Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summertime...and the Livin' Is Easy

June started off with a bang with Gage’s graduation party.  After the festivities, we had hoped to enjoy some of that easy livin’ as we rolled into summertime.  So, a couple of days after the party, we headed to the farm for some R&R and more cedar cutting. 

After this spring’s rains, the milkweed pods have released their seeds, which will be carried by the wind on their silky parachutes.  

The mountain pinks are also blooming on the caliche hillsides, and provided a nice setting for a Bagley Pack and Cousin Molly portrait.

Upon arrival, we were thrilled to find that Red Cow, aka B6, had finally (after weeks of waiting) presented us with a health, red, splash-face bull calf. 

How’s this for a cute youngster?  His older brother was very happy to have a playmate.

And after having no rain in Hamilton for several weeks, we were very surprised to cross the Leon River and find it running bank-full, with the pecan bottom and oat field on either side of the road standing in several feet of water.

Since no rain had fallen recently in Hamilton County, we suppose the flooding was due to heavy rain in North Texas and upstream of Proctor Reservoir.  It will be some time before the water in the pecan grove dries up, and we hope the trees will survive the drenching.

We were back in Austin when summer officially arrived on June 20.  This year is special because the summer solstice and the 2016 June full moon fall on the same date.  This is the first time since 1967 that a summer solstice full moon has occurred, and Earth won’t see another until June of 2062.

The June full moon is known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon or Flower Moon.  Here’s a photo I took as it cleared the trees east of our house.  The sky was cloudless, and it was almost bright enough to read by.

Back at the farm a couple of days later, we found another of our cows, B4, obviously about to deliver her calf.  We watched her closely, but she appeared unconcerned and spent her time lounging in the shade or munching grass.  Surrounded by the hum of cicadas and the slow, soft scent of cows, I hung out nearby hoping to witness the birth.  

But B4 wasn’t going to give me an opportunity to witness her parturition.  She waited until dusk, and just as the other cattle headed for their bedding-down spot, she slipped away.  We looked for her all the next day, but never found her.  Then, on Friday she rejoined her sisters and their calves with her new bull calf.  Who could resist this face, even with a fly sitting on his milky nose.

And, in case you’re wondering why it was so hard to find the cow and calf, take a look at this photo.  Rue and I were standing only about 3 feet away from the new baby.  She didn’t see or smell him, and I only saw him because I could look down on him in his nest of grass.

We had a great time.  John cut lots of cedar and he and my brother toured the pastures we hope to burn next spring with members of the local burn association, who will help with the project.  

The dogs enjoyed themselves as well.  They almost disappear when running through the tall pasture grasses.

But the creek is still running and the stock ponds are full, so there are plenty of opportunities for swimming and they never miss a chance.  It was easy livin’ for them, for sure.

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