Sunday, May 28, 2017

Calf update

I'm working on a magnum opus about being an American. I'm going to split it up into a number of posts because, well, common sense and sanity. It's a work in progress and it'll debut here in extremely rough and nearly unreadable form. Because it's a process. And also because I'm unfairly placing the burden of shooting holes in my high and mighty proclamations on you, dear readers.

Just a warning. There's still time to block the web address of this blog!


Big thunderstorm night before last.

Lots of rain and hail but not a lot of wind. The moisture was welcome but a lot of it ran downhill as the soil is still fairly saturated from our last rainfall and snow.

The next morning a pair of daredevil Pronghorns very nearly collided with me as I drove through the pasture. I didn't see them coming until the leader blasted across my nose with only 20 feet of separation. Dash Two crossed with about 10 feet of clearance. Assholes.


Day before yesterday the calf who couldn't get up was able to stand on her own and nurse. This was a wonderful thing and made me very happy.

She still couldn't get up on her own, and as of today she still can't, but she's getting stronger and I think she'll get it figured out. So I'm feeling good about her. This is a copy of my video message to my farmer friends in Herefordshire.

In the video above I mentioned the Sea Vixen crash at NAS Yeovilton on Saturday (May 21). I really cringed to see that Sea Vixen land gear up, but it did land on the wing tanks, so I doubt the damage was too severe.

When I first posted this up, I did a terrible thing by just throwing the above pic and commentary in the middle of a report on calf 768. Talk about an abrupt transition! You couldn't tell what I was talking about, calf or wrecked airplane. SMH.

Okay, back to the calf.

She's getting better it seems, but it's a process. She's recovering from a very serious and life threatening malady, and it's to be expected that her recovery won't be instantaneous or trouble free.

Yesterday (Saturday, May 27) she had a bit of a setback. Nothing terrible, but a bump on the road to recovery.

In a nutshell, she ate too much on that first day back at the udder, so yesterday she had a pretty severe tummy ache, as well as some of the "after" affects (if you take my meaning) of overindulging. She's still a bit droopy today but seems to be feeling better and also seems to be much stronger in the legs and with improved balance and locomotion.

You might wonder why and how she overate, and I only have a theory to offer up. First of all, she was hungry. Second of all the cow was very attentive and stood quite still while the calf nursed. This is a bit unusual, because cows usually only stand still for a minute, or maybe two, while their calf nurses. Then they move on, grazing as they go, and require that the calf figure it out. I suspect (but cannot know) that 768's mama understood at some level that her baby wasn't going to be able to move around and nurse. Finally, the cow had a full udder, and it had to be a relief to let the calf nurse the fullness away.

At the moment, that's about all I've got. Hope you're all having a great day!


  1. Little 768 is looking better, the Sea Vixen, not so much. Hopefully both experience a full recovery.

    Looking forward to your magnum opus, it will be, at the very least, well-thought out and interesting. No pressure lad, no pressure at all.

    1. If I understand the situation, that jet is operated entirely on volunteer funding. I imagine the tin benders at Yeovilton wish it could heal itself, while I'm here in Nebraska wishing I could pay a tin bender to fix my calf!

      My chef d'oeuvre may turn out to be a mini-fizzle, but I'm giving it the ol' second grade try. :)

  2. Hooray for the calf, go gettem 768. This is great news.

    I, too, eagerly await your magnum opus. I also echo what Chris said. Especially the pressure part.

    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Thanks Paul. The calf is progressing nicely. So's the maggie-opie. For certain values of nicely.

  3. You confused me with that one sentence paragraph in the middle of the 768 saga. I thought you were trying to tell us that the Sea Vixen had a tummy ache for a monent there.

    1. I'm glad you mentioned that Scott. I patched it a bit this morning. That was a crime against blogging.