Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Den Mother

Den mother Pogo, with her troop.  She's totally enjoying her new job and her little ewe lambs adore her

Master of All He Surveys

Just keeping an eye on everything from close proximity to the food supply

Mid Summer Blooms

The late lilies are blooming now, and when it's even a little bit warm, the fragrance just drifts all over the place.  I was sorting thru my Blue J iris order that came in yesterday while I was sitting out on the deck before it started raining, and the perfume just kept wafting around me.
And then there was a surprise bloom in the form of a petunia I didn't plant - in the middle of the hard-packed, heavy gravel, never ever watered except when it rains (and it rarely does this time of year) parking area next to the dairy barn garage.  I'm no longer pampering my planted petunias after this
 New this year, not sure what it's called as it was a sub for an ordered variety that was sold out, but love the mauve freckles and stamens - and the fragrance is simply divine
 Biggest stamens EVER.  Matches the fragrance
Pretty petunia puts even the toughest cactus to shame here

The Pumpkin Ate My Garden

Otherwise titled, 'Monster Garden'
 I cannot believe how much this pumpkin grows on a daily basis
 The volleyball sized 'Kakai' pumpkins are now large beachball sized.  If I didn't have the garden fenced to keep the dogs out, I'd put Cricket in there for size comparison.  Both pumpkin and leaves would nearly dwarf her.  I've seen elephant ear plants with smaller leaves
 You can kind of see some size comparison there - that is a full sized half wine barrel that is being eaten, plus the pea fence, which sits about 6" off the ground, is 48" tall wire

 It's very hard to see, but the Monarda fistulosa is covered in bees of all kinds
 'That's Delicious' corn.  Again, 48" fencing with a strand of barb wire above and the posts approximately 12" above wire
 The blackberries ripened early this year, and they are so sweet it almost hurts to eat them.  One of the Bee Girls came over and sipped the juice from them off my hand, it's that sweet

Banshee at 5 Months

Banshee and Beau will make some fabulous music together next year.  You'll want to reserve that calf right now.
DOB 9 Feb BW 70#.  Weaned 22 July WW 510#.  Any questions? 
Loooooong, deep and thick - can't wait to see what she weighs at weaning today!

Bodie at 5 Months

Today is weaning day for both Bodie and Banshee, and it's raining, so I elected to use my fabulous 20/20 hindsight vision to take a bunch of calf pictures yesterday.
DOB 14 Feb BW 85#.  Weaned 22 July WW 555#
 With 3 month old Beau (not related)

Just like big bro Alfie, he's got a fine package for a young guy

Beau at 3 Months

If he wasn't 3 months old, I'd wean him right now, because this boy is HUGE!
DOB 5 APR BW 92#.  3 month weight 450#.  Are you KIDDING me?!?!
And such a little sweetie pie, still hard to take pictures of because he just wants to walk up and lick me or nose me or just hang out, well inside the camera's focal range

 With 5 month old Bodie, no lightweight midget himself
 Muscles.  Nothing but muscles upon more muscles

Bert at 3 Months

The many faces and poses of Bert, our little social butterfly bull calf.
DOB 5 Apr BW 82#.  3 month weight 360#

Baby Daddy

Roar, keeping an eye on Ruffie, just as a good baby daddy should.
Of course, he did get bored by the apparent inactivity and wandered off to go eat some more.  Ruffie was only in Stage I labour at this point anyway, hours to go

Scat, Calf!

Even Good Cat has his limits
 Bodie, aka 'The Blue Spray Nose Bull Calf'
Good Cat calls a meeting to explain to the youngsters (Banshee, Bert and Bodie) why you do NOT mess with the barn cats

My Hero, My Pop

3 month old Bert (Joy's boy), hangin' out with his ol' man, Roar

Just Wait - It'll Change

There is a belief here in Western Oregon - if it hits 70 degrees by noon, it's gonna be a warm one.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last Calf of the Year!

Ah, the last calf of the year.  Somewhat bittersweet, knowing that no more new arrivals for many months, no more surprises, no more anxiously waiting to find out what colour and sex.  No more slopping thru knee deep snow and ice, or wallowing in cold mud in the rain, or trudging out every 2 hours on an icy, filthy wet and dark night to see if she's popped yet.  So, there is that part.
Ruffie waited until it cooled off, the sun went down (barely) and the flies went away for the night to calve.  I went out to check her around 2240 (I knew she would calve before midnight) and saw the first presentation of the water bag.  The cats and I stood there in the dark, leaning up against the barn, watching the dark blob that was Ruffie pace around, lie down, get up, moo, and repeat a few times before she went down for the final push around 2310.  I heard the splooshy plop, saw the dark blob get up and turn around and I knew she was done.  At that point, I turned the flashlight back on, shooed off the damn ewe lambs with den mother Pogo (I would be doing that many more times in the ensuing 45 minutes) who came over to see what the fuss was all about, saw a live calf snorting, and checked sex and colour.  Definitely a boy, at first thought black, but then saw the light ring around his eyes and figured he could be a dun, which he was.  Waited until he gained his feet and headed for the faucets before heading back to the house for the night.  Ruffie had things well in hand, and being the great momma cow that she is, I had no worries.
This morning he was bright, lively and running around with his little tail in the air, enjoying his new world.  Tomorrow, he gets two new playmates, as we will be weaning Bodie and Banshee the 5 month old calves.  I christened him 'Boomer' as last night, just as he got his legs under him, Ruffie would knock him down again and continue cleaning him.  I kept saying 'oh no, fall down go boom!' every time she did it, so it just seemed like a good name for him.  And, it's a 'B' year anyway.
In the meantime, enjoy the pictures.  They are from this morning, at about 6 hours old