While our niece Emily and nephew Sid were here for a week-long visit over winter vacation, we managed a lot of time outdoors. A recent ice storm and subsequent snowfall in Oklahoma provided excellent conditions for some Hillbilly skiing and sledding, and for finding clues in the fresh snow, such as animal tracks and scat, of recent visitors to our own woodlands. One calm evening, we enjoyed a few hours by the fire pit, roasting hot dogs and eating S’mores while watching the stars make their appearance. Another day, we hiked to the river where we followed various animal tracks and sat on the riverbank enjoying the sound of the water flowing lazily by, as vast clouds of Brewer’s Blackbirds or perhaps European Starlings whispered in flight overhead. Sid enjoyed breaking ice on watery ruts in a nearby field and, at the river, he heaved wood debris into the water. Em seemed more meditative about her experience with nature, sitting cross-legged at the river’s edge and taking photographs. Clearly, though, the most fascinating aspect of our outdoor time was the lure of the pecan orchard and a little miracle that had taken place there.
On one of our walks to the river, we noticed several cows with big, round bellies as we made our way through the pecan orchard. One cow in particular boasted an udder that looked as if she would calve soon. She was a friendly sort of cow, and actually let Em get fairly close to her, but eventually trotted off to be with the rest of the herd. The next day, Emily and I spent a few hours in the pecan orchard picking pecans for her to take home. The cows were curious and came near us, but that cow with the burgeoning udder was still as big as a house. There was no baby yet but, by the looks of her, we were sure it would come any day!
With my sister Jules and her husband Chris just a couple of hours away, we were all up bright and early the next morning, as I wanted the kids to be halfway packed and ready when their parents arrived. I knew Jules and Chris wanted to make it back home to Nebraska by nightfall and would only have time for a short visit. But Emily had other plans. She insisted on heading to the pecan orchard to see if that cow had her calf yet. So, Em and Sid and I donned our heavy winter gear and headed the short distance to the pecan orchard. Of course the cows were all grazing well off to the north, so we had a lot of walking to do. Carrying my camera and zoom lens, I scanned the distance for the white cow with the big udder. But before I found her, I saw a little lump of white with black speckles, lying on the ground ahead. Just behind a large pecan tree, mama was grazing nearby. I guessed he could not have been but a few hours old because, when he finally did get up, the little calf was a bit unsteady and wobbly on his legs. I suppose we sat there more than an hour before I declared we really needed to get back home where Jules and Chris were, probably not-so-patiently, waiting to head out for home. Before they left, I promised Emily that I would keep her posted about the progress of the little bull calf.
After a couple of days, Emily decided our little friend needed a name. His eye markings reminded me of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, so I thought maybe we would call him Spock. But Emily preferred only,”Leonard”, which… after I conferred with my sister Jules, we got to laughing so hard that somehow Leonard the Bull seemed quite appropriate actually. I looked up a few definitions for the name Leonard, and found “Lion, Brave, Hardy, and even Lover”. All of these did seem to be excellent characteristics of a bull!
I will continue to check on this little fella over the spring and summer months. All my observations of him so far, show me that Leonard is just like any energetic youngster. I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen him scampering through the pecan orchard, starting with a little bucking action, then taking off running at full speed with his tail straight up in the air! But like a lot of little boys, he is also quite fond of his mama, and most of the time he is lying somewhere near her, making sure she does not get too far away.
© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…