a story of Southern agriculture

FarrrThur 39: and decaf please…





These calves look like twins, don’t they?

yard calves-8

Don’t worry, their mamas can tell them apart.

Their matchy-matchy lovely Hereford face pattern is brought to you by Burns Bulls.


Let’s talk about those faces for a minute:

The dark hair pigmentation directly about the eye helps protect them from eye issues that can be caused by sunshine bouncing off white hair about their eyes.  Think of how football players wear “eye black” grease under each eye to reduce glare whilst playing under all those bright lights.  Our cattle are no different – the grass is their playing field and the sunshine – it doth beat down on their heads – potentially deteriorating eye health (Ex. cancer eye).

When you have a cow/calf herd you’ll be keeping two eyes per cow healthy for all of their and your life…indefinitely….generation after generation.

Profound mathematical observation, I know.

But, it’s true.  In the cow/calf setting, the bovine ladies are FARMily from birth until the end.  Additionally, the humans here tend to work until the day they die…no, really, Granddaddy Marvin is proof and I see the same trend in his progeny… so, my Farmer and I figure we’d better keep up with eye area pigmentation, thereby reducing herd health management issues/increasing herd health.


It’s the farm attempt to sit down and take a load off…and subsequently why I love our bulls.


So, we buy bulls that consistently pass on genetic “eye black grease” as a simple way to proactively manage an ongoing bovine health issue – namely, that cows won’t wear sunglasses.  I’ve tried, but it’s a no go.  So, planning for genetic sunglasses is what we can do.




Okay, now that I’ve explained that matter, let’s walk around the yard today.  The bovine are, so why not everyone else, right?!


This past week two of my Farmer’s cows told their babies to go lay down and be still…

yard calves-5

…in my yard.  It’s common for cattle to start a nursery area of a pasture and leave a couple of cows to watch the calves while the other moms go eat.  How they decide who eats first, I don’t know, but it’s not acceptable that they are in my yard and only one last barrier from the road.

By the way, my cows don’t pull stunts like this.  Only my Farmer’s cows do. 

If it’s a really bad stunt, we say they’re his mother’s cows.

And if it’s an all out debacle – like when they move by the dozens to the subdivision next door where the grass smells better– they are his dearly departed Granddaddy Marvin’s cows.


One must manage bovine frustration calmly – it always helps me to know my cows are not the ones misbehaving.  like disciplining other people’s children, you can relax but be affective.  I quietly, repeatedly mutter to Myself how those are not My cows putting hoof prints in the suburban turf on their way to the state highway…

…all the while I’m doing something about it as if my liability insurance policy will bear the brunt of the bovine shenanigans – and it would {crosses self – prays it never needs to}…and I thank god for great neighbors.


Free cattle handling psychology tips are my specialty.



Anyhow, those mama cows stationed their progeny in my yard…

yard calves-4

…this time only slightly on my side of the fence

…probably because the dogwood tree is pretty…

yard calves-10

…I mean, wouldn’t you want your calf to lie down next to a gorgeous dogwood in bloom?

yard calves-11


Or maybe the intention was cross-cultural experience.  As in, “calves go lie down where the yard turkeys roam and broaden your understanding”…

yard calves-6


…as if these two yahoos can be understood.  Nevertheless, if there ever were a couple of “yard turkeys” these be them.

In our slang – Turkey is an endearing “term of address for a child acting silly.”



Look at this Tom Gray Cat – truly the most voluntarily wet feline I’ve ever known…

yard calves-7



…who then becomes the very needy, wet, thigh puncturing yard turkey…

yard calves-9



yard calves-8

…We opened the gate and put the calves back in.  They continued to put themselves back in the yard, so we moved them all to another pasture farther from the house.  There’s no rhyme nor reason to their love of this spot – though dogwood trees are lovely and the yard turkeys are a real trip, no anthropomorphic explanations suffice.  They are just cows being cows and calves climbing under fences and we love `em enough to put them in a different pasture until the babies are too big to ignore fences.





If you haven’t noticed, I’m feeling a bit random this week and writing you a book Thursday blog post on Friday to prove it.  Consider this a winding back roads trip FarrrTHUR into your agriculture experience. It’s nice to take a deep breath mid spring. Hasn’t it been a sprint since things started thawing out?

Now, the heat and humidity are coming on stronger by the week and I try not to dread the summer.  The crabgrass is viciously vying for control of my garden.



On a happier note my Farmer bought this new-to-us air conditioned cab tractor…

…and Buddy is pestering us for a ride in it mas pronto.



The cows are mostly done calving for this spring.  It was a good season with understandable losses, good health in the herd overall and a really competent new farmhand chasing down parturition for us.




Yep. I’ll have mine decalf, please…

…at least until autumn…

Emily Grace


How are your yards, turkeys and bovine?


Any eye care tips you’d like to share?


Regular or decaf?




Hope your spring is just lovely.  Going FarrrTHUR anyone?

6 Responses to “FarrrThur 39: and decaf please…”

  1. Katie

    Mr. Gray Tom Cat looks like quite a love-bug! And a turkey, as well. (BTW, “turkey” is an endearing nickname I’ve given my Hubs, and occasionally Z-man gets it as well. 😀 )


  2. Kate

    Thanks for the shout out! Miss you friend. I am both decaf and regular … Probably should drink more regular these days though 😘



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