Monday, April 29, 2013

Inga, Inga

Chores begin earlier these days as it's nearly light at five-thirty.  My morning walkabout now includes watering the deck plants as our brief spring appears to be over and summer is close on its heels.  The heat is bringing out those malevolent wasps and this nest in the lavender plant was one of a dozen that I found on the deck yesterday.  (That ratty lavender is over twenty years old, so forgive its unkempt appearance.)

I've seen some strange things here on the farm, but I never anticipated seeing mice porn up close and personal as I did yesterday.  It occurs to me that they are getting too comfortable in my presence when they'll go humpity-humpity right there by my feet.  TMI!

Inga, oh Inga.  Her bag was so full she was squirting milk all over her feet, but she was still reluctant to come in and let me help her.  I'd known milking her was going to take longer so I'd gone down to the barn earlier than usual, but it was still getting hot (went up to the 90s).  Finished with the other girls, I tried the coaxing thing but it didn't work.  Finally I grabbed the rope and went after her.  The only reason I caught her was because she couldn't walk very fast with that swollen udder, but she still made it up to the top of the hill.  Then the battle to get her back to the barn began, one stubborn step at a time and me pulling on the rope and trying not to choke her (although that idea had occurred to me).  Up on the stand at last, milking her was as painful for her and tedious for me as I'd expected.  It averages about six minutes to milk Sheila and, on a good day, maybe ten minutes each for Tessie and Inga; it's the difference in teats; milk production is almost the same for all three.  Already overheated from the struggle to get Inga to come in and with the barn heating up like an oven, sweat streamed into my eyes as I tried to get the milk from those tiny teats streamed into the bucket.  Neither made the job any easier, nor did her constantly putting one back leg in the air, ready to kick.  Thirty minutes later, we were both relieved that the ordeal was over.

One two-gallon bucket has the combined milk from Tessie and Sheila and one has the day's contribution from Inga.  I'd like to think that she learned her lesson.  I've always been an optimist.

I'm not ashamed to say that milking was the last productive thing I did for the rest of the day.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Dear Optimist,

Since you STILL had to chase Inga, with full, full udder, up the hill and pull her in to be milked, I think the odds of her associating cause and effect are slim to none. But we can only hope!

Not-So-Optimistic Reader