Shadows and Light

This Izola of mine is a play of shadows and light.  Her brindle coat tells this clearly but so does her behaviour.  I’ve never had such an affectionate calf, I’ve never had such a fence jumper either!  She is crazy!  Very goat like in her ability to propel herself over a vertical.

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Shadows and Light

Shadows and Light

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My Brindled Baby

Izola, named for a character in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.  She is five months months.  Her mother is Bonniebelle, Irish Jersey of New Hampshire, the sire is Pvt Pyle, mini-Jersey from Nevada.

Izola, named for a character in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. She is five months months old. Her mother is Bonniebelle, Irish Jersey of New Hampshire, the sire is Pvt Pyle, mini-Jersey from Nevada.  Difficult to see her stripes in this photo as she had just nursed and somehow manages to drench her face every time.

Unhappy Cow

BonnieBoots is back!  

 

Mud season is in full swing – so the pasture is shut down.  If Bonnie steps out there she will ruin the field.  And the grass and clover.  In June she won’t remember her confinement but right now…..oh is she getting upset!   I spend a while each morning brushing her  – this morning she twirled mid-brushing and kicked a back foot at me!  Very naughty!  I knew she was fidgety so was prepared to move.  If she hits me I’ll be some mad!  (Cows aren’t really the best kickers, they don’t kick straight back, just to the side, she does have an impressive side kick though!)

I’d love to let her out – but just can’t.  Am trying to think of something to entertain her.  She has a lot of barn and an eight foot by twenty foot run outside – but this is a cow who didn’t sleep in the barn all winter – this a cow who only comes into the barn for milking and grain.  This is one unhappy cow.  

Any suggestions?  

 

Bonnie Boot No More

Well, I have some catching up to do here with my Bonnie news.  Considering that I still can’t drive and am not too stable on uneven ground it is amazing how busy I have been.  I have been making wreaths, bags, and Christmas costumes for the church pageant.  Have also cleaned and organized an extraordinary number of floor-level shelves in this house.  Have also organized over 3000 photos into some sense of order.  Digital photography is great but too many bad pictures taken, too easy to download them here and there and not label them etc..  all this to say that I’ve not let this broken ankle time go to waste.

And I’ve left you wondering what on earth is going on with Bonnie Boots!  I’ve almost lost track myself.  The Thursday before Thanksgiving Sarah and I had a hard time convincing her to come into the barn.  In fact each morning and each evening she took longer and longer to appear at the barn door.  Thursday evening she was particularly slow.  Friday morning she marched right in, I opened the gate leading to her stanchion and waited for her to come in.  Remember there is grain awaiting – cows love grain.  Candy to kids – grain to cows!  She just stood there.  Looking at me like I was a complete dolt, an idiot at worst, a very slower learner at best.  Animals speak clearly if you take the time to listen and the time to hear.  Bonnie distinctly said, “I don’t want to be milked anymore.”

I heard this message on November 22nd.  Her calf, Stormy, was born May 22nd.  Six months of milking.  Exactly.  

Beef heifers often wean there babes at six months.  How?  By kicking their calves’ cute little noses away.  Yup.  She has been trying to say she was done.  I wasn’t hearing it.  Didn’t want to hear it.  Bonnie has a fair dose of beef in her, Bonnie has low milk production which is what I wanted and I knew and overall she has given me more milk than I expected from her first freshening.   

All this to say, I’ve stopped milking her.  It’s is terrible thing to wake up to no cream in my coffee. And I miss those moments under my cow.  I do not missing the kicking. 

Such is farm life – highs and lows, abundance and scarcity, etc…  Eating in rhythm with natural cycles is probably a good thing.  We are so spoiled or perhaps I should say confused by the transportation of food.   Having a few months off from dairy products – probably okay for the body.  Going from fresh raw milk to store-bought milk is a bit like buying ‘fresh’  tomatoes in New England in February.  An ‘iffy’ proposition!

Bonnie is now happily coming in for a tiny bit of grain, she is happily being brushed, and she is ever so happy I finally stopped and listened to her!