I have a very close friend, actually a dear friend, who lives a lot of miles from here and as we were chatting the other night on MSN Messenger, she said, it must be so relaxing where you live. I could only laugh as I related to her what my evening had been like just ahead of my having a chance to touch bases with her.
Farm Boss had come into the house and said, get on your tennis shoes. I need you out here. I didn't like any part of that idea. Need doesn't sound good. For what?
A cow has a calf's foot sticking out her vulva. It's pretty obvious the calf is dead but I can't get her in the barn by myself.
Ugh. I do not normally do work involving the cattle. I have told him many times that when it comes to herding them, if they come running at me, unlike him, I am stepping out of the way and not trying to turn them by batting them with a big stick.
He had zero sympathy while he handed me the cattle prod which I have never used and had no exact idea how it worked. My mind raced ahead, as I tried to avoid holes in the pasture that might retwist my knee, to ways to prevent this from happening again-- my end of that is. IF he had that ATV I had been suggesting he buy, would I not have to go? If he had built the corral we had discussed, would that have helped? Well it was an emergency and I had no choice.
It had been an anything but relaxing day even before this as I had gone out many times, carrying a gun, to keep an eye on the sheep in the main pasture and to discourage any coyote from having lamb for dinner. I had been anticipating a nice hot bath and a quiet evening. So much for that.
Of course, the cows were clear to the back. As it turned out, the cow in question already had his rope around her neck as he had been able to rope her but not hold her. You try stopping a thousand pound plus animal when they want to go somewhere else. As we herded her back, separating her from the other cattle, I kept seeing that little hoof, and it hurt just thinking about what she was going through.
I won't go through the rest of this story but between trees and eventually being able to secure her to them, then a tractor to pull the legs, he got the dead calf out but not without screaming from the cow. I hate hearing an animal cry in pain like that. Well, who wouldn't.
The cattle were also upset by it as they clearly thought about racing over to save her but using better judgment stayed back as they didn't want whatever was happening to her to happen to them. With the calf out, her relief was immediate, and it's looking good that she will survive as so far she has not prolapsed. If she does, it will all be for nothing and she will have to be killed.
Farm Boss left the calf's carcass out in the pasture without time to bury it before he left for work. About nine, I decided to take the gun out and see if the coyote was going to come around for veal. I first saw it coming up from the creek and began to walk a lot more carefully to avoid it seeing me. Finally I did get a shot at it but with the cows below where I was standing, I was a little apprehensive; and as it turned to run I missed. Curses-- although I don't actually curse and at least I didn't shoot a cow.
There is some compensation. It probably won't be back immediately. I do not think this was the same one I shot at last time. It looked younger, a bit naive about the dangers it faced coming into our field. It knows a little better now.
Yes, it's so relaxing here.
For what is relaxing to me, the photos are all from Oregon's High Cascades and from a lovely time there with our friends, Parapluie and Fisherman.
Link to more photos of mountain wildflowers:
Sunday was a perfect day to be in the mountains, the hike not too far, the air not too hot, my knee held up well, and although the flowers were not as impressive as last year due to an unusual spring and early summer, they were still very soul inspiring. If all goes well, we are going back on Friday and I am maybe taking my oils.