Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Chasing, Not Amy, Nor Rainbows

The week in far is only Thursday. Cold but mostly clear. A few lake effect flurries mornings, soon gone when the sun comes up. Coyotes howling right nearby most nights or so it sounds. The dog hustles to get back in the house then I can tell you.

Liz passed her milk inspector test...good job kiddo.

The white-crowned sparrow is still here and waits in the lilacs for me to put down seed on an old platform feeder, then hurries right out to eat. Geese and ducks still filling the open water, although I heard very few yesterday. I hope they aren't leaving...they are good company. They sing my lullaby each night and I will miss them when the river locks down for the winter

Some big dairies selling out on the west coast. Milk are prices high world wide, with supplies tight, except here in the USA or so they are telling us. I think maybe two people in the world actually understand what is going on with milk pricing, but I am pretty sure we are being cheated by players a lot bigger than we are...

Chased heifers with the car Tuesday. The men took the stock trailer through the gate and left it open for the milk truck. Five springers there, but they stay up the hill at a feeder and never bother....until Tuesday.

I could see they were feeling riley and wild so, since it was noon and I had not had time to get breakfast, I hurried over to the house for a piece of corn bread, glass of milk, and my book (the new Kathy Reichs, which has a mistake in it...just ask Becky, our McDonald's guru) planning on taking all back to the barn and watching the gate until the milk truck came.

We don't like our driver to have to get out of the truck to open and close the gate.

Well, I just about got back to the fence when Monday, dang her midnight-spotted hide, threw up her head and raced down the hill through the gate. I set my breakfast in the driveway, grabbed my keys and ran for the car to go down the house drive and up the barn one to head her off.

I got there in time mostly because the little snake went up the old pasture lane instead of down the road. All the others followed her and one of the black ones was down on the ice and had trouble getting up.

I won't bore you with the details of how I got in front of them to get them past the car, while making them think I was behind them too, so they would go back up the hill, but I got it done.

They went up and lay down among their feed tires, happy as clams. I watched the barn cats from afar while they ate my breakfast, and listened to my stomach singing four part harmony as if I was a cow, until almost two. That was when the tanker left and I could close the gate.

Just about then the men came back and apologized for leaving me in that fix.

I was nice about it even though I had been planning on writing the Farm Side while the house was quiet. There was still some cornbread left and since it felt more like lunch time anyhow I had it with homemade vegetable beef soup. I am sure the reason it tasted so good had something to do with how late it was.

However, the word is out. On tanker day those five heifers either go in the barn or up in the hill pasture.



June said...

" in front of them to get them past the car, while making them think I was behind them too..."
You're a magician. It's the only conclusion, knowing as we do how crafty your cows are.

I know farming is tough, a hard life.
But oh, how I envy your being able to be out in the daylight every day, sunny or not, instead of shut up behind walls...

joated said...

Never a dull momment, hey?

Sorry, but you had me LOL with this: "I watched the barn cats from afar while they ate my breakfast, and listened to my stomach singing four part harmony as if I was a cow, until almost two."

Lovely writing!

joated said...

Oh...and GOOD for Liz!

CTG Ponies said...

Good job keeping those girls in line, especially with an empty stomach!

DayPhoto said...

GOOD JOB! LIZ! Those tests are hard...not a snap and you passed! YEAH!

Cows! They are NOT dumb, no matter what most people think. They are so smart it gets them in trouble every time! Just like all middle school teenagers!

AND they DO know where the gate is (or where it was they got out from) and just to play you the fool---they are NOT going back in that way if they have to die frist!



lisa said...

Congrats to Liz! Cows very hard to control as they are so much bigger than we are!

Linda said...

Yah LIZ!! Way to go girl! Cows.......what can I say....bulls are worse?

Cathy said...

"I watched the barn cats from afar while they ate my breakfast, and listened to my stomach singing four part harmony as if I was a cow."

I know I should feel guilty smiling broadly at your missed breakfast, but doggone it - your fault. Ya can't read this and not smile.

What a rich, unpredictable and therefore - wonderful life.

threecollie said...

June, you are right that it is a great life. I think most farmers are passionate enough about what they do to forgo much of the upside of civilized life just to do it. The worst of the challenges are financial and regulatory. Weather, animal health, and things life that, are hard to deal with but natural and a part of life's cycle.

Joated, it was so frustrating. It won't kill me to go without a meal or two but I was SO hungry. We had a really busy morning, I didn't get to eat and I wanted that breakfast so bad....guess the cats did too. lol, and thanks on Liz's behalf.

CTG, thanks, I was lucky to be able to fool them into going back up the hill and before the milk truck came flying up it at that.

LInda, thanks on Liz's behalf. she has been studying a long time. Aren't cows something? I was so lucky to be able to get below them on the other side of the fence so they thought I was behind them, but I could still hold the gate.

Lisa, thanks on Liz's behalf. Darned cows know when they have your number too. lol

Linda, she is very happy, thanks. Yeah, bulls are much worse. These were just heifers that thought they were on spring break.

Cathy, it is and it takes some of the sting of short-term starvation out of the equation to be able to share it with my blog friends. lol I sure was ticked off at those heifers though. And I couldn't really even read my book in peace while I watched them. Every time I sat down in the nice warm car they tried to make another break for it. I can read standing up in the snow but....