On what felt like the first warm day of the year, our cow Daisy birthed out a beautiful heifer in the afternoon sunshine. I know it wasn’t actually the first warm day of the year, but it was the day that seemed to herald a run of warm days, the beginning of the end of winter. In fact, exactly one week prior, an ice storm had smacked the province around quite heartily and we had spent the day huddled without power and grateful for the last of our wood stores.
This was Daisy’s first calf, but we knew she would be wonderful. She’s adopted any and every calf we’ve had on the farm and she has lived up to all of our expectations of her as a mother. She was protective, without being skittish, and we delighted in hearing her Mama moos as she began to graze in her home pasture on the first green tips of spring/summer grass.
The little one has fast become a favourite of the herd. She is constantly nuzzled, bumped and watched by one or other of her relatives and intersperses running around wildly with happy napping in the growing pasture. It has to be said that there is little more pleasing to a farmer than to see a healthy animal born and raised right on your own farm. It gives a sense of continuity and of meaning that is easy to forget in the long, unending weeks of winter and more winter.
But on her heels came spring, followed quickly by early summer it would seem. The fields are suddenly bursting with grass and golden headed dandelions. The trees are beginning to blossom and the air is full of living scents, so incredibly welcome after long months of sharp, freezing air. Hopefully another calf will be joining her in the fields soon, another little bundle of red and white to run and skip just for the sheer fun of being alive. The farm is expanding into the growing season again and we are beginning the months of busy work that mark this season too.
There are days, many of them, where we fall into bed boneless, the work of the day heavy on our limbs. We can’t imagine waking with any energy the next day, yet somehow it is there. The green of the trees seems almost magical after months of white and brown, the constant sound of birds in the day and chirruping frogs at night keep us company as we do the unglamorous work needed to keep this place ticking over. But it constantly still amazes me, the cycle of it all spinning around again and bringing us back into the sunshine. Long live the green days, long live the baby days, long live summer.