HONEY ROCK DAWN

Snippets: Mid-Winter Edition

I feel like I’ve been on a zipline since mid-December, sailing along, hyper-stimulated and entranced by a rush of things I’ve never seen before, high from a rush of adrenaline, having a grand ol’ time. And then it stops and you’re so far from where you started in no time at all, and… it’s the middle of January??

I long to get rid of clocks and calendars. Life would be way less stressful if we weren’t constantly told where we happen to land in this convention called time. I feel I have accomplished so much in the past six weeks – epic, life changing stuff (some of which I’ll share here) – but when I look at a calendar and put myself in the context of “mid-January,” I get panicked and feel behind.

Ivan thinks he’s a dog. He thinks he’s the biggest, baddest, toughest dog. He eats anything. He climbs everything. He thinks it’s great fun to run alongside Chloe, leap into the air with paws outstretched, and latch around her neck. Another favorite game of his is batting and punching Charlie’s face… from opposite sides of a window. Charlie seems to think it’s just adorable – though Ivan hasn’t tried this without the window between them.

When I’m in the kitchen getting the canine dinner ready, the pooches line up in a row, sitting at attention, eagerly waiting for me to hand it over. Ivan bites their wagging tails, then sits in their midst, poised and patient, waiting for his portion of the dog dinner.

He has the paws of a mountain lion:

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

I have just 10 Charlie calendars left! {EDIT: Those 10 sold out in minutes of this post, so I’ve had one more very small print run produced! I’m so glad everyone is loving this calendar, it’s my favorite yet and I don’t want anyone to miss out} And about 20 of the Wyoming calendar (filled with cute animals + a dash of cowboys). The print quality is so great, you can tear this calendar in to pieces, forget the grid of days, and frame the art. That’s what I’m going to do! Get yours HERE.

IVAN

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been down at the corrals this year. We turned the front yard into an ICU for Sunshine when he was declining in January – the corrals are down a hill and over another hill from the house and we wanted to keep Sunshine close to us. The yard became Sid‘s playpen when he was born this spring, and it naturally became the place where I helped him bond with Daisy, and, at that point, I just started milking Daisy in the yard, too.

So, I’ve only been down at the corrals a handful of times, when we’ve needed to sort cows or tag calves. Just over a week ago, we took Sid, Roxy, Ixchel, and a couple of other calves to the corrals to wean them. Ixchel, Fiona’s calf, is gigantic. She is nursing solely for comfort at this point. And Daisy was producing SO much milk – she is such a devoted mother – that she has become too thin. The more food I gave her, the more milk she would make – she never gained any weight herself. She became so thin, I became worried for her well being in the inevitable cold and decided we must wean for her sake.

Whenever we wean, we put the calves in the inner corral and leave the outer corral open to the pasture. This way, the mother cows can go in and out of the outer corral and spend as much time as they like right next to their calves. They can sleep and eat side by side, see and smell and talk to each other, and the entire process is very calm for everyone. And very quiet. When calves are weaned and immediately taken away from their mothers (which is the norm), the calves and mother cows cry and call out for each other for DAYS.

The morning after we weaned, I walked down to the corrals with Chloe to check on everyone. I happened to arrive just as Mike was driving up with some hay for the calves. I was standing in the inner corral petting Sid when I heard a very loud meow. An urgent meow. Crouched in the dirt, not three feet from where I stood with Sid and Chloe, was a soggy little orange kitten. I called to Mike, but when he came over, the kitten scampered away and huddled under the railings of the round corral. I threw Chloe’s leash to Mike and scrambled over the railings, dropped into the round corral, and crept towards the kitten. It looked awful – I couldn’t tell if it was sick or crazy or just weak. I took off my t-shirt, and while the kitten was focused on my shirt in my left hand, I reached my right hand behind him and plucked him from his hiding spot by the nape and wrapped him up in my tee. And then. And then! When I held the little bundle against me, he started purring!

We zipped over to the vet, and I’ve spent the last week IN LOVE. He is 11 weeks old. He is neither sick nor crazy, he just needed food and care. We don’t know his origin story – my vet believes he was feral, Mike wonders if he was abandoned. I think the stork of souls dropped him in my path. He’s very likely Eli’s kin. To honor this, I chose a name that begins with the “long i” sound that Eli ends with: Ivan.

Ivan and Chloe are pals – Chloe lets him climb all over her and they are very sweet together. Charlie is really calm and submissive with Ivan but Ivan wants nothing to do with Charlie. Mushy is pissed. She has never not been the baby of the house and she is furious. She’ll get over it. Mushy always seemed so little, but she is positively gigantic compared to this kitten! He is tiny. But his paws are not, and he is already noticeably larger than he was a week ago. He purrs whenever I touch him. I have spent so many hours supine because he fell asleep on me…. and I consider it time very well spent. Here are pictures! If the embeds don’t work for you, you can see them (and more) HERE.

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

These Three Things

little Sid

Little Sid, my sunny honey.

————————

Book rec: Girl At War by Sara Nović.

Some books (arguably, the best books) pluck you out of your life and put you right into someone else’s experience, someone else’s place and time and life, and through it, you are able to feel and understand something you never had before. This is one of those books.

