Yesterday really felt like the first day of spring; the air was warm and soft, wrapping around us gently and calling us out into the sunshine. The perfect, so very perfect, day for a perfectly perfect calf to be born. Oh yes indeed.
We’ve been on nervous high alert for the last two weeks as our beef cow Morag’s due date arrived. The due date duly came and duly went and we waited…and waited. Just as the winter has lingered on so too, it seemed, did this pregnancy. We were extra worried as our dear girl had lost her calf last year, a still birth and a bad omen for the beginning of the the year. Somehow I never quite felt we got out from under the shadow of that loss. So this year we’ve been biting our nails, watching, waiting and hoping against hope that this time all would be well.
So when Huwyl went out to do a quick Morag check yesterday (just as our friends were leaving after a lovely afternoon visit) I didn’t really hold out much hope. But then he came bolting back, his long legs carrying him across the snow and slush shouting out in the spring sunshine “the calf is here!” so filled with joy it was like he brought spring with him with each step. We all rushed out to see that little mink coloured bundle, protected so lovingly by his mama, so strong and sturdy as he nursed with confidence and vigour. To me that little calf looked like the first daffodil of spring, a bright spot in the world.
Of course none of this has just happened, this has all taken work, dedication and slog. Slog through knee deep snow to bring the cows 12 buckets of water when the pipes froze, slog through -40c temperatures every morning to milk and bring nourishing oats to a pregnant cow mama, slog to shift a mountain of poo (as evidenced behind my helpful model) in wind and snow and everything in-between. All the work of a dedicated man who wants to do right by the animals under his care, it makes me proud to know him. It has been a long winter, a long road and a lot of work but suddenly, in fact yesterday at about a quarter to 6 in the evening, it all felt worth it.