Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall weaning time....

My morning was spent in the saddle, and a perfectly beautiful morning it was to be astride a horse.  Do you remember the old song, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning?"  Well, that's exactly what it felt like out there on the prairie rounding up the cows and the calves.  The sun was shining, the meadowlarks were singing and all was right with the world.  The fellas and I gathered them up and brought them into the corral to sort the calves away from their mothers.  Man, was it ever dusty in out there with 300 cows milling around!  You should have smelled my hair when I finally got into the shower.  I swear there was muddy water dripping off my head as I stood under the water spicket.  And then there's the nose blowing. 

This time of year we must wean the calves from their mothers.  The weaning process has already begun naturally by now.  The mama cows gradually suckle their calves less and less the older they get, but we intervene in the fall and make it a final weaning.  We do an "across the fence weaning" where the cows and calves can see, hear, and even sniff each other for a few days, but they are separated by a fence or gate.
And this is really how it is all day long -- one mama and then another comes looking for her baby.  Kinda sad.  Hubs says the process is more psychological than anything and is the very best way to wean, for both mama cows and calvies.  After a few days, the cows will be trailed out to another pasture and the calves will continue to be fed ground hay by feed bunk.
Around Home...
I thought I'd share a little of what our mild, beautiful fall has been like here.  We have yet to have a frost and so the flower pots on my front porch are looking better than they have all summer long.  The leaves are turning and falling from the trees.  I love being outside when there's a good wind blowing and the leaves come falling down on me.

I hung out the sheets today for Monday is always wash day -- in particular sheets and bedding.  This afternoon we had a shower of rain come over and my sheets got fairly soaked.  Now they are draped over chairs and furniture to finish drying.

This is one of the lovely cottonwood trees that lives in our yard.  Isn't she a beaut?  She has since lost all of these glorious leaves, and they have been gathered into the compost heap to make rich garden soil for next spring.  There is yet another cottonwood and just today I spotted a chunk of gold leafage developing in the center of him. 

Out on the Prairie and Among the Trees...
Look at these two enormous cottonwood trees still green and looking full of life despite what has happened to them.....

Some over-zealous beavers decided to gnaw them down for their dam.  Now really, Beavers, do you sincerely think you could have carried these big boys to the river?  Do you?

Here are the yearling heifers coming up to see what we are doing.  They are so curious.  These girls will become first-time mothers this spring.

If you enlarge this picture, you'll see the sky is full of birds.  Robins!  They have all flocked together and the shelter belts are loaded with robins.  It's the same sound of chirruping that I remember hearing when they all arrived in spring, but now they are gathering to bid me farewell and to fly away together to warmer climes. 
I always, always miss the sound of birdsong when fall comes to a close.


  1. Oh, it's all so beautiful Jody. And that first picture just has so much emotion -- just look at that Mama crying for her baby. I LOVE that picture!

  2. Oh what a fantastic post, Jody! I love it when you get to prance around on your horse! The cows are pretty and your flower pots are stunning! Thank you for sharing - I feel blessed.

  3. Oh, what a beautiful day...I've got a beautiful feelin
    Everything's goin my way...

  4. OOps...perfect song for your neck of the woods for sure. I got so caught up in the song I forgot about my comment :0)

  5. You have such a beautiful life, and I always enjoy your posts about your land and the animals.

  6. Beautiful Days and cozy nights. What a blessing for you!


  7. I am amazed by the beavers' damaging work! Thank you for a glimpse of a blessed season in your part of the world.

  8. Great pictures, Jody. You have been a busy lady! It looks like the most beautiful of days.

  9. I love your phrase - my morning was spent in the saddle - that was my childhood dream! I think I'd be one sore cowgirl if I did it now :)

    I'm feeling for the poor mama cows separated by the fence . . .

    Your flower pot is still going strong and so pretty!

    Love the wash on the line - that's my favourite household chore! The sheets smell so fresh even if they have to finish the drying process indoors.

    Hope you have another sunny day today Jody!

  10. I like your new baby ticker mom! Cute :)

  11. Ahh Jody I think you are kind with the weaning....poor liite things :)
    Would there be negative repercussions if the calves were just taken away?
    Your pics are lovely and give a good piture of the mild autumn you are having. We are also having a mild autumn here in England and the days are mostly sunny and warm.
    Ann x

  12. It is sooo beautiful on your farm. I want to live with you. Wel, but then I could not handle the sad cows xoxoxo Clarice

  13. My daughter would be so envious of you getting to spend your morning in the saddle. At twelve, she wants to be a cowgirl in a big way. She has no idea how the reality of that would be.

    What a shame about the large cottonwood trees that the beavers halfway chewed through. Maybe ya'll could use them for firewood?


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