Friday, January 20, 2012

Cows in Snow

Jitterbug in the Snow
It's actually snowing, significant snow! We are forecast to get up to 6 inches.  The temperature has warmed up to a couple degrees above zero, with no wind, so it feels  much more gentle than yesterday.

I am relieved about the warmer weather because I was very worried about Lafonda. Yesterday when I fed the cows their evening meal, her udder was  very full - usually voracious Lindy keeps it emptied out, but she wouldn't let him nurse, probably because her teats were injured by the cold.  They can be quickly frostbitten or seriously chapped on cold, windy days  because after the calf nurses they are slobbery wet, exposed to the freezing wind.  I smeared her teats with warmed coconut oil to soothe and help protect the skin.

Her udder had to be emptied, so after supper, Rog helped me  bring LaFonda into the barn to be milked.  It was kind of an ordeal, because I haven't milked since October. The vacuum pump is with my neighbor Frank getting tuned up, so I had to hand milk. Everything was frozen and had to be  thawed, warmed, washed and sanitized first.  At least by the time we got to milking her it looked like Lindy had managed to drink some out of two quarters.  She was very kicky, not wanting me to handle her sore teats, and my arthritic hands can only milk a short time, so I only milked a half gallon and hoped Lindy would be able to get another meal. If she isn't emptied, there is a risk of mastitis, and that would not be fun for  LaFonda or for me.

Happily, this morning her udder was much less full, so Lindy must have managed to get a good meal.  I applied more coconut oil and will keep a close watch on her.

The snow helps me get in the mood for painting. It's a good thing, since the Crossings show is only 10 days away and I still have  a few pieces to finish.  The painting above is Jitterbug in the Snow - a small (12 inch x 12 inch) acrylic on canvas that is a companion for
Lindyhop in the Snow
Lindyhop in the Snow.  I usually work much larger, so these are like miniatures for me.
Buff in the Coop
Not all these new paintings feature farm animals, but yes, there are quite a few of cows and chickens.  Paint what you love!