Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nature of New Life - Cow gives birth to calf

Tonight I went over to Kim's place for a meeting of the Save Water Alliance. I turned up half an hour early to take some photos of the new calves which Kim and Peter's Belted Galloways have produced in the last week.

As soon as we went down to the paddock we realised that one of the cows was going into labour. At first, we thought she was in trouble, but, while Kim rang Damian for assistance, in fact we underestimated this Cow, and her instinctive ability to do what she needed to do.

She was lying awkwardly on her side, with the feet of the calf barely protruding. She was very uncomfortable, getting up, moving a few paces, then collapsing again, then repeating this exercise. The time was 7.03.30 pm.Some 5 minutes (and many moves later) she again laid down, and the calf's feet and legs started to emerge. 7.08.50 pmAfter a further 6 minutes, the head emerged. 7.14.54 pm
Once that happened, it was nearly all over. 7.15.38 pm
The calf lay on the ground for less than a minute before it lifted its head for the first time. 7.16.30 pm. The Cow began her task of licking the calf, to clean it up, and to clear the membrane which enveloped the calf (when in utero).
The Cow began enthusiastically licking the calf, concentrating on the umbilicus. 7.17.06 pm. The afterbirth is obvious.
Within two minutes of delivery, the calf made its first attempt to get up on its legs. head raised, and knee bent under the body, taking its weight for the first time. 7.18.00There followed much more licking of the calf by the Cow, including a lot of face to face nuzzling with the calf, which would be important for "bonding". This leads to recognition by both animals, using the distinctive scents of cow and calf. This is a most important process for the Calf's survival. Meanwhile the calf was gathering its strength, and made its first successful attempt to stand. 7.31.00 pm At this point, the calf was 16 minutes old.
And then, once up, and after struggling to stabilise itself, the calf suddenly managed to become steady on its feet. Mission accomplished. 7.32.38 pm. The new calf was greeted very proudly by the Mum. The calf was a mere 17 minutes old. In fact it had not yet suckled, but clearly it was well on its way.
And we all had a meeting to hold, so we left the cow and calf to their own devices. After all, they had managed everything so far, with out our help - as if we were ever needed, despite what we had foolishly assumed.

The sweet mysteries of Life. From labour to being a free-standing calf had taken less than 30 minutes. At least half of that time was spent in cleaning the calf, and that all-important bonding process.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Birthday celebrations - muted, but pleasant.

Zoe came up from Canberra this evening, to have dinner with me, for my Birthday.
We arranged to meet up at the Robbo Pub for dinner. It was very quiet in the back room there tonight (whereas, by all accounts, last night was a big night in the bar, despite the blackout). Anyway, we had dinner there tonight. We may have been the only people to eat there, tonight (or others must have eaten early on).
Zoe and me, about to have dinner in the Robbo Pub
(Photo: Peter Johnson).
I had their nice, but ridiculously large Roast Rack of Beef. They serve a single cut of what is effectively a huge bone with a sirloin cut attached (if it was Lamb, you would call it "a chop"). The food is good, but far more than I can ever eat, (and I am quite capable of eating a regular steak). But Lena does not mind my indulgence, as she gets the excess steak, and has the bone as souvenir (and then sleeps it off under the computer table, as I write this story).

(Photo by Peter Johnson)

Tonight the entertainment was provided by a clever musician, Joe, from Sydney. By day, he is an aero-space engineer, (would you believe), but by night he assumes the persona of a very accomplished "muso". He has considerable technological assistance, but he knows how to get the best out of his equipment, too. He also is a good judge of his audience, for he played a few numbers which were popular with both Zoe and myself, including "Sultans of Swing" which had Zoe and me reminiscing on having attended a famously wet concert by "Dire Straights" and "Hothouse Flowers", at the Bruce Stadium in Canberra many, many years ago.
Peter joined us for dinner, and a bit of a giggle. He was keen to take a photograph or two, and to re-live his moments as an assistant director on the shooting of Babe, in Robbo (also many years ago). Everyone had a few memories to re-live tonight, it seems.

Here is Peter "framing" a shot with his hands, showing us how it is done "in the movies".
Tomorrow I shall be handing out "How to Vote" slips for the Climate Change Coalition. Patrice Newell and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki are both standing for the Senate in NSW. I have no idea how successful they will be, but I certainly feel determined to help them both in their campaign. And that is not the least because of the support which Patrice has shown the Save Water Alliance in our fight to protect the Kangaloon Aquifer. It turns out that protection of rivers, (and Aquifers) is a State wide battle, in the face of the onslaught of Coal Mining, both Open Cut mining, and the insidious "Longwall Mining", which although conducted very deep underground, can crack rivers, and even risk damaging roads and bridges (such as the Douglas Dark Twin Bridges), as discussed recently.

Anyway, I am hoping for a Birthday Present tomorrow night, in the form of a certain result in tomorrow's election. Time will tell.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

27 March - My late Mother's birthday

I set out to write something else entirely, but writing that date reminds me that it is the birthday of my late mother, Nonie Wilson, who died, just over a year ago (19 March 2006), just short of her 90th birthday.

There was no sadness that she did not make it to that milestone - she was not really "with us" any more, and such arbitrary events become meaningless, when there is little awareness - just pain.

I miss the woman she was.

Not the poor, suffering creature she became, at the end. She served her God, and her husband and family to the best of her ability.

Requiescat in Pace.