Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Only here

Our favorite veterinarian was here yesterday to do herd health, mostly a LOT of preg checks, but also one DA surgery and some vaccinations. We are going to set up a program for Liz to vaccinate because we always seem to be falling behind on them. Time will tell how that will work out.

We were really happy with the outcome of the preg checks, especially that three heifers we had despaired of getting bred in fact are bred. It was also neat to see the little embryos on the ultra sound machine, although it is a good thing I am just the farmer. I could barely tell a cystic ovary from a wiggly little calf.

My favorite heifer, Encore, is pregnant for which I am much more grateful than you might imagine. We had a lot of trouble getting her that way and it was looking as if we were going to have to sell her. I really didn't want to.

We have two older cows, my Beausoleil cow and Bubbles, bred to SWD Valiant. He is another old time bull not much in use any more. However, we used a son, Walebe Jewelmaker, that the boss bought in Pennsylvania, that got us some of the best cows we ever bred, including Liz's grand champion Holstein, Dixie. I am especially excited about Bubbles (by Ocean View Extra Special) as she is a nice looking cow who did well at the shows herself. Hope she has a heifer. Blitz is bred to Roylane Jordan. Crunch is bred to Citation R Maple. The Maple daughter I have now (England) is a good cow and we have been trying for years to get another heifer. Maybe this time we will get lucky.

But then there was night before last. I was peacefully reading, grudgingly holding on to the last few seconds of my "day" off (really just a few hours) before Becky and I went out to milk. I kept seeing something moving in the darkness, just at the edge of my vision. This place is not so very well lighted, with chandeliers with single bulbs and a few table lamps and it is hard to see small, moving things. As I was alone I only had one lamp and the kitchen light on. Suddenly a piece of darkness broke away from the mass of the night and flew right at my head.
It had sort of a sweeping motion, with a smidgen of fluttering thrown in....an uncomfortably unidentified flying object.
It had wings.
I hoped it was a starling.
I really hoped it was a starling.
It was not a starling.

It was a bat! A great big, brown bat, with Elvis hot on its heels. I won't tell you how it kept flipping by me doing figure eights just over my head. I won't tell you about putting a sweatshirt over that same head to keep it off me. I won't describe how stupid I must have looked, broom in one hand, flashlight in the other, with Liz's barn shirt draped over my head. I am not generally bothered by bats, but it was just plain disconcerting to have it sweeping through the house like that. I won't tell about putting the cat in the crate where he stared intensely at the darned thing when it hid on top of the cupboard.
Or calling Becky, the only one of the young ones home, to come to my aid. Sending her out into the zero degree cold to find her dad and get a can of ether. (I won't tell you either how rare it is for me to holler for a man to rescue me.) Or how long it took us (even with ether) to catch the darned thing. Or about how the porch freezer smells like ether now because we saved it in case it should need rabies testing or something.

I just won't tell you all that. It was one of those funny and not so funny at the same time kind of affairs that I would much appreciate not having to repeat. Ever. It is unfair that a bat should be flying around indoors in December when it is this cold. If I have to run around the house with frozen feet with a sweatshirt over my head, there should only be one cause....and that is the weather The bat was a gratuitous nuisance and, as such, should have stayed wherever it was sleeping. Worst of all, where there is one there are many and we have no clue how it got in. So I will probably be treated to an instant replay, hopefully at least not until next summer.

So now there is a dead, ether-soaked bat in the freezer on the bottom shelf among the squirrel tails (for fly tying). I don't know what kind of redneck that makes me, but I hope if we have company, I remember to tell them not to look in the freezer.
And I am going to call the past couple of days, the good, the bat and the ugly.


Anonymous said...

Oh, 3C, I can just picture this. It's almost as good as "He's Got a Knife!" We had a bat in the house years ago. My husband and his manly friend told me to just get out of the way, they would handle it. We didn't have ether (and wouldn't have known to use it, anyhow) so their plan was to capture it in a huge bath towel. See this two giants running around the house, waving a bath towel. Then, when it eventually landed on the floor - they were too scared to get close enough to cover it with the towel! I eventually did that, and then scooped it up, towel and all, and threw it out in a snowbank. Don't know what it is about cold weather and bats. Hope you have recovered. :)

Knolltop Farm Wife said...

