Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wrapping up 2017, Down on the Farm

As 2017 draws to a close new life arrived on the Hill Farm

This calving cycle began badly when the first calf died shortly after what seemed to be a perfectly normal delivery.  A week later, when doing the morning check of two cows that were due, I found the one to have gone into labor during the night with the calf turned backwards with one leg bent inside, a half breech.  With a little work I was able to clear the blockage and was able to pull the calf.  I thought I was working with a dead calf but was surprised when it was alive at delivery.   Apparently the delivery had been too difficult; for the calf was unable to stand and died during the following night.  So with that recent past and the very cold temperatures I was concerned with keeping close watch on Fairy who was running 11 days over due.

Fairy went into labor around noon yesterday.  As the afternoon wore on I became concerned that she wasn't progressing well and a check revealed that she was attempting to birth a very large calf.  Again it was time for the chains and after perhaps  half an hour of assisting her through her contractions Frosty arrived!

He was slow getting up and with the nasty cold I was concerned.  Fairy was diligently cleaning him and to help keep him warm I blow-dried him.  Still not able to stand I milked two quarts of colostrum from Fairy and tubed it into his stomach and left him on a pile of fresh dry bedding.  This morning he was bright-eyed and strong!  Mission accomplished!

Of course I cannot forget Heinz, the baby we reared on the bottle this past summer.  He still comes in each morning for his scoop of chop.

And Baby Jane is wintering well also.

During the past two years I have withdrawn considerably from posting my writing on social media.  It is not that I have lost interest in wildlife photography and the issues that surround it but rather that the poisoning of social media by the past election has left me disgusted.  I have watched as people have posted and shared obvious false hoods that undoubtedly came  from professional propaganda mills, fought with their "friends" labeling them as Libtards, Snowflakes, Conservaturds, etc etc etc.

As if politics isn't bad enough I have seen the social media fighting between the bird watchers, hunters, and wildlife photographers.  If a photographer get too close to an animal or bird that it moves the photographer is roundly condemned by all and even regulation may be proposed.  However, for an archer to get 7 yards from a "trophy" and dart it with an arrow; Oh that's something to brag about!  Even if the hit isn't quickly fatal and leaves the animal to suffer. Yes, to say it mildly, I'm disgusted.  While I will continue to share some of my photos both here and on Facebook I will try to keep away from controversy and try to enjoy my life in the wilds and down on the farm.

I sincerely hope that Social Media and our country can become a much friendlier environment in 2018.  Thank you for reading and a Happy New Year to All!