Friday, July 20, 2018

The Red Poll Girls

Life continues in relaxed summer mode for the cattle and the horses. Everyone made it through the big heat wave and now life is easy again - except, perhaps, for the summertime flies:

Scarlett's udder became swollen and sore after her calf, Rocket, went to his new home but she quickly adapted and has already been artificially inseminated again for next year. Scarlett is a good mother and very fertile. That's Rosella, her first calf born here, next to her. They still hang out together:

The grass has been kept eaten down to a reasonable height since I bush hogged the field, though there are thistles growing up again which I will try to use the weed-whacker on:

Jasmine, once obese, infertile and lame, has rebounded to a healthy, happy, beautiful cow. She is also the most affectionate of them all. I believe I saw her in heat this summer and am hoping she will be able to get pregnant again - not only for my sake, but also because it will be healthy for her:

Grass eating sessions are interspersed with cut chewing/sleep sessions. Life is good:

Lucky certainly enjoys a good nap, here seen with Rosella and Scarlett, his mother and grandmother:

Gracie is the one cow who has not slimmed down this summer. She's still quite tubby. I can sympathize with her:

Gracie again. A full figured lady needs time to rest and recuperate:

I cleaned the barn floor and the next morning, Amy and Scarlett stayed inside after their grain so they could eat that nice, new hay. I had to push them out the door before they covered all that clean hay with manure:

The east side of the barn is shady in the afternoons, and also where the compost piles and a couple of Box Elders are located. On a hot day, the herd often moves here to relax:

On hot mornings, they crowd together beneath the small Box Elder on the south side of the barn. It offers a small amount of shade and their closeness allows them to rub against each other to get rid of the bothersome flies:

Lucky is reaching the age where he might be ready for his new home. He is growing at an amazing rate:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Settling Into Summer

The pigeons are thriving and seem happy. One old timer passed away peacefully, presumably from old age, but a baby was fledged and took his or her place. I still have 27 birds:

But then two new babies hatched. They often don't live, so I watched for a couple of days and everything seemed fine:

I didn't handle them, but I did get a closeup:

And I also got a short video of one of the parents feeding them:

There is a section between the road and "lawn" (I use quotes because it's not much of a lawn, though it is mowed) is a strip of wildflowers, including these Deptford Pinks and Oxeye Daisies:

And Common Mullein. I used to call this Moth Mullein, but learned that I was wrong: This plant grows tall and I've been told that some Native Americans considered it to have spiritual power. I've come across these majestic plants at night, lit by a full moon, and agreed with that idea:

And Common St. Johnswort. I've read that if you break a stem on August 29, the day of St. John's beheading, the sap will be red like blood. I tried it once, years ago, with questionable results - it sort of worked and sort of didn't. I hope to remember to try again this year:

The little rock garden was suddenly filled with yellow Asiatic Lilies and Blue Sea Holly:

I've been waiting for the Blue Sea Holly to actually turn blue, and it's finally begun to show some blue color:

The flowers are supposed to be bigger, though, so I'll keep watching them develop: