Friday, February 1, 2013

welcome home to the farm

That's Morgana, this was taken on my 38th birthday.    
       Yesterday I came home to the farm, after being gone for almost a month.  It was a long drive and I was trying to visit people along the way.  To make the drive "worth it".  At some point I started dreaming about just being home.  Walking out to see the cows, holding a few chickens, just being on the farm before dark.  I picked a new route and just headed home.  Oh what a glorious drive.
      I walked down to Jake's with Pepper the dog.  She's my girl, always stays with me.  The cows there were looking good, munching on some hay and hanging in the barn.  The wind was blowing and it stung my cheeks.  It felt so good to walk.  Walk on icy roads so I have to think about every step, squeeze muscles to keep stable and stay on my feet, on my boots.  I stopped by the big barn after walking through the pasture.  Beautiful sunset, bright pink and deep rich orange.  There were 2 baby cows waiting to introduce themselves.  Sweetie's little heifer was alert and checking me out, jumpy and playful.  Isabelle's little bull was sedate, laying in the barn.  He let me sit down and pet him like a dog.  Nice to meet you baby cow.  Welcome, welcome to the farm.  You're going to love it here.  I sure do.
     Milking cows this morning.  Waking up before the sun, after listening to the wind howl all night.  Oh what to wear, it is going to be cold!  I brought Morgana in first.  She's easy to milk and had not experienced any problems with her milk recently, so seemed to be a straight forward choice.  Looking back on it now, I suppose I felt a little nervous.  Could I still do it?  Would my arms or hands get tired?
No it was fine!  Glorious in fact.  blissful.  No where I'd rather be than sitting under a warm cow on a cold morning, squeezing warm teets so warm milk fills the cold pail and steam rises to meet my cold nose.  I caught Miguel's eye.  "What?"  Always nervous when you see that smile.  "I'm so happy."
    Jolene was next and she's fun to milk.  Picked her feet up a little, but nothing rude.  Morgan then, oh Morgan with the back teets so close together, and so much milk.  Empty the pail and go back for more.  She's such a sweet cow.  Maybe 9 or 10 years old, calm, gives lots and lots of milk for a long time after calving.  Thank you.    
     Then Isabelle, who is 'Fresh', as they say. (just had a calf)  She only went in the stanchion after I encouraged her little calf to go in first.  She's a good mama, staying with him always.  Continuous low, soothing moo's.  Oh I could listen to that all day.  Miguel had described her teets as 1/2 inch long and 2 inches wide.  I'd have to agree.  Try squeezing that more than 3 times in a row.  Oh but her udder was so big and tight, we had to get the pressure off for her.  I sat behind her and worked on the 2 back teets (the calf was emptying the front two fairly well).  Then it happened.  What has been talked about and feared, but never imagined to actually happen.  She pooped on my head.
    I couldn't see her tail go up, the poop warning.  I felt something hit my head and then saw poop hit the floor.  Pushed back my crate and exclaimed.  But its cold out, and they're eating tons of hay.  It was a solid, friendly poop.  Held its form and merely bounced off my hat.  Didn't even leave a nugget as proof.  Welcome home to the farm.

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