Three days ago, this second-calf heifer (9061) was fighting two coyotes off her newborn Wagyu X twins. I got a call from a neighbor who saw the action from the road, but I was 15 minutes away checking our first-calf heifers. I called Robbin who was getting ready to leave for a dentist appointment. She jumped into the Kubota and sent them packing.
Usually twin calves for a young cow is a curse, wherein most cases she abandons the weaker one. If she tries to raise them both, it typically taxes her so much that her poor shape keeps her from cycling to breed back. By themselves near the house this morning, I took out some alfalfa while the rest of the cows were still on the hill. Here the calves are playing while she has an early breakfast in our fourteenth straight day of smoke from the KNP Complex fire in Sequoia National Park and Forest.
Limbs dressed in flames,
they await the cloudburst
that will disrobe them
to stand naked
along the creek
until it runs—
until late spring.
Our chorus line of winter nymphs,
centuries rooted in the same place,
I stare into their fire and pray for rain.
About 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon, an arsonist started a grass fire about a quarter-mile north of the house, 110°. After calling CalFire, I got to the head of the fire with the skid steer as the first engine arrived.
Fortunately, the fire break we built in April kept the blaze along the road and off the hills, leaking only north and south. After unlocking the gate for the crew from Modoc County familiarizing themselves with the local terrain and responding to smoke, I returned south as Air Tac dumped Phoschex on both ends of the 3 acre blaze.
A wake-up call and good practice for us all as we enter fire season.