Most likely you have noticed how life goes like that with ups and downs. If we are doing well, we roll with the punches, if not, we get knocked down. Good days and bad ones sometimes come within the same day! So it has been this last week for me and the farm.
Great time at the beach with the family followed by either a very bad cold or hay fever. It's hard to tell which given the pollen is blowing everywhere and a lot of people are miserable with allergies. One thing about a colder spring is that when it warms up, everything blooms at once.
One grandson began coming down with something while at the beach; the other came down with it a few days after getting home. Poor little guys were miserable and their symptoms were similar to mine except I don't have a fever. The youngest grandson was coming down with it the last I heard.
Obviously that means there is no way to know for sure what I have except of course for the sore throat, sneezing and lower than usual energy. That I know for sure.
Then the calf. Well it is better. We looked up symptoms in our Merck (veterinary handbook) and Google, got some ideas as to what had led to its problems, had been giving it an antibiotic, but Saturday called our son-in-law for further consultation. Why him? Because he's a very gifted veterinarian. It turns out we weren't giving a big enough dosage.
The calf is now following mama, enjoying learning what life is like in a herd; and although it's not a done deal yet for surviving, he's looking good enough that I took some photos. I could have awakened him for a more interesting one but decided he needed his rest more than I needed a picture. It does show Mama's protectiveness. The young one in the herd photo is not him. He and his mom were off to one side.
One afternoon I heard a cow bellowing and thought uh oh, went out; but it wasn't her. It was another mama cow; so I went looking for her baby. Turns out her baby was what I would call a pre-teen, as in the age to not care if mama is wanting him. It was hanging out with two others in the barn and in no mood to go running home to a mad mama.
So where's the bad news in all that? Well walking back from the fields on the week-end, I saw a small lamb not looking good at all. As in looking like it was on its way out. Farm Boss carried it back to the house, gave it some shots, but clearly it was too late and it died almost immediately.
Holding a baby animal in your arms as it is dying is depressing to say the least. We feel even worse because if we had noticed it sooner perhaps we could have saved it. The bad part with sheep is all too often, they don't show how sick they are until they are ready to die.
The weather has had the same ups and downs. Very nice, very pretty and then the clouds come in and it drizzles. I don't complain about rain, but the warmer temperatures lead to more grass growing and we could do with that.
Farm Boss wormed all the sheep this week-end (overload of worms is very possibly what killed the lamb) and trimmed the necessary hooves-- plus buried the lamb. Poor little thing but we don't let the creek critters eat any of the ones we lose. That's a good way to train the wild ones to come back for live ones.
None of that is much fun, but it's part of farm life. I most often photograph and write here about the pretty part, the enjoyable part, but I am sure most people understand it's not all that way.
On the good side of the week's ledger, I applied for and received my Pioneer Fishing License. Not sure if that is supposed to be capitalized but it seemed pretty cool to me when I found out it was possible to do. If someone, over the age of 65, has lived in Oregon 50 years, not necessarily all in a row, they can apply for a license to fish for free. It will require getting a new one each year but only have to go in the first time in person.
Farm Boss got his before we went to Tucson, and now I have mine which means I can work on learning to fly fish again this summer. I have barbless hooks on my flies, a nice pole, and reel-- even a fishing vest-- all of which I have only used with brief permits in Yellowstone Park.
For me, it's about being out on the rivers, learning how the fish think and fooling them into thinking I am a bug they want to eat. Fly fishing is an art, and I have always loved watching it done by someone skilled. I will mostly do catch and release if I catch anything.
What made it even sweeter was when the woman took one look at me and said, sorry for saying this but you don't look old enough for this. Do you have a driver's license I can see? Definitely a nice thing to hear especially at a time where I wasn't feeling all that swift.
Anyway as I decide whether to sneeze again, glance out the window at the rain, and more or less feel like it's been one of those weeks (and that doesn't even take into consideration the news) I figure the next one will be better! I sure hope anyway.