Joshua's Farm

New England Farm Log

June 17, 2013


Joshua's Farm Kourt's Firefly is loving the pasture...

The cows get just one hour in the clover field to sweeten their milk. If you never believed a cow could smile, watch them entering a field of clover.

Born in the wet part of the pond pasture early on the morning of June 4, the colorful little roan heifer has a sense of belonging to the nooks and crannies of the bog and keeps going back to it.

She hadn't been due for four more days, but the heifer who carried her had gone off alone that night.

The next morning, one of those perfect June mornings when the light is soft and suffused by emerald green, I looked out and saw two faces looking back, Smitty and her first calf.

I brought them into the barn, though Smitty objected and, like her mother, opened the sliding door several times until finally, I let them stay out.

I frantically sought her at two days old, imagining her vulnerable and alone in bear infested woods when her mother came back to the barn without her. I looked for her along the fence line where she secrets herself in the tall grasses, just on the other side of the last strand of barbed wire. I looked for her for hours, and finally settled my fears with memories of calves not found for weeks on a mountainside in Morgan, Vermont in the 1970s.

I settled my fears, but went back out anyway, and saw the little heifer's eyes in the fireflies that burned the darkness is circular patterns just outside the bean if my headlamp.

I thought it the little calf so many times, though no two of the magnetic bugs seemed to move in tandem.

At 4 a.m. I heard the cow bellow for her calf to come out of her hiding place. In the darkness, I heard the deep throated call three, maybe four times, and then not again. And I knew the calf had obliged.