“We’ve Got Cows”

(My newsletter subscribers got this story already, but this week I’m adding it to the blog.)

Thursday mid-morning. It was my dad’s mobile number, and when I answered he was short of breath. I thought something was wrong, maybe he or my mom might be injured. But no, he was calling to ask me to help him catch the cows.

Our first catch, definitely the easiest to handle.

Neither Dad nor I own any cows, so this was a good start to the morning.

Dad and I collected three adult cows and two calves from my cornfield and put them in my fenced pasture. We had an idea of where they might have come from, but Dad thought no one was home, so at least now they were contained, much safer for both them and any people or traffic they might encounter. (Yes, yes, I did really consider typing enCOWnter right there.)

It wasn’t long though before the cattle search party made its way to us. What with several reports of loose cattle and the bull causing some havoc up the road, we ended up with three or four police cars, one vice officer, three animal control officers, the actual owners, a few neighbors, and three news crews. (I assume it was a really slow day elsewhere in town.)

Because these cows had not been trailered before, we determined it would be least risky to herd them up the road to return them to their home. Police kindly closed the road for us, and after an iffy start — they were very happy in my rich pasture! — we shooed our bovine parade past waving neighbors and news cameras. 

With teamwork, we got everyone safely home — including the bull, who had been a much greater concern than the milking cows and calves Dad and I had collected. (Pro tip that should be obvious but: Don’t try honking at a bull to move it. It will simply mar the finish on your new truck. This goes double for bison in the west, and yes, people still try that.)

And yes, of course I have photos for you!

In other news… I can’t believe it’s June already! It feels like 2021 is making up time for 2020. I’ve been working so hard on writing and revising, but I took some time this spring to upgrade my patio. It’s pretty weird, because normally I can drop a plant of any species at 20 paces just by looking at it — you want organic vegetation control? just ask me to keep it alive — but so far my patio garden is surviving and even thriving! The local rabbit population got very cheeky during the Doberman’s restrictions, and there’s a whole younger generation which does not understand the perils their elders learned to navigate, so we have adolescent bunnies on the patio in midday, taking an occasional nibble. But I suspect that will end quickly, now that Undómiel is back on full yard access. (She won’t have her final check to know if the heartworms are completely clear for another couple of months, but she’s feeling great!)

(Yes, she’s always on preventative, but breakthrough infections can happen, and at least the company stepped up to help pay for her treatment. For their health and for wildlife, keep your pets protected!)

I chose plants specifically to support native pollinators (and to make maintenance easier for me!), so I hope to have fun caterpillar and butterfly pictures to share in the future. I also installed an arbor for a new native American wisteria. You can see half the plantings (and Labrador Penny) here, and yes, this is all natural, I don’t pick up rain-dropped petals to make a neater photo. :)

As I said, I’ve been working hard on some new things that I am excited to share — but not yet! In the future, look for updates on Kin & Kind as well as new stories and new audiobooks coming your way — including some free audio I’m going to share when it’s ready!

So to hold you over, check out these collections. (They’re different! so check them all out to find what you like.)

The Magical Month of June 
Portal to Fantasy 

I’m trying to spend more time working outdoors even on the computer, now that I have a nice patio to sit on. Early success is going to my head, and I have two more butterfly-friendly natives coming to plant. What’s your favorite native-to-your-area flowering plant? 

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