A New Calf

I've photographed calves being born a few times now and someday I'll blog about those, but today is about the calf that was born this morning: the unplanned pregnancy calf. Mike and I woke up EARLY this morning to two of our dogs fighting in the hallway then we looked out the window and saw a dead sheep (long story - later - predator problems) and a cow going into labor...and it was only 7am. Today would be a day. It's 11:30 am as I'm writing this and so far the rest of the day has been excitement-free. Ok by me. I'm looking out my window and now see new mom and baby boy laying in the grass. Mom is licking her baby and that makes me very happy indeed.

I walked out this morning under a heavy fog and found Mom and her friend - who's also due any day - in the far end of the field. It is outside of our calving season; it seems we have a determined neighbor bull who has gotten into our fence and this wasn't the first time. We'd rather not have calves in January but we can't do much about it.

There are many things I find beautiful about birth but what I also find interesting is how the mother cow knows exactly what she needs. She walks, she lays down, she pushes a little, she stretches her neck, she gets up again, she lays down again, she takes a long walk. It's all part of the birth process. I start to think about human births (which I also photograph) and wonder how a mother can lay in one position on a hospital bed. Don't you need to move? Anyway, back to the cow.

I do keep my distance and found it very sweet that her friend would check in with her and then leave and then come back. She was also curious about what I was doing in the mix. I had to go feed the horses so I left them. I would have loved for this little one to arrive while the fog was still around but an artist can't always have their way! When I came home she had just had a baby boy/bull with the sun brightly shining down on them. I'm loving this farm life thing. I now introduce you to Mom 611 and Baby 74.