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.