When we decided to run photos of a calving in honor of Mother’s Day, we had no idea how secretive cows can be. Photographer Bob Breese, man of infinite patience, started hanging around the Lowland Farms herd. On April 1, he arrived a few hours after Gretel (right) gave birth to a female. Days later, he got a call from farm owner Barbara Brown, and just before dark, caught Pansy (above and below) in the act of becoming a mama.
Dirt called the next day for an update on Gretel and calf. “The mother’s condition was not spectacular,” said Friedland. “She was a little thin and her udder doesn’t look very full, so we just watch. The calf was nursing in a healthy way – a lot. She’s coming back for more. We just have to watch. There’s really not much you can do, so this is a stressful time of year.”
They do have formula that they can use, but only once, out of perhaps four times, has that measure saved a calf.
There had been one more calf born in the night, “and Will had a feeling there were a few more coming today.”
“They’re super cute. When you get to get up close and personal with them when you give them their ear tags and see what sex they are,” said Friedland, “that’s as close as you’ll ever get.”
“Once they grow up,” he said, “they don’t want anything to do with you.” Yup. Barbara Brown was a great help because she called me and said she couldn’t promise anything but that it looked like a cow was going to give birth soon. I shot right up there and it happened over about two hours. Rainy cold and almost dark so I was lucky to get these shots.