black calf in the black night

Last night I decided that I would begin the process to wean Naomi completely from her mother.

So instead of letting her back with her mother in the evening I left her in her corner pen with  walls that come up to my chest and extra food and extra cuddles. (Look at those flies on the piglets, the flies and mosquitoes this year are at epic proportions due the rains which have returned.)

Naomi had other ideas. and at midnight she and her mother began a frantic mooing and from the bedroom I knew that Naomi’s sounds were not coming from her  pen.  She was galloping up and down the drive from her mother behind one fence to the other cows behind another and back again.  Luckily she is one of the friendliest wee animals we have and upon seeing the dogs and I (me in my little nightie and gumboots) she galloped at full flight straight for us, which is a little disconcerting, seeing a black calf erupt out of the black night aimed straight for you.

I just talked to her and kept walking (there is no point trying to herd a frantic animal) so she dashed to and fro from her mother to me until she had inadvertently followed me straight into the barn and back to her pen. I opened the big doors and gave her back to her mother.

At the end of this week the steers will be separated so Daisy’s bobby can be put into the fattening fields alone. The calf can go with Queenie’s Bobby and Aunty Del across the way. Out of earshot of her mother.



I was looking forward to the extra milk but it looks like Naomi is a jumper so we will wait a few more days. rooster

It rained for much of the morning  so Amanda cleaned out the glasshouse, sorted the seeds and sowed more squash and broccoli it is cool and wet again, we may be able to plant the late summer garden early, much of our spring/summer plantings have been washed away, or are so deep in weeds that they cannot be reclaimed.  Today it is not due to rain until the afternoon, Amanda is going to be Kitchen Mama and I will try to dig the new beds for beets and beans in a better drained area and get some weeding done.


Manu came out into his field for a walk in the afternoon and Tane came over for the mandatory clacking of teeth and fierce posturing. His limp miraculously disappeared! But I sent him to the back field, this is not a boar he wants to mess with.  I will bring Tima across to Tane today as she is due to cycle back into heat today if in fact she does.  If she does not she is pregnant.


The sun came out later yesterday.

Tiny snapshots of the garden always make it look so beautiful. The sunflowers are all coming out now and the ribbon of yellow is a delight. I will cut some today for a vase but i must be good and leave them or we will never get any seeds for the winter feed.

It is time for me to get up and get going. It is cool. And cloudy. I am so glad my little piglets have found their warm snug with its lamp. Yesterday I was cleaning out Poppy’s pen while she ate after a while they awoke and out they poured honking softly  and grinning like little runaway trains, through their little tile tunnel they trotted and  straight at my boots, Poppy did not even bat an eye when I reached down and stroked their silky little backs playing with them a little. Charlotte would have killed me by then, Poppy is such a different kind of mother. I am delighted by her development. But I gently removed myself just in case. No point in pushing it.

Rain is on the way and lots to do before it gets here. The chickens go early tomorrow morning to their new chicken abbatoir  and will return inspected and packaged for the freezer.  So Amanda and I will collect some of these young roosters today.  We have quite enough roosters.

I hope you have a lovely day. Or, more importantly I hope you see some loveliness today and recognise it and let it calm you. Life is so full of holes we can fall down.  But life sends us these moments of joy like little lines of rescue.  So I wish for you plentiful moments of loveliness.

Love your friend on the farm



38 Comments on “black calf in the black night

  1. Yes, the moments of joy can be grasped and bring joy, a smile and peace. They are wonderful! xo

  2. your blog is one of the lovely things each morning for me before my work calls….. Manu is such a handsome fellow! I love his coloring!

  3. Thanks for the lovely post again today. I started my day out with it and now I will have the most lovely of days. Back at you. Please!

  4. So glad poppy is a good mother phew! Have a lovely day x

  5. How has Sheila reacted to Manu being around? Still looking forward to a proper wide lens/panoramic picture of blooming sunflowers! Naomi must be quite a big girl by now. Wishing you peace and lots of loveliness today too. Laura

  6. Don’t like the look of Manu! He is kind of creepy!

  7. I so feel bad for the animals being bitten by flies. But they are a cute little puddle of piglets. I’m surprised you get any sleep with animals wandering about. You put that so well about the trials of life being large enough to fall in while the small joys throughout the day acting as lifeline. I had not thought of it that way. Wishing you lots of lines.

  8. “I hope you see some loveliness today and recognize it and let it calm you.” Wonderful. And so important to remember. I’m in love with the piglets.

