Thursday, April 6, 2017

Premie, windmill, walking the menagerie

The premie calf that was born Monday is doing quite well again today. When you're dealing with a calf that's struggling you always wonder what you'll find in the morning. You hope you'll find a live, thriving calf but nature doesn't worry much about your hopes and desires. I've seen a lot more struggling calves survive than not, but that doesn't mean that a lot of battles haven't been lost. You never know for sure what the morning will reveal.

This morning the little fellow was parked on the southeast slope of a little hill, snoozing away while his tummy worked on digesting breakfast.

I spotted the cow first, contentedly cropping grass a few score yards away. Her obvious contentment told me that the calf was almost certainly okay. If it was failing or dead she'd have likely been quite agitated and standing over it, trying to figure out what to do.
See him on the slope? You can click the image to enlarge.

I stopped by the calf to see how he was doing. One sign that all was well was his regular breathing. He was deeply asleep and his breathing was neither too rapid nor too slow, just a perfect in and out.

His mama came over to make sure I wasn't getting up to any mischief.

A little while later I took another video to send to my farmer friend in Herefordshire, England. We trade videos and pictures via WhatsApp, which I find delightful and amazing. For all the world's cares, we still live in a remarkable time.

This is what Herefordshire looked like this morning.

Bit of a difference, eh whot?


I finished checking cows and calves, tagging a couple of new arrivals along the way.

Then it was time to drive over to the South Googie, a 300 acre pasture bounded on the north by I-80. The grass in this pasture is predominately smooth brome, which was seeded into former farming ground about 30 years ago. The brome is quite palatable early in the season, but much less so after only about a month of growth. We like to get on it hard in the spring, both to get use out of it and to weaken it a bit to encourage native prairie grasses to move back in. It's working, but the process will take a few more decades. Nature doesn't move at our pace.

I opened the gates to allow the cows and calves to wander on over. They'll get there over the next couple of days and will enjoy the taller, more abundant grazing. I checked fence around the pasture and it was all in good shape. I'll have to nail up wire in a spot or two but overall the winter was kind to fence this year.

I turned on the windmills as well, and waited for them to begin producing water. It takes a while in the spring, for the leather check valves have to soak up and swell before they'll seal. Eventually both wells were gushing forth with cool, clean water.


As I finished checking fence I met Mom and her menagerie as she motored along on her daily walk. The dogs just love to walk with Mom; it's the high point of their day.

Especially if there are puddles to play in!
Nona the Wonder Dog
Red, Jeter, Nona

A couple of years ago mom was crippled with degenerative arthritis in both hips. She was in constant pain and, in all likelihood, dying. The human body just can't survive that kind of pain.

After getting her new hips, though, she regained her lease on life. These days she does daily 4-5 mile hikes. And these are prairie hikes, which are nothing at all like walking in a park or on a sidewalk. She can hike most women my age into the ground. As I said, it's a remarkable time to live.

Here's hoping that you're all having a wonderful day!


  1. They have cows in Herefordshire? Who knew? :)

  2. Glad to see the preemie doing well. Sure miss my Maxwell G Smart the wonder cowdog.

    1. Thanks Brig. Wonder dogs sure bring a lot to the party. :)

  3. Again I am pleased to see that things are well in Nebraska. And sure Herefordshire as well, bit of a bonus that.

  4. Happy to read that things continue to go well.

    I will be off-line, starting tomorrow or Sat., for a period of time. Moving house, don't cha know. I'll catch up when we've settled in.

    Paul L. Quandt