Once a week

Once a week we are looking at this patch of ground – top sown with my special pasture cocktail.  Watching the grass grow. I am excited. The pasture not so much. In case you cannot see the whole of the picture in your header, and after all who can see the whole picture in many areas of our lives, here it is again.


So if we look carefully we can see that after a week there is NO new growth. Absolutely nothing is happening. Well, that is good. Everything is going according to the schedule!

Aunty Del

Aunty Del the Ayrshire heifer is quite the most beautiful animal.

And she is wondering what is going on in the milking shed.  Nothing? Oh.

heifer and wee bull

Lady Astor

Lady Astor is wondering why the milking shed is not open for business as that is where all the good feed is.  But without a cow to milk the shed is a bit useless. Clean but not doing much yet. I am going to guess that Lady has at least a week to go. Seven days. If I am wrong I will eat a chocolate fish. And I am not a chocolate eater and being the daughter of a man who built fishing boats: not much fond of fish either.

There is something beautiful about my cows lately. Every day I find a quiet moment, usually very early in the morning after John has gone to work and before anyone else is awake, and I go out into the field and walk amongst the cows feathering my fingers across their bellies and backs,  scratching their heads. My self drifts down until  I am underwater, floating through them, moving slowly like I am another lazy fecund shadow cow. Feeling their necks and their legs and the tissue that connects with their bones. The heat of them. With a hand on their sides I can feel the breath of the cow like a magnificent wave of nebulous cloud rolling down from their throats and into their lungs lifting their magnificent sides out and back up.  I can feel Lady’s calf pulsing behind her hide, waiting. Aunty Del still feels like a girl to me but it is early yet – if pregnant she is not due until July 10.

BooBoo and eggs

The turkeys are laying an egg a day each.  For the life of me I was so focused on the turkeys I did not even consider that there would be eggs.

With the news that Poppy will not be having piglets  this season I was able to quickly acquire four Berkshire piglets (plonkers) to grow on for the freezers. They will be delivered today.  So all is not lost!  In fact I am now ahead of the game. I hate to waste the extra milk Lady will give and the chickens are laying twenty eggs a day  (and the turkeys two) to the cause so we can still grow good clean meat for four of the families who are depending on us.

Poppy will go back to the boar in the early winter. She can spend the winter with him. And in the meantime let’s hope Molly and Tahiti are pregnant. Or at least one of them.

See? If I stand on one foot long enough to realign my thinking the answers will come!

I hope you have a lovely day.



33 Comments on “Once a week

  1. I think at some point while you were standing on one foot, a light went on and you said “Excellent!”. Because that’s what you do.
    I love your descriptions of a peaceful morning drift amongst the Dairy Girls, breathing the same air, feeling their babies move, watching the muscles move gently under their coats. It gives a good, gentle, peaceful feeling.

  2. If I stand on one leg, I fall over. I have to lean on something AND hold onto something else to put pants and socks on. My thoughts then are usually sweary words.

    Looking forward to meeting the plonkers. and excited for Lady Astor. Do you use the turkey eggs for baking? My method for making a sponge would work with them – ie weigh the eggs and put in equal weight of sugar, butter and flour, in order to get the proportions right.

    ViV xox

  3. I long for a peaceful soft morning like that. The cows have been particularly beautiful lately. This week I have been tending to my sick dog, he seems to be on the mend so a huge sigh of relief there. Oh the animals we love!

  4. You are the. Funniest woman i have met for years…and we all love you madly

  5. I love mornings best. I am usually the first up on this place to greet the animals and watch nature awaken. I love the photo of snoopy Aunty Del peering into the milking shed.

  6. For a minute there, seeing Carlos the Tiny with Aunty Del at the milking shed reminded me of Hairy escorting Daisy into be milked. Am I the only one thinking maybe Manu is ‘shooting blanks’. I do hope he isn’t. Laura

  7. Yes, Auntie Del is really beautiful and seeing her poking her head in the window of the milking shed is a lovely shot. To me, at least, it speaks of a time passed. I bet it is your daily routine with the cows, of showing them attention and affection, is the reason Alex has come to trust you more openly. And I suppose it’s a good habit too, in order to make milking a little less intrusive to them when the time comes. Have a lovely day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  8. Cows are curious aren’t they? And oh how happy I am to see a portrait of that dear face of Boo!

  9. “I go out into the field and walk amongst the cows” — and the whole followiing section: so moving. I could reread often.

    You may have picked up from the fields and their the new grass the spirit of one of my favorite American poets, Walt Whitman, whose lines, (though troubling to some, such as, “I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid / and self-contain’d”. Or “if you want me again, look for me under your bootsoless” ) have kept many of us closer to nature than modern life seems to allow.

    • Albert, that poem you refer to is one of my favorites.

  10. Thank goodness you aren’t a marketing guru… I can see it now, the latest fad… walking with cows! 😉

  11. Aunty Del is a beautiful girl. Love the shot poking her head in the milking shed.

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