The first sounds of spring are the gurgles of the red-wing blackbirds in the willow branches. And now the meadowlarks and killdeers are back. A few robins hang around all winter, but now they’re massing for choir practice at daybreak. They greet Mark as he comes in from the early heifer check in time to fix me breakfast!
New green shoots are showing through the old grass. I've noticed that blades of grass pop up a couple of inches in early spring and then wait . . . perhaps collecting solar energy, waiting for the go-ahead from nature before staking their future on growing leaf length.
We made the first move of the calvey cows away from the new pairs. It’s always interesting to watch how easily the uncalved cows separate themselves from the nursery. They have a totally different frame of mind – a sort of “devil may care” attitude. I’m ready to travel, where shall we go?
We moved them to the Gardner place, one of the last remaining wooded properties in the area. Thank goodness the owners had real jobs in town so they weren't compelled to doze the trees and sagebrush and plant spuds. It works out good for cows . . . and cowboys. It can be howling wind, but at Gardner’s all is quiet and peaceful.
We had 10 or so calves overnight following the move. This little guy was born as we were feeding hay. I can just feel the Mom's sandpapery tongue gathering up slimy amniotic fluid, stimulating her baby while drying him off. This process ensures that his unique smell is firmly imprinted on her psyche, and they’ll use this scent to hook to one another throughout life. He’s getting a good start, and just like human babies, that’s what it’s all about.