The three new calves are having a wonderful time getting to know their world and bonding with their mothers in the hay field turned nursery field.
The babies are beginning to display personality traits. Christmas Carol (the smallest and oldest) loves to lag behind so she can run full tilt to catch up and run circles around the other babies and all the mothers. She has learned to twitch her tail and kick up her heels while getting warmed up for a run. (In this picture she is on the far right). Continue reading
The cattle from the show barn have the right idea. There was a break in the weather and although the sun was not shining, at lease it wasn’t winding or raining.
The critters spent the afternoon flopped out in the grass simply enjoying the lull between storms.
The morning sun warmed the ledge of exposed dirt and roots along the river. Some of the cows wasted no time to dig right in and make a mess. I had been on the far side of the river when I noticed the trail of cattle moving toward the open field had extra smears of mud on faces, necks and torsos.
Blowing up the size of the picture in order to see the detail, the image is not as clear as I would like, but I’m sure you can see just what the critters have been up to. These two mess-makers were the final ones to head to munch on grass.
During the summer time, cattle are known to rub dirt and mud into their coats as an extra coating to keep the flies and other bugs from bothering them. During this time of year, it is probably just for fun.
I spotted the first brown field mushroom of the season. This variety is closely related to the white button mushroom you find in your local grocery store but these are larger. These mushrooms have a seemingly short growth window and it is rare to get more than one picking during the fall.
I would have happily grabbed this mushroom and changed dinner plans to mushroom omelets except for a few important facts.
1. This mushroom is a little past its prime, the gills are overripe and this tends to make the mushroom ‘mushy’ when cooked rather than keeping the mushroom texture. Two or three days ago would have been prime time to harvest.
2. (rather important to me) I did not find this mushroom, the herd of cows found it as they walked through the pasture. One of their hooves actually dislodged the mushroom from the ground. In essence, there is more than dirt on the mushroom and I just didn’t want to deal with that.
I’ll go around to my old field mushroom locations (areas that produced in the past) in the next few days to so see if I can get some that are younger without quite so much nature on them.
Since it was a rainy fall day, I moved inside the barn across the river after the morning feeding. My plan was to split dry firewood into kindling and ultimately to wrap into sell-able bundles. I was using the Super Split and loading the kindling into the Gator when I realized that I had spectators at the gate.
The calves had just finished their morning meal and came by to gawk at the noise in the barn.
Sometimes I feel that I am being judged. Perhaps they were simply waiting for the next load of hay, but they seemed interested in all the activity. I am glad that I remembered to close the gates behind me before I started work or I would have had more than just fans in the gallery.
The large herd of elk were scattered across the open 60 acre field just beyond the fence line from our show cows. Cows and elk have been known to graze in the same field but they usually don’t get into close proximity with each other.
Closest to the fence were two branch bulls (male animals with horns that have points that branch off of main spike). The branch bulls are the dominate masters of the herd and eventually a battle will determine which of the two masters will retain control.
Being only about 40 yards from the house and less than 10 yards from the cows, this herd was not rushed or spooked by very distant gunfire. They seem to understand that the area is currently in deer season and that they are safe from any kind of harassment.
The fall weather, with quick changes from bright and sunny to breezy and showers, highlights the colors on the farm. But on this day as we were beginning the evening chores, it was a surprise to see the red nose and lips of one of the cows nearly light up as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.
It was a long shot to be able to show the antics of this particular cow because we were inside the barn loading hay onto the Gator when she was spotted ‘looking good.’
This cow was separate from the herd, she had gone out of the pasture and out behind the barn to snarf up some of the red colored loose minerals we had set out for free choice.
Her nose must have been damp before she stuck her head into the mineral tub. The result looked like perfectly applied lipstick.
Looking good Topanga, looking real good.