Mooving Along – A Little Jaunt to the Settelmeyer Ranch, February 19, 2015

20 Feb

Today was another beautiful day in Minden, Nevada…one that beckoned me to get out and breathe the good air. After all, I had been breathing my own cootie-filled air at my house for almost a week and I needed to get out for a few minutes. It’s been a long time since I’ve been sick enough to stay indoors and not care about picking up junk around the house, checking email or even eat much. An upper respiratory infection will do that to you. One person I talked to said her doctor called it the 100-day cough because folks just can’t get rid of it. I hope my cough doesn’t last that long, but it surely has been exhausting to endure the hacking.

Anyway, back to the adventure. I drove out to the Settelmeyer Ranch where many calves have been born in the last two weeks. They are so cute. I watched one little guy bound back and forth between a ditch and the rest of the herd. He was really kicking up his heels. Others were newbies and were sleeping off the rigors of being born.   Just watching the herd eat, nurse the babies, moo to each other and just sort of watch the world go by was very relaxing and I enjoyed every minute of it.

This little guy was a bundle of energy as he ran toward the ditch.

This little guy in the back left was a bundle of energy as he ran toward the ditch.

The little spot is the same calf bounding toward the herd

The little spot is the same calf bounding toward the herd

In my estimation, cows, up close and personal are not necessarily cuddly type animals.  But, in the pasture, they become relaxing and pleasant to watch and hear.  They are curious but wary and many of the new moms are not afraid to go after a coyote or another predator who might be a threat to their little one.

A view of the herd grazing on some hay

A view of the herd grazing on some hay

This lady had not had her baby yet, but was kind enough to pose for me after getting a drink.

This lady had not had her baby yet, but was kind enough to pose for me after getting a drink.

I wondered why she was the only one in the herd with horns. Perhaps she was a different breed or had special privileges. I don’t have a clue.  Note the decorations on her ears.  I believe these tags are markers as to when she was inseminated and all kinds of other information.

It’s Eagles and Ag week here in the Carson Valley where many tourists come to see eagles feasting on cow afterbirth (I did a blog on this last year). So eagles should be in the pastures. I didn’t see any, much to y chagrin. But I did notice many small birds walking amongst the cattle. They were right underfoot, pecking away at stuff. The cows did not care a whit and paid no attention to them as they grazed on the tiny sprigs of grass trying to come up. (The grass is so sparse that the ranchers are having to put out hay so the cattle have enough to eat) I decided the birds were starlings, as they like to eat bugs and stuff stirred up by other animals. They acted like starlings and scurried around like them.

I’m so glad to have the opportunity to stop alongside the highway and take the time to watch these little adventures transpire. Last year I was able to watch a calf being born. I wasn’t so lucky this year, but to see the little miracles on the pasture gave me great satisfaction. Below is a quote from Ansel Adams that I think sums up some of my philosophy here in the Carson Valley.

In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”

A little dogie and its mom

A little dogie and its mom

 

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