On facebook, a friend nominated me to post one picture a day for 10 days without any description, that represented something about farming that impacted me. I take pictures almost daily, capturing moments and memories, so choosing just 10 photos to post was difficult . Below are the ones I selected, along with the short version of their story.
Day #1 – Springtime Exuberance. One beautiful spring morning, these two young calves celebrated life, running and chasing each other all over the field. While their mama’s grazed close by, they darted among the herd, kicking up their heels and leaping into the air. Every year on the farm, a crop of newly minted calves signals spring has arrived.
Day #2 – Pig Tails. These three piggies were the cutest ever! Well, actually, all baby pigs are adorable. A basic piglet weighs about 20 lbs at around 10 weeks old. And then, after a mere 6 months of grazing, sleeping and wallowing, each piglet sprouts into a 250lb HOG.
Day #3 – Grandbabies and Calving Season. Two activities that should never intersect on a farm. This pic was taken during our first calving season, during which we agreed to mind our two grandsons, then 2 years and 7 months old, while their parents went away for the weekend. Of course, Bella who was then a heifer, had a difficult birth requiring the vet, chains and extraordinary measures to save her and her calf’s lives. We spent 2 full days, toting grandsons along while desperately working to save Bella and her calf. This pic was taken as we transported the calf to our corral, grandsons in tow, where we worked with his mama to create a motherly bond with her new calf.
After this weekend, we made a new farm rule – any grandchildren visiting during calving season had to be accompanied by at least one parent!
Day #4 – Installing a box of bees. A task that is so full of hope and anticipation. New boxes of bees are always so mild and well-behaved. To this day, I always review the installation process on a YouTube video that I have bookmarked.
Day #5 – Round Bale Fun. No worries, Mama was just behind the bale in case a baby decided to roll off. Nothing better than introducing grandchildren to the full scope of farming 🙂
Day #6 – Snake Wrangling. To me, this picture emphasizes that not everything on a farm is warm and fuzzy. Hens lay eggs => snakes like eggs => snakes will find the hen house. So, there are a few lessons to learn from this experience. 1: Don’t collect eggs in the dark 2: Look before reaching inside the box 3: Black rat snakes are good, relocate but don’t kill them. And I always give the snake an egg or two whenever I relocate them.
Day #7 – Fat Pet Pig. Here is Sammie at his summer time best. Obviously, he has put on enough weight to live through a Virginia winter.
Day #8 – Willow’s birth day. My first orphan calf and bottle baby. Raising her has been such an amazing experience, I have learned volumes from her about cow behavior and calf rearing. Willow is now 8 months old, and she still comes to me for rubs, pets and ear scratches. I go to the filed, call her name, and she comes running. Love this heifer!
Day #9 – Willow meets Sundance. Not much to add to this picture, it just always makes me smile.
Day #10-a and #10-b – Jack. What more can I say other than grandchildren are so much fun, and Jack is one of a kind. Both of these pictures are among my favorites, and neither was staged or setup. I was just lucky enough to capture the moment and the sweet memory.