Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy endings

As devious as I am and as torturous as I sometime like to be I was in a terrible quandary today. I was toying with the notion of posting something about today without even mentioning the calf that was missing last night. I know how much I agonized over it and could not subject you good people who read this blog to the torture. For those not in the know today’s post won’t make much sense unless you read my post from yesterday.

I was tired and tried sleeping about 12 a.m. this morning. All I could think about was the missing calf and how frustrating it was to not know where it was or what had happened to it. I finally fell asleep but then woke up about 2:30 a.m. and decided I should go see if there was anything new. The mother cow was still walking and bawling and there was no sign of the calf. I had now pretty much resigned myself that if I found the calf, finding it alive was not likely. The sky had cleared from earlier and the temperature was dropping. I knew my chances of finding it in the dark after all my previous searches were small. I went back to the house, filled the coffee maker and went back to bed and slept fitfully until 5:33 a.m. It was still pretty dark but I knew soon I would have enough light.

I made my coffee, filled a big mug and drove out to the home place pond. I had decided that I was going to search the banks of the pond, then the canal and then from where I last saw the calf outward in circles. I had walked about an hour and had found nothing. Several times I saw shadows in the grass or other things that I thought were the calf but it never was. I had Festus with me thinking he would cover more ground and possibly find the calf. The cow would run towards me every so often, see I did not have her calf and then would go back to looking. I just about was done walking the canal as the sun came up. Festus saw a muskrat in the ditch and started barking at it. This caused the cow to again come running towards us at a very rapid pace and through some very thick and tall grass.

The cow stopped immediately at one point, turned her body 180 degrees and put her nose down. It was 7:21 a.m. and the sun was up and it was a beautiful quiet morning. My heart raced thinking she had found the calf but I still doubted it was alive. The grass was so thick I had to walk about half way to the cow before I could see what was going on. There was her calf, standing next to her on the opposite side, sucking her teats and wagging its tail like crazy. I was ecstatic, excited and almost unbelieving but also very happy and relieved.

I then left the cow alone with her calf and practically skipped back to the pickup. I am so glad that this time things had went well without a sad ending. I drove over to take their picture and noticed there were both four wheeler tracks and pickup tracks in the tall grass very close to where the calf had be laying. I knew that no matter what the rest of the day had ahead I would be happy and thankful.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Columbia spotted frog aka Rana luteiventris.

Today’s picture is the happy to be reunited mother and child.