The Hand Off
It feels like I'm seeing our elk babies more often, earlier than I did last year. I'm not sure if it's just my perception or if that's really the case, but it seems like they're hiding less than Little Girl did last year. Maybe it's because there is more than one calf this year. Maybe it's because one of our cows is now an experienced mama. Or maybe I'm just more patient now that it's not my first go round.
The other night, as I was walking past the pasture after finishing my work up for the day, I could see 604 back in the corner of the pasture with both young calves (and Little Girl) while the other cows were out grazing. It was too far for a picture with my phone, so I just watched for a while before heading up for the house.
Just a little bit later, I looked out my kitchen window and saw that everyone came out to the buckets together! I ran to get my big camera and document the occasion. It's still a long way - thus the pictures aren't great - but you can get a nice peek at those two little calves.
The whole herd hung out for a while, both calves nursed, and the calves wandered around a bit. They're pretty steady on their legs now. I've occasionally caught glimpses of them doing the zoomies out in the pasture, but never for long enough to get a video yet. I look forward to watching them play together before too long!
And then I saw the hand off. 604 had done her time babysitting. Now it was 601's turn. She called the kids and they both got up and followed her dutifully. "Come on, kids, it's time to go!"
In the next photo, you can see 604 in the back left, and in the back right, you see 601 taking the kids off to go rest. I love watching the family/herd dynamics in this group.
Sometimes, I think we anthropomorphize animals too much, and then sometimes I realize that us animals are really all the same deep down. It takes a village! :-)
Leave a Reply.