not want to keep as bulls. This is just one of the many things that happen year round on our farm. The process of breeding, calving, weaning and the final step sellingis one that takes everyone working together to make the “circle” complete.
For more blog posts regarding Ag Day 2014, click HERE.