Oh Snap!

Upon returning home one day and checking my mail, I was greeted by a snapping turtle.  Either the mail carrier couldn’t get him in my mailbox or he was displaced by the mowing of the roadside ditches that had occurred that day.Snapping_TurtleHmmm.  It was hot and his mud-covered shell was drying out.  What to do?  We looked each other over and thought about our options.July6 Snapper 3 July6 Snapper2So, I called to my son, that has only a few weeks before he begins his career as a middle school science teacher.  Verrry quietly and quite stealthily, he sneaked up behind Mr. Snapper.July6 Snapper 4Imagine the surprise!July6 Snapper 5Hey, it’s better than getting ran over by the cars and trucks that fly past our house!  “But wait!” I said!  What does his belly look like?July6 Snapper 6

Okay.  Science lesson satisfied.  Off to the ditch for you.

Happy Snappy.July 6 Snapper 7

I guess, he’s happy.  I didn’t notice his expression changing one time throughout this encounter.

Hope your mail brings more than bills!




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Photo Friday ~ June 26, 2015

Rain – Puddles – Mud – Weeds – Flooding – Swampy – Tropical

The prettiest view on my little farm.

June25 Garden_Jungle

The garden with my ornamental corn is saturated.  I hope some of it survives.  It is getting tall.  Better to outgrow the weeds, I suppose.  This photo was taken 18 days ago … and I thought it was wet then.  There is not a brown spot of dirt in the patch now!  All grassy and weedy.June25 18 Days Ago

Even so, the tangles of tropical colors are much better than the grays/whites/browns of winter!June25 Zinnias

The pumpkins … Sis and I planted 55 hills.  I can’t get to them to weed them.  If they aren’t overtaken by weeds will they survive root rot?June25Rustic

I wander about during bursts of sunshine,June25 Burst_of_Yellowrefusing to worry.June25 Two Flys

Drawing my focus to the beauty of what is.June25Focus

Beauty in the tatters – June25 Grizabella

I called her Grizabella butterfly.  She reminded me of Grizabella in the Broadway musical, Cats.

For this weekend, I hope you find a sunny spot.June25 Sunny Spot

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Ring around the round bin

The other day when I stepped out onto my back deck, I noticed Abigail looking for her calf.  They were circling the bin looking for each other.  By the time I grabbed my camera, I only caught a few pictures.  Still, I think they tell a pretty good story.June17 1 June17 2 June17 3 June17 4

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Sharing with Mt. Pleasant Church of God

There is a YOU-sized gap

When I read the subject of Pastor Scott’s May 24 sermon, “Stand In the Gap,” my first thought was not of Ezekiel 22:30:

I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

My first thought was of sorting cattle with my dad.  Whenever we had to sort cattle for any number of reasons, I was often told to “stand in the gap” and let the appropriate cattle through, and to not let the wrong ones through.  Now, let me just say, I have always enjoyed working with cattle.  Ours were relatively gentle and calm.  However, when sorting cows from their calves or the bull from his beloved bovines, expect the unexpected.  Miss Docile Daisy can become a demon and Mr. Bull … well, bulls are never to be totally trusted.

The cattle knew, and I knew, that I was all that stood between them and the herd.  You might say my dad introduced me to prayer.

“Go stand in the gap” often struck fear in my pre-teen/early-teen heart and head.  The fight or flight instinct kicked in strongly.  My mind said, “Oh, they’ll stop.  They won’t run over me.”  Or was that Dad saying that?  Instinct often told me, “Are you crazy-nuts?  They are much bigger than you!” and possibly more determined.

I made the correlation that Sunday.  Standing in the gap is about courage.  Someone needs you to stand in the gap for them.  Pastor Scott asked, “Who will make a difference tomorrow?”  “Am I making a difference?”

The following prayer was in the Mom’s Devotional Bible by Elisa Morgan:

Dear God, I pray for __________________. I stand in the gap today for their need. I ask you to show me what I might do to bring you to them today. In your name I pray. Amen.

Do I/you have the courage to stand in that gap?


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Photo Friday ~ June 5, 2015

June5PFJumpJune5 Asiatic_Lillies June5 Bee in CoreopsisCalf_Drinking_WaterJune5 SneakSnackCute_CalfFor today friends, don’t run with youmouff mouth full!

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An Udderly Genetic Fault

Fact is, Abigail’s only mothering fault is her udder.  That’s a pretty important consideration.  Devastatingly so.

A cow’s udder has 4 quarters.  Her front two became extremely enlarged several weeks prior to delivery.  The enlargement extended all the way down into the teats.  They became sore and painful and she didn’t want to allow the calf to nurse from those two.

My friend stopped by the night the calf was born.  I put a halter on Abigail and held her steady, easily, while he got the calf to nurse from the rear two quarters.  That oh-so-important colostrum milk is essential for a healthy calf within the first 24-hours.

However, when he tried to milk down those enlarged/engorged front two quarters, Abigail wasn’t quite as cooperative.  So, into the barn we went and we improvised a make-shift chute.  He was able to tie her back leg so that kicking was minimized and got her milked down.

The next day, the swelling was back up, as bad or worse.  Once Pig-Farmer got home from his traveling job, we attempted to do the same milking procedure.  Abi wasn’t having it.  We decided to take her into the veterinarian’s over one of us getting hurt.

Having been a show calf, Abigail loads on a trailer like a jewel, so away we went with cow and calf.

At the vet’s, the good Dr. inserted cannulas into the front two teats and let that milk and pressure drain away. She also got a steroid shot.  The calf got some extra nourishment and vitamin/mineral shots.  Back home we came.

The next morning, the calf was successfully nursing from three quarters, but one has stayed problematic.  It should not look like an inverted 2-liter bottle:June2Udder

The good news is that the little boy is doing well with the other three.Bad Udder

As long as the situation continues to go well and no new problems develop, Abigail and baby will soon be out on pasture.

The bigger issue at hand is that the veterinarian confirmed what my friend warned me about.  This is a genetic issue and tends to be more common in Herefords (my favorite breed).  If we were to continue breeding Abi, it will now get worse with each calf.  Since it is genetic, it is likely that Pumpkin Pie would suffer the same issue.  It is not a desirable trait.  Not at all.  It is not something that we want to be bred into cattle for the future.  Therefore, we will have to “cull” them out … which means, basically, for us, selling our “herd,” when the right time comes.  I’ve had my pity party.  For now, I get to enjoy watching this beautiful, playful calf,June3

and just make the coffee.

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I will have to write a post soon on the utterly difficult udder problems Abigail has experienced.  She has made progress, for the short-term, which is good for the bouncing baby boy shown in the following photos.  For now, we will enjoy the moments of an adorable calf’s first experience at play:


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