Life Happening

Fall is full of life around here! We have four little calves, or more, on the ground right now. Dennis found twins yesterday — and a young mother that looked like she needed help getting their twin motors going. He coaxed her up to the barn with babies on the Mule (as in Kawasaki) and made sure they had a good dose of colostrum for their first day out.

Cows don’t often have twins, but when they do, they bear watching. Often the mother will reject one for practical survival reasons. It may be an instinct to mother the stronger one that chases her around for milk — and she simply forgets the other one. Often a cow will aggressively reject one. That happened last year.

Sometimes you can “graft” a rejected twin to another cow that may have lost her calf — if the timing works out. That happened last year, too. One calf though became our baby. Google got personal, bottled attention every day for three months!

MonarchMassOther things are happening. A surprising number of wildflowers wait all summer to bloom in the fall. And Monarch Butterfly caterpillars appear. I have orange butterfly weeds in the garden that often attract the winged ones, but this year they chose my Italian parsley for a veritable brood nest! They have taken all the leaves and are munching away on the stems now. I may try to get them onto the orange weeds so they don’t run out of food! If I can transplant their munching, maybe I will be rewarded. It’s hard to discover chrysalises, but maybe this year…

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