Spring’s Just Around the Corner – Somewhere
Mar 14, 2017
First, I’d like to sincerely and warmly thank everyone for their kind comments. It’s never easy, losing a calf. In 10 calving seasons, Enzo is the 4th calf we’ve lost, out of 51 born. I can tell you about every single loss, in detail. It’s always heartbreaking.
The results of the necropsy showed a lot. Starting with a partial failure of passive transfer, and ending up with a cascade of systemic failures and infections that was unstoppable. It’s somewhat interesting to note that FPT seems to be a thing this season. One calf I know of is fighting for his life, and another lived just less than 12 hours. Another was still born, or possibly died shortly after an early morning birth. Not all of these were local, ranging from southern Oregon, to eastern Oregon, and to Montana. Locally, the calf loss numbers seem a bit higher than in past years for the commercial producers. It will be interesting to see how the local markets and auctions react this summer.
Anyway. On to the main feature. Let’s take a photo journey into the ending of winter and beginning of spring in wet Western Oregon. We’ve had a lot of rain, thankfully, as well as more snow than in the past two seasons combined. I ended up at one point with a water garden:
There were days where it went from this at 10 in the morning:
To this at 1 in the afternoon:
From the first crocus’ that appeared in mid February:
To the daffodils that are now springing up everywhere:
Which leads up to the 40th annual Long Tom Grange Daffodil Festival, kicking off this weekend.
Calving season ended for us:
While this morning, I found this:
The always reliable Willa graced us with the first lambs of the season, two fine boys!
The pea protection system worked fabulously well:
As shown by the evidence:
The weeping katsura tree planted last fall survived the winter and is budding out:
Along with the native pink flowering currant that survived two years of drought and a cold, snowy winter:
There are bulls being bulls:
The calves played in their first snow:
Or just stood around, trying to look manly:
The damn boxelders returned with the sunshine:
Gnarly and cool clouds abound this time of year:
And of course, the quiet beauty of a late winter snow:
There were all kinds of things going on this winter season. Life and loss, snow and rain and everything in between, plans made and then changed, and changed again. Sneaking a few more new plants into the greenhouse, and a pile of garden catalogues in the library, marked with anticipation. Seedlings on heat mats and in the greenhouse, hardening off. Watching the calves grow, and the delight in finding new lambs first thing in the morning, healthy and hard to catch. The old dog (14 in July!) is still plugging along, as is the ancient horse (34) and the two old ewes. Ruffie the cow celebrated her 12th birthday, and gave us her 10th calf two weeks later. Sired by Roar, of course, himself a coming 12 year old. The pup is getting ready for her spring tune up on stock, in anticipation of the first stockdog trials in Idaho this May. We hope to finish her WTCH (Working Trial Champion ship) this year.
I live life forward. Can’t change the past, so no sense in living in it. Better to keep pace with the seasons, finding the joy in getting my hands in the garden dirt once again, cussing the weeds and complimenting the flowers. Thinking about the upcoming travels, and trials, and seeing old friends, meeting new ones. Planning for hubby’s retirement, and how to keep him occupied and out of my hair. You simply cannot let an engineer loose in your garden, because bad things will happen. My garden is barely controlled chaos pretty much year round, and that is an anathema to an engineer. However, it works for me, because I’m basically a lazy gardener, and if the tomatoes are doing battle with the peppers for domination of the bed, so be it. Instant salsa! A few blackberry vines snuck over to the pea fence? Well, heck, the peas are only there for a short bit, no sense in letting the fence go to waste once they're gone, right? The potatoes growing wherever they please? More to harvest! Gaura gone wild? That’s good for the bees and butterflies then, more blooms to snack on.
The anticipation is killing me….