Friday, September 9, 2011

One With Nature

Do you ever feel one with the world? One with nature? At peace with all that surrounds you, almost as if you could step out onto the porch, reach your arms out, have a few little birds perch on them, squirrels nuzzle at your ankles and maybe even understand what the rabbits are saying?

Nah, me either. That's only in Disney movies, right?

However, today, I felt sympathetic with our mama cows. Joe is weaning the calves, as they are big enough to be solely fed by pasture and hay. Just as a mother weans her baby, these calves need to be on their own, will be fine, but the mamas, I'm not so sure about.

The weaning process is a little different from what I read when I was expecting our first child. In the Breastfeeding Resource Handbook (otherwise known as a book to make you feel inadequate if you a) didn't nurse your children or b)wanted to ever wean ever), the authors suggested a joint decision with your child about weaning. No date, no age, no time line...just let it happen. Well, if you've ever nursed a one-year's kind of hard to have an honest, open discussion about nursing.

I'm digressing.

Anyway, so weaning calves is a little bit science and a lot of just separation, from the way I see it...rather, hear it from my window. Joe notes the size, age, etc. of the calves, and by the sign of the moon and the Farmer's Almanac, he then decides which days each set of calves will be weaned.

Seems easy enough, right?

Except for the fact that you have to move the cows, separating them from the calves, or vice versa, to a completely separate pasture, and then keep each set of cattle from looking for one another.

And what does a mom do when she can't see her child?

She yells.

She hollers.


So, this is what we have been listening to since last night. Our mama cows across the road are looking for their babies, feeling the pain of sore udders, and wondering what the heck is going on.

I feel so sorry for them. I'm so lame, I know, but I can't help but wonder what those mamas are thinking. They can't find their babies. They are in pain. I want to go over there and tell them the calves are just a little ways away, but, unlike my Disney-fied nature girl version of myself, I don't speak cow.

The beauty of cattle, however, is that after a day or so, they'll all be fine. The calves will continue to frolic in the pasture, now growing bigger and stronger on grass and hay. The mamas will be reunited, sort of, with the babies in a while, but will not have reuniting like a movie, running through the pasture to their long lost babies...more like a "Hey! Where you been?" moment, and then move on to their next patch of grass.

For now, I'll listen to the mamas and feel sorry for them. I wonder when I will get used to and quit feeling sorry for the cattle at this time of year. Maybe never. However, in a few days, like the cattle, I'll note the silence and shoo away the birds, squirrels and rabbits on my way out the door!


  1. too funny! i know all too well the noise, pacing the fences, and the heartbreak you are talking about. we are weaning this week too. we allready did the show calves. have a great weekend!

  2. I love this post! Well written!

  3. I like to refer to that as the Cattle Chorus :) I actually kind of miss hearing that as all the cattle are at the main farm and we are not.