Valient? Now that's a blast from the past! What's up with using him? You must have a very deep semen tank!

Apple said...

I've only had a bat inside once and that was enough. Thankfully it was summer and we just opened the doors and it eventually found it's way out. I think you need a 2nd "day off" this week!

Jinglebob said...

Love the bat story! Was he going like a "bat out of hell?" LOL

Did you take a picture of the flying mouse?

Paintsmh said...

May I just say that it certainly gave us something to talk about on the way to the concert? And poor Mommy, we love you!

Willow Witch said...

Sorry, but the bat story is funny.. I know its not at the time it is happening. I remember when we were teen's (hey, that wasn't that long ago) one got in the house and one of my brothers scream's(like a girl)"get a gun" and my father scream's (like a girl)"NO, get a broom" It was like world war III over a bat! I recall just sitting there laughing my butt off at all of them! Glad your cow's are bred, I always hated to see the favorites go down the road...

threecollie said...

akagaga, oh boy, yours is better than mine! I can just see them. I sure got my comeuppance over this one as I normally am not bothered at all and the boss is nervous about them. This time though, he rescued me.

Melissa, we use a lot of the old bulls. We got a chance to pick up some semen pretty cheap and are experimenting with a couple of breedings. As I said, the boss bought that son of his back when he was in use and the son did amazing things for us. For a little herd like ours to have a homebred, sired by a farm bull grand champion Holstein, even at the fair, was a real high point. So, we are trying to do it again.

Apple, oddly enough we had them all the time down in the other house til we cemented up every crack and crevice in the chimney. Here in this big monster place they mostly show up in the barn. Never in the house before...I hope never again too.

JB, he was, he was. It felt like a bat out of Hell situation too. Ewwww....

Thanks, honey, I love you too and I know had you been home I would not have had to do much about it. Becky stepped into the breach really well though...thank God!

Willow Witch, I don't know what it is about flying mammals in the house that sets us off like that, but I was really nervous about the silly thing. It is so dark and spooky here at night, not something I normally even notice, and it kept vanishing only to reappear in a room I hadn't even seen it go into.....

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Maybe he just came out so he could buy the new Batman movie? :)

Starting fluid comes in handy doesn't it...

DayPhoto said...

I love this story...sorry! Beats the Illinois Gov story all over the radio and internet today.

I also understand wanting to keep a favorite animal and being stuck with 'production' problem. We are going through that right now with the cow and calf from Misty's place.

Love your writings!


Teri Conroy said...

The best kind of redneck, indeed!
Husband doesn't read blogs, doesn't have a thing to do with farm animals either. I was cracking up picturing him reading Knolltop Farm Wife's comment to your blog! The bat stories are great - we had a bat in our bedroom one night right after daughter was born (that means I was exhausted). I told husband to deal with it and went to sleep in a small sitting room with door closed. I heard lots 'o noise, and finally husband came in to tell me he got the bat. He was wearing a safari hat and boxer shorts, and wielding a tennis racket. It was really funny! Thanks for the laughs!

Anonymous said...

wow the swd valiant bull is sure from my past...way past too...i actually recognized it...lol

and you're a terrific writer...really funny stories...keep them coming!

threecollie said...

Nita, you cracked everybody up with that...the kids were laughing like crazy when they read it.

Linda, thanks, on a small place like this we know all the animals so well...you tend to get attached to them sometimes..

Teri, OMG picturing your husband in his get up made me feel better about mine. Bats are something else...I only mind them when they get in the house, but dang, I mind them a lot then!

Anon, thanks for the kind words. We didn't really like Valiant himself for daughters, but as a sire of sons he did very, very well for us. That Pennsylvania bull was a real winner. I would take a dozen like the old Dixie cow any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

bubbles got loose yesterday and ran all over the barn

Linda said...

LOL I'd trade a squirrel tail for the fox tail that's in my freezer.

threecollie said...

anon, lucky me, I missed that. And lucky you...you got a good dinner out of me missing it.

Linda, I read that to Ralph this morning because I got such a chuckle out of it...now you have to tell us how the fox tail got in there. lol