Spring Calving

The first calf of the season has arrived. A nice calf out of our bull Snapshot and Denver our one first-time heifer (a female who has not calved yet) this year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We bought Denver last year when we were in – where else? – Denver at the National Western Stock show. Our Canadian friends Russ and Linda from Highpoint Lowlines brought her back to Washington for us on their way home. We met them down on I-5  to pick her up. She was in their big cattle trailer with one of their bulls behind her, so we unloaded the bull first and Alex held him while we unloaded Denver from their trailer and loaded her into ours.  All in a gas station parking lot with cars and trucks whizzing by on the freeway. We did get a couple of strange looks.

??????????????????????

Newborn calves are so cute and this one is curious too.

??????????????????????

Closer.

??????????????????????

Sniff. Her mama Denver (who is now officially a cow) is very calm, has lots of milk and is doing a good job taking care of her.

??????????????????????

One calf delivered safe and sound, 19 more to go. I hope they are all this easy and with these good results!

Warm and Sunny

Warm and sunny are not usually the words you would use to describe the winter weather around here. I must confess that in November when we had the first ice and snow I was thinking it would be a long, cold, snowy winter.

??????????????????????

Everything, including the water hoses, was frozen and that is just not fun.

??????????????????????

Instead, it has been warm and mild, too mild in fact. Here is what the mountains around us should look like this time of year.

??????????????????????

And here is what it looks today. Almost no snow pack at all – not good. I’m sure those poor folks back east who have been hammered with snow this winter would be glad to trade.

??????????????????????

 There is a saying around here about the caterpillar “wooly bears” (I don’t know what the official name is, do you?) and their stripe and the weather. I think it is the wider the stripe the longer and colder winter will be. There were lots of them crawling around in the fall and the stripe seems wide enough to me, but it has been a mild winter nevertheless.

??????????????????????

The rain gauge this year has barely moved.

??????????????????????

Compared to last year which was the wettest March on record – read more about that here – and the gauge was overflowing. Our dry spell is nothing like our friends in California and the severe drought they are dealing with. But it would be nice to get a little more rain. I probably should be careful what I ask for, one of our cattle friends just a little north of us says March will be very mild until the end of the month when we will have a blizzard. I really hope he is wrong, but we will see.

Curious Creatures

Cattle are curious creatures, at least ours are. I took a walk down to the pasture in the sunshine yesterday and here is my view. The yearling calves in their pasture stop eating at the round bale and come over to investigate me and my camera. As you can see they are a pretty friendly bunch and quite used to us being around them all the time.

??????????????????????

Either I am extremely fascinating or these calves are just nosy as they creep closer and closer. My talking to them and clicking off pictures doesn’t concern them at all.

??????????????????????

There is always one in every crowd and B17 – Lucy’s calf from last year – just couldn’t resist coming even closer. . .

??????????????????????

. . .and closer and nibbling on the edge of my jacket – just in case it might be made of alfalfa I guess. The jacket is in the wash as I type.

??????????????????????

And while we are on the subject of calves, a belated Happy Birthday to B1. The first calf born last year and in the snow. You can read about it here – and see what the weather is usually like this time of year.

??????????????????????

The new Spring calves are due to begin arriving any day and this group won’t be the babies any more. It is nice no snow is predicted, warm weather for calving is easier for everyone.

With and Without Permission

Nephew Nick sent me this picture, found on a humor page, and said it looked like our orchard a few years ago – except for the dog and the caption.

dog digging picture

 

Good eye Nick – it was! This is the original picture that I posted here on the blog almost five years ago. Apparently someone with good photo shop skills copied my picture, eliminated Rick and inserted a dog on the excavator, added a caption and published it on a humor page.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All without my knowledge or permission – which I must say really irritates me. This photo shop job is harmless and kind of cute, but what if someone used my picture for something inappropriate or offensive?  Grrrr!

I’m happy to say that not everyone is so unscrupulous. Here is another picture I posted a couple of years ago.

??????????????????????

I got an inquiry from Mother Earth News asking if I was willing to sell them the picture as an illustration for one of the articles in their magazine. I said yes, and if you look on this month’s copy of Mother Earth News . . .


??????????????????????

. . . on page 67 you will see my legally obtained picture illustrating an article by Joel Salatin. I am a fan of his work, so I was really pleased.

??????????????????????

 It is nice to know at least some people follow the rules.