Here she is yesterday. Sorry for the rather pathetic photo. Katika’s a lovely cow but she’s still shedding mightily and it’s been nothing but snow and mud here for the past few days.
Moreover, my ram, Ioan, has decided to “turn,” and was stalking me in the paddock, trying to charge and knock me down, so I had to have one hand free to wave a stout stick threateningly in his face. (A good bash, straight across the nose, is the only thing that gives him pause.) Here he is, cleverly blocking the camera view.
Still, you can see that her udder is filling up. I always remember the line from Robert Russell Wicks (quoted by his daughter in A Joyful Noise, her hilarious memoir of an idyllic 1920s childhood on Cape Cod): “The backside of a cow has nothing to recommend it.”
However Reverend Wicks was not a milkmaid. I spend lots of time staring at Katika’s backside these days, trying to assess how imminent is the birth of her calf. Is her vulva more swollen? Are her pin bones looser? Katika is very tolerant of these attentions and actually leans back hoping I’ll scratch the itchy spots on her hips that she can’t reach.
I don’t want Katika to go into labor in a paddock with the horses. I don’t believe they would hurt her or the calf, but it’s a risk. Of course it would be nicest if she delivered her calf on clean dry hay in her cozy box stall, but those odds are only 50:50. So I’m trying to repair the fencing in the upper pasture that was pulled down by crashing trees in winter storms, and am hoping the sod will dry out as quickly as possible so it won’t be carved to bits by hooves.
Nothing is green yet. Maybe in two weeks.
DH was out last night. He will be home tonight for dinner, but tomorrow leaves for a week. He has always traveled a lot but in the past year his schedule has ramped up to a new speed. I’m trying to keep my nose to the grindstone so I don’t have time to feel too lonesome.