I started the audio version on my last day of driving home from California; I had reached Wyoming but still had hours ahead of me and my truck was acting up and I was tired and didn’t want to drive anymore but I really didn’t want to stop. I got a giant Coke for energy (with each sip, I felt tiny hand cranks steadily rolling up my eyelids and tiny syringes stabbing life-force into my heart, Pulp Fiction style; I rarely drink pop so it has this effect on me) and turned on this book and everything changed. I was transfixed. At one point, sobbing hysterically (it being Wyoming, I was the only person on the highway and could safely sob while driving). And I actually – impossibly! – felt a little bummed out when I reached home because I didn’t want to stop listening to this book.

I don’t want to share the plot (two hints: the Croatian genocide + really good technique of moving though time); I’m sure many a summary may be found online. Or just read the book!

Girl At War by Sara Nović.

————————

And here’s a video of a coyote in San Francisco – playing with a toy just like Charlie!

A video posted by @rallyp_157 on


{ click here if the embed doesn’t work for you }

Thank You x 2

little red reefer beauty shot

Thank you to everyone who shared and supported my Kickstarter…. this is what I got!
A Little Red Reefer!

little red reefer left side

All thanks to YOU.

little red reefer barn doors

Barn doors instead of a roll up door!
She is perfect.

little red reefer right side

And she needs a name……….

Thank you, also, to Taylor, Sharon, Brian, Heligal Anne, Flying Coyote, Kate, Jane, Dennis, Jan, Rue, Jessica, Lindsey, Meghan, Mary, Ellen, Susan, Abi, Kelley, Sophie, Kathleen, Broken Wagon Farm, Rocko & Daisy, Bree, Pat, Julie, Marya, Maureen, Joyce, Pam, Nicole, Karie, Torre, Katie, Corinne, Sheri, Laima, Lissa, Linda, CeeBee, Sally, Liza, Susan, Leslie, Sara, Melissa, Sandy, Maggie, Bud, Joy, Jay, The Fourteen Anonymoi, Blithe, Moonyean, Keli, Karl, Marian, FOSS, John, Elizabeth, Theresa, Kevin, Rowan, and Jacquelyn for donating to my fundraiser to Help Fight Hunger.

We’re a third of the way to my goal (which I am matching to $10K)! I’m going to let it run till the beginning of November, then take a truckload of beef to The Food Bank of the Rockies in time for the holidays. You can join us and donate HERE – just $5 makes an impact.

Quickie Farmily news ~ Tinkerbell might be pregnant! Can you believe it? She looks so good, so strong and healthy, you’d never guess her tragic calfhood by looking at her. You’d never know Sid was an orphan, either. He is downright fat and he and Roxy are joined at the hip. I want to make them a draft team. I’ve been wanting to train an ox for years – since Frisco was born – and I always run out of time, so we’ll see if they ever pull a cart together…. but I do have them both halter trained. They are the cutest little pair. When Frisco died, I didn’t know if I’d ever fall in love with another calf like I did with him, and with Roxy and Sid, I have, times two.

Sid Has Two Mommies

Little Sid, kitchen calf, lap calf, my sweet little orphan, was a bottle baby the first month of his life, which made me “Mama.” He followed me anywhere and everywhere. If he was still hungry after draining the bottle I’d brought out to the pasture, he’d follow me back to the house, up the stairs of the deck (clip-clopping across the deck on his tiny hooves), in the front door and all the way to the kitchen, where he’d wait at my feet as I prepared another bottle. (It was such a bad habit, but so cute I couldn’t bring myself to break him of it.)

And then Daisy calved. Instead of milking into a bottle for Sid, I led Sid to Daisy’s udder, using the empty bottle as a lure and sticking one of her teats in his mouth. He caught on within two days, though Daisy was a less willing participant (as is normal – cows don’t like random calves stealing the milk that is meant for their baby). But Daisy has more than enough milk for all of us, and I knew she’d accept Sid eventually, as she has adopted orphans in the past. Exhibit A: Frisco and TR, way (WAY!) past the age of needing milk, but don’t they all look so content?

mostrediculous2

So, I helped Sid dine with Daisy a few times a day – while she was haltered after I’d milked her, while she was distracted as I brushed her, and, at times, using Maia’s super-effective blindfold technique. Meanwhile, Sid and Roxy became best pals – siblings, really. They are side by side every moment of the day. Sid learned to eat when Roxy ate, keeping Roxy closest to Daisy’s head, so when Daisy turned to look or sniff, she’d find Roxy and mellow out. And then one day I caught Daisy licking Sid, and answering his moos, which means she’s decided to be his mama, too.

sid roxy daisy

« go backkeep looking »
  • More, Elsewhere

    • bookbutton10yrsV21
    • newshopbutton16s
    • tdcbuttonb
    • IGflicka
    • HF12HRD
  • Tweets

    • Sitting beside a beehive, just breathing and watching and absorbing the bee magic, is a holy experience.
    • Currently a tie in the book cover vote! Not telling which two cuz votes are still coming in. Email went out to all book customers yesterday!
  • Follow Honey Rock Dawn

    Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Books

    • tdccoverbutton
    • egfcoverbutton
  • On My Bookshelf

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • RSS