Last night I shared about the second half of our mini trip to central Iowa, spent with Chris’s mom and her husband. The first part of our trip was spent visiting Chris’s dad and wife, his grandma, and his uncle. Grandma Pat lives on corn, soybean, and cattle farm, where her son, Charlie, is The Resident Farmer. When they were here two weeks ago, Uncle Charlie told us that the new calves were arriving, which may have gotten Charlotte just a little excited about our upcoming visit. Since she’d been talking about the baby cows nonstop, it only made sense for us to spend our first day at the farm.
Since Mike and Uncle Charlie were already working, and Ben and Christine came out to meet us there, we had the whole family around to witness Charlotte’s utter excitement. (pun absolutely intended)
Whatever temperature it is outside on a given day, it feels a hundred degrees colder out in the country. (Many of you probably know this already, but I’m speaking to my suburban Chicago readers here, who, like me, might have learned everything they know about farms from reading Charlotte’s Web.)
Who cares about the bitter wind and the suffocating stench of cow manure (which was impossible not to step in, by the way) when you can get up close and personal with this little gal:
Charlotte may have gotten frostbite without her mittens on, but like a good mother, I decided that feeling the soft baby fur on her bare fingers was worth the risk.
It’s hard to tell from these pictures, but we were standing in a hay-filled area where all the Mama cows were resting with their new calves. Cows are nervous animals by nature, but Charlie has interacted with them enough for them to feel okay about us coming in and invading their space. We couldn’t get near the Mamas, but that’s okay because they weigh like fifty thousand pounds.
I loved seeing how protective the Mama cows were of their calves. They were too nervous to get aggressive with us (or perhaps felt a little more comfortable since Charlie was there, too), but they kept a close eye while we were handing their babies. As soon as we left one calf to pet another, its Mama would swoop in and usher it away.
This picture makes Mama Cow look small. She was huge. And she smelled huge, too.
And, yes, I did take a video! I may have been enjoying this just as much as Charlotte…
The next morning, Charlotte and Chris joined Papa and Grandma Christine to the Boone Hunt and Fish Club for breakfast. This is the type of place where you eat whatever they serve you, which never works for me, so I stayed home and ate oatmeal. Apparently, Charlotte enjoyed seeing all the stuffed animals adorning the walls, so I guess that means she’s not going to end up a vegetarian like her mother.
It also means she’s really going to enjoy our trip this summer to the North Woods of Wisconsin. Or, as I like to think of it: Paradise. (see also: Stuffed Animal Capital of the Universe) (also, see also: Vegetarian Option = Iceberg Lettuce with Loads of Ranch Dressing Capital of the Universe)