Thursday, September 27, 2012

Farm Stories - A Calf Named Autumn

Most of my family and old friends can't believe I live on a farm. You see, I was the consummate city girl in high school and college. I loved the nightlife -- good restaurants, sophisticated bars, nightclubs, theater, concerts, and poetry readings. I loved the nightlife so much, I seldom spent a night at home.

Fast forward to 2000. John and I decided to leave suburban St. Louis and move out to some land we'd bought in the country, adjoining his parents' farm. At first life was much less stressful. No traffic, no nosy obnoxious neighbor complaining that our dog barked too loud. Of course, the pace was hard to get used to. Out here in the boondocks, people don't keep time the same way they do in the city. "In a while" might mean hour or a week. That first year, it drove me nuts, especially as June turned to July and our air conditioning was not yet installed. But the endless songs of nature right outside my open office door made the waiting worth it -- whippoorwills, frogs, crickets -- sounds I'd never heard in the city. Poetry I never would have heard if we hadn't moved to the forest.

Our first attempt at farming was raising chickens and ducks. I laughed at the tiny baby ducks swimming in the guest bathroom tub -- well, of course they needed to swim and what better place? They were too tiny to take outside in the cold.

Autumn - born 9/25/12
After John's Dad passed away in 2004, we inherited the cattle -- a small herd of around 15 head of beef cattle, depending on the time of year and how many calves have been born. Raising cattle was a whole new adventure -- and a lot of work. But one of the happiest moments is seeing a newborn healthy calf. I'd like to share this moment with you.

Meet Autumn. She was born on Tuesday, probably sometime in the wee hours of dawn. When we went up to feed the cattle at 7:30 AM, our dog Max found the afterbirth in the field. That was our first indication that Autumn had been born. Her mama Resurrection (how she got her name is another story for another day...suffice it to say, she was born around Easter), brought her up to show her off.

Autumn and John
She's a calm calf too. A lot of calves are skittish around people. Not autumn. She let John walk right up to her and pet her. Of course, about that time, she cried out for her mama. We had a moment of panic -- where was Resurrection and the rest of the herd? Our cows sometimes like to escape if they can find an opening, and there had been storms the night before.

John called -- sooop! Which is how he calls them up for grain. Autumn cried out again. Fortunately, it wasn't long before we heard Resurrection holler back and all the cows came winding up the hillm expecting a treat. They hadn't been out at all. They'd just been down the hill grazing.

Did your life take an unexpected turn? Are you doing something your friends and family would never have imagined you doing?
Leave a comment and tell your story. And let us know -- would you like to hear more stories about our life on the farm?


  1. Love this, Rachelle! Maybe my unexpected turn is in the future... Or maybe it happened when I was 10 and moved from Chicago to HotLanta...(culture shock of a different kind)... Or maybe an adventure in the future! Autumn's story is so so sweet. I know it's not as romantic as it sounds, but your life sounds blissfully wonderful!

    1. There are definitely days when it is blissfully wonderful.

  2. Great story! Autumn is beautiful. Can't imagine what that's like to have an animal like that come up to you. No city to farm story here; more like suburbia to suburbia.

    1. Getting to see Autumn play is one of the high points. I wish I'd had the video camera with me this morning! She was cantering around and Resurrection was not happy about it. We'll try to remember to take the video camera with us tomorrow morning in case there's a repeat performance.