Monthly Archives: April 2017

Good news (and a bit of bad)

Buffalo Girl and her happy calf

Buffalo Girl and her happy calf

Good news! Buffalo Girl delivered a healthy, long-legged heifer calf last week! I was concerned she might struggle to nurse…and we believe she did…but she is looking good now. She, along with the rest of the babies, is running her mama crazy. We love watching them frolic across the fields.

Speaking of fields, the good news is that we had 3 1/2 inches of rain in 3 days. The bad news is that we haven’t had any rain since. So, our rather sparse pastures are a bit greener but still sparse! We have 4 bales of hay left. Hopefully that will be enough.

Speaking of enough, we finally made the sad trip down to the blueberry fields. Georgia lost 80% of their blueberry crop to the cold snap. We lost about the same. But we should have enough to refill the freezer and share a bit with friends.

Much sadder is the serious damage done to the persimmon trees because we lost two years of growth and this years crop. The mulberry and mayhaw crops are also a complete loss but we may have some pears and some citrus. As John says, thank goodness our future does not depend on this year’s harvest! If it did, things would look bad indeed.

I forgot to mention that John bought me a little house for Christmas. I have moved out of the Avion and into my new digs. It is definitely a splurge–the Avion worked just fine–but I struggled to keep it organized since everything had to be stowed away. What is shocking is how much stuff was stowed! I had no real idea of how much storage I had until I took all my materials out from their various nooks and crannies. So, now the Avion is on Craigslist. I hope a really good new owner finds it!

So, life goes on. The sun shines and the weather is beautiful (though not as beautiful as rain!) The watermelon and bean seeds have sprouted. The bees are beginning to find some flowers. We are all healthy. The lark’s on the wing, the morning dew’s pearled; God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world. 😉

Oh my…

…how time does pass!  The thing is, this blog is an integral part of our farm records. It is the place I look when I have forgotten to post the date of birth of a calf or important information on crop losses. So, it is finally on my shortlist of items to DO!

First, most recently, we are in the middle of a drought that began last September. It is odd but even when areas around us get rain, it seems to skip over us so we are always a bit drier than White Springs and WAY drier than Lake City. However, even Lake City is beginning to suffer this year. It is getting increasingly difficult to find way. It is crazy to be buying hay this time of the year when pastures should be lush and green but John just got back from spending $250 to get the cows through (hopefully) to the end of the month.

Speaking of cows, Mama had another bull calf last month. Her poor udder is so blown out, her calves must be helped until they get enough finesse and a big enough mouth to feed themselves. So, 3 times a day I make the trip out to the field. Buffalo Girl may have a similar challenge this term when sh (FINALLY) delivers. She lost an udder during her last pregnancy because her calf couldn’t use it and it get infected. The girls are getting older so this happens. But, we don’t have the heart to make hamburger out of these faithful retainers! In other cow news, sweet Cocoa (our half Lowline Angus/half Murray Grey) was by some miracle of nature impregnated by Winston who is SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than she. She delivered a beautiful large and well-developed calf but sometime between the time John left for work and I got home, it was born and died. Stepped on?  Squeezed to death during birth? We will never know but my heart went out to her. Cocoa has always been treated like the oddling she is so I was excited she would finally have a calf of her own. Also, Calfie had her calf in January so we were looking forward to watching them play together.

And, speaking of tragedy, Midge had an extremely painful miscarriage in the fall. The calf was just a puddle with hooves but she was not dilated so the contractions just tore her up. I was afraid she might never have another but she is currently pregnant and should deliver this summer. Mama’s Boy from last year, Calfie’s extremely small heifer, and Buffalo Girl’s heifer are still with the herd.

The other recent news that needs to be recorded was the weather. The winter was very mild and January and February were unseasonably warm so the plants got way too excited. The blueberries, mulberries, persimmons, pomegranates, mayhaws citrus, pears, and blackberries were all in full leave and bloom. So, when we had our annual March last-gasp-of-winter (which, unfortunately, this year was particularly cold and long), we lost a LOT! I’ve taken lots of pictures of small fruit, buds, and early leaves all brown and shriveled but I simply don’t have the heart to post them. It is a good thing John and I are both working off-farm because our poor little farm won’t be providing much this year!

I’ve got to run now but will try to get back on this week to finish updating. (Yeah, sure!) I’ll really try!