I’ve been leading a double life for the past few weeks.
It happens every year around this time. It’s calving season at the farm.
The time of the year that I drive to the farm at 5:30 a.m., do chores, drive home and go to my real job. Then I drive out to the farm after the work, do chores and drive home. If I don’t have an evening meeting or activity, I go to bed early and start again the next day.
This may not sound like a big deal to a lot of you, but I’m not a morning person. I have never been, and I really have no desire to ever be one, but as I mentioned, it is calving season.
During the day, I meet with people and work with students at the school. I go to meetings and attend webinars. I write grants, stories and quarterly reports. I wear dress clothes and during this season, try not to fall asleep on my desk.
When I’m doing chores, I take my cue from the weather. This year I’ve been wearing enough insulated clothing to keep me warm, but sometimes interferes with me walking through the snow drifts in my knee-high boots.
It’s, actually, the cows and their new babies that dictate my day, however.
Last week was the busiest week of the season this far. We have seven new baby calves at the farm and each of them have their own stories. Each of them has provided their own adventure too.
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Every year we choose a television show and name the calves after the characters. This year we chose MASH and some friends provided a list of the names.
So last Monday morning, Potter and Radar made their debut to the herd. Since it was freezing cold and Radar was laying in the middle of the lot when I arrived for evening chores, he earned a spot in the hot box with his mom in the adjoining calving pen.
The heat lamps brought him around by Wednesday morning when I returned baby and mom to the herd. Radar had to explore the entire lot, including the piles of snow, where he decided to camp. I put a dog coat on him and called it good.
When I went to the south lot I found a heifer who had a brand new set of twins in the freezing cold.
A heifer, who was boarding with a friend had a calf, that had frozen ears. He was outfitted with a stocking hat with a chin strap. His name is Klinger.
If you’re keeping track, I have Radar with a coat and Klinger with a hat.
The next day I found Radar running around the lot with the coat over his head. It was hilarious.
Biscuit, who is infamous for having dead calves, had a healthy little bull calf who we named Father Mulcahy because it was a blessing and a miracle that she had a living calf.
Sydney was born to my least favorite cow, Seven, who is evil. I had to wait four days before I knew it was a bull calf because she kept lurching at me.
This morning I had a frozen automatic waterer, a sick calf and I, literally, had to be inside the house 20 minutes before I could feel my face.
My double life will come to an end in just a few weeks, but until then, I will be enjoying the adventure. This winter won’t last forever either.