Friday, December 5, 2008
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH, life on a farm.....
As many of you know, we transplanted to my DH's husband's farm in June, and in the beginning, I was scared of everything. I didn't want the cows to come up and be near me, they freaked me out. The jumping insects and all that jazz just about made me come unglued.
Then, I realized that I needed to bloom where I was planted. And life became a lot easier for me. (Oh, BTW, I still don't do spiders and mice). I have been given a task of feeding the replacment heifers their treats every day and I absolutely love it. They know me now, and as long as I have their treats, they love me. They know me and come running when I call to them. (Isn't that great, even my kids don't do that).
So, you could say that I have adapted to farm life rather well. It's simplicity and beauty take my breath some days.
We are now in calving season. All of the pregnant cows are beginning to have their little ones. And I have never, ever been a part of a calving season. The absolute renewing of life, in any creature, amazes me and astounds me. It leaves me with questions about how the mother cow copes. Does it hurt really, really bad? Do they make a lot of noise? Are they scared being alone when this miracle of life happens? What does the calf look like at first? Just millions of questions, and no answers.
Yesteday, my DH took me out riding in the pasture to see some of the newborn calves. My Uncle D stopped us and said that the nursery was full. That, while I had been in town taking care of bidness, a lot of the cows had birthed. I was so excited, I could hardly sit still. I was anxious and jumping around on the seat of the Kubota like a child on Christmas morning. Oh what joy, what bliss. Newborn calves.
(And NO, I could not remember to bring my camera). They were just precious. All gangly and some of them were days old and trying to be playful. Oh, my heart just melted. And I giggled, like a little girl. I really did. I was so enamored of these beautiful little creatures. I just wanted to pet them or hold them and rub their little noses. (I didn't, mama cows don't like you messing with their newborns). Smiling and clapping my hands, shouting, "Oh, look, there's another one", or "Over there" and "Aw, look".
Then I saw a cow under a tree, whose baby was so brand new that she was still having contractions to deliver the afterbirth. Wow, I ALMOST got to see a live birth. But not quite.
Then, on the other side of the field, I saw a small bundle on the ground and the mother was nearby and having some contractions. (These mother cows were not making any bellowing noises or any noise at all with the contractions, so I couldn't tell y ou if they felt the pain of childbirth or not). Anyway, as we got closer, the mother cow was chewing something. DH told me the cow was not even an hour old. And I thought, "You go girl, up grazing that soon". Then we got closer and GGGGGGAAAAAAKKKKKKK. The mother cow was eating the afterbirth. WHAT?????
The images of little bluebirds flying around and bunnies hopping and an angelic choir singing came to a screeching halt.
How gross can one animal get? Oh yeah, the babies are still cute, but I'm too freaked out about the afterbirth thing to get past it. Now I wonder if I fell down and couldn't get up, would the cows eat me, too? Oh, my. Talk about an eye opener.
Mother nature. You gotta love her.