It is spring in the country, and new calves are cropping up on the scene. They appear on wobbly legs alongside their mothers as they try to nurse, and then collapse into the grass or sagebrush for long naps while their mothers graze nearby. All through the winter months the cows largely ignored us on our daily walks and would occasionally draw close enough to have their ears scratched or flanks patted as we passed by. Once the calves show up, it is a very different story. It is every man (or woman) for him or herself, and that goes for the dogs. Rosie has been chased by an irate Angus or Longhorn cow so many times she now cuts a wide berth around the cows and their calves. And we follow suit. My attempts to photograph the baby calves has consisted of short bursts of bravery followed by cowardly retreats at high speed.
Jezebel is a marvelous mother who is very solicitious of her calf. She doesn’t leave any doubt that you’d be faced with the horns of a dilemma if you crossed her path or surprised her unexpectedly. A friend who raised a herd of longhorns stated they are excellent mothers, more tolerant of drought and disease, and have little trouble calving. Our observations of her care of this beautiful calf reinforces our high opinion of her. We haven’t gotten close enough to determine whether the calf is a bull or heifer, so the official christening has not occurred. We have been batting around ideas for a name,
and could use a little help, so suggestions are welcome.
In the meantime, we are on a watch for a different breed of baby, due between now and May 1. More darned exitement!