  9. Your farmy is clicking right along as it should. I’m glad Naomi is so tame and came right to you. Bashing around in the dark can have bad consequences for any animal.

  10. I always feel sad when it’s time for the last offspring of a departed mama to go, this time it’s Daisy’s bobby. *sigh* Poor brand-new piggles, I hope they don’t get too bitten up. They are such beautiful little things.

  11. She’s the one! Right there in the middle of the piglet pile with her little ear turned back…I checked with my mail lady and she said she would bring her right up to the house and not put her in the mailbox when she arrives! 🙂

  12. Manu has the most extraordinary face – he has the Eye of Horus!
    How lovely that motherhood seems to have settled Poppy and that she’s being a good mum. Now you just need to work your calming magic on Naomi.

  13. I really don’t miss all the flies we get at our Cortijo in Spain due to having all the goats nearby! But the piglets don’t seem too bothered and they look adorable. Beauiful shots of the plants and flowers – those lilies are going to be stunning, mine were a deep orange and have just finished showing off in the garden!

  14. So Naomi must have been quite a lot in desperation when running after her mother. What a life. Huh! You have to take all into your consideration who with whom, where, when. It’s not an easy job, especially when direct conversation is not possible. You have to be a very sensible and knowing and even wise boss to them all… And you are a loving mother to the piglets (and to Poppy), too.
    BTW: I wonder how Poppy’s milk may taste. Did you ever try milk of a pig mother? Just a tiny bit? How is it? Very different from cow’s milk?
    Oh, and that eyes of the boar. And what a lovley garden you have.
    Best wishes and lots of moments of loveliness, too, Irmi

    P.S.: Our temperature went down finally, too. Over night with a thunderstorm and lots of rain from 35 to 20°C. Much better.

  15. “Little nIghtie and gumboots” was the theme of the Paris fashion show this year. …. Though in French it’s “pee-jahmahs”

    • Ha, ha that’s funny. I was thinking of you when we drove from the Île de Rê to Brittany . I forgot where your farm was.

  16. I feel bad for Naomi. Would she eventually give up the milk on her own?

  17. I wonder if we could bribe John to photograph our Celi in “Little nIghtie and gumboots” mode? May your day be full of little blessings and moments of joy!.

  18. I am so glad that Poppy seems to be a calm mother. I wouldn’t have expected it, but I’m so happy that she is!

  19. I don’t know what happened to my comment. I came back to read the others and my ear;oer one had gone.

    Enjoy the joyful moments – I’m sure there are many on your happy farmy. I love the idea of you in nighty and gumboots! All that lacked is the addition of that awful hat I made you when it was so cold!

    I’m glad Poppy is a happy mum, and I’m sure those beautiful piglets will thrive. Bon courage, Naomi: you know you con’t really need your Mum now you’re so grown up. Good luck Tima – I hope you’re already pregnant.

    love from showery France,
    ViV xox

  20. we have been receiving rain the past few days…literally manna from the heavens! So much that now there is a flash flood warning from 11am to 11pm tonight.
    But the sun is out and all is well here. Your piglets are adorable even with those pesky flies. I certainly admire you and your hard work and your ability to see the loveliness that surrounds us. Have a lovely day!

  21. I’m back with a question: What are that greenish-blue glasses in the header photo? Flycatcher? Flytraps? And what is in there? I’ve seen them on another photo of yours, don’t remember when…

  22. Black calf in the black night but otherwise today is vibrant and rainbow hued. Love the cuteness of the piggies and the summer garden 🙂

  23. What’s going to happen with the piggies, are they to become pork chops and bacon, for selling on whole on hoof, or keeping for breeding more? Your summer looks delightful.

  24. What moments of joy you have captured. I love the way you gently and cleverly dealt with panicking Naomi. Piglets like little runaway trains – I love it.

  25. I’ve been reading you in the mornings on my phone and so I don’t always say something but I had to return to this post to tell you how touching your closing sentiments are for me… ” But life sends us these moments of joy like little lines of rescue.” Yes. So true…thank you, for sharing your farm life and graceful heart with us, (all). ♥

  26. Had to laugh at the calf charges – it isn’t funny at night or when you are out weighed. Shaking head over all the wet here, too. Bugs, and juice loaded tomatoes splitting open with the heat now.
    That Poppy. A sweetie to match her cheery name

  27. Those last sentences were just what I needed to connect with. Thank you for “knowing” just what to say, C. I feel your lovely friendship across the miles. 🙂

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