Monday, June 30, 2014

Karma Update

Cookie eyeing me as I snap a pic of her buddy's udder.
It takes nine months of gestation before a calf is born. By my calculations, Karma is due July 4th. I've been doing an udder watch each morning and her milk maker is getting bigger each day. It's interesting to me because her mother's udder was damaged and hung so much lower and lopsided. Karma's is close up to her body and more oval shaped. I suppose a person who doesn't enjoy milking can't appreciate my fascination with udders and teats.

Karma has taken her pregnancy well. She is ever the rascal and I don't think I'll come to completely trust her since she has horns and knows how to use them. She's whacked me with them a few times. As long as I carry a big stick/rake/shovel she seems to avoid me. I use the tools as a shield should she decide I need a good impaling. It should be interesting to see how I'm going to convince her that she needs to share some milk with me...

Since she was a calf, I have rubbed her sides and touched her udder and teats to get her used to the whole concept. She's not bothered by it. She'll occasionally look back at me and then continue eating. As long as I don't try to make her go anywhere or attempt to trim her hooves, she tolerates me.

Karma has a nice womanly figure and looks ready to pop at any moment. In the mornings, she tends to be lazing in the sun in the sandy part of her corral, chewing her cud. She's considerably wider and mellower. She allows me to pet on her more often than she did pre-pregnancy.

Her face is darkening which reminds me of her mother. In fact, if not for the horns, she would look a lot more like Gucci.

I hope I can be there when she gives borth since I missed her birth. Some animals seem to wait until I'm there as if they appreciate a helping hand if need be. Some are sneaky about it, and go .covert, hiding out and silently handling everything on their own. Here's hoping for a girl...

Three Sisters Garden, Summer 2014

I imagine summer in Tucson is like winter in states that get snow. It's oppressive, wearing away at a person until he or she wants to give up fighting and let nature do what it's going to do. In the garden I've had some success with the Three Sisters section. It's really only half a garden since only 5 rows are in use. 3 rows aren't done and one was just build and needs to set a while before it can be planted. The corn has done so well this year in height. In the years past the corn only grew 2 or 3 feet then died. There was poor pollination resulting in less than ten (really deliscious) kernels on each cob. IN the past I was planting hybrid corn. I can't say if that was the problem, or if the soil just wasn't right.

This year I'm hopeful for good corn. I walk the rows and pollinate by hand to give those kernels a kickstart. I planted every week, so that the crop might come in succession rather than all at once. Watering was done with mostly buries soaker hoses. The Three Sisters garden is only about 3 years old. It was originally going to be a pasture, but it never took hold.

This year's corn is all heirloom. It is 7 feet tall in some places and keeps going. I love to stand between the rows when the wind blows and listen to the whispering leaves. It's like a little hideout. No one can see me in there. It's shady and peaceful. It reminds me of my parents' garden in Phoenix when I was child.

Winter crops are still growing in the Three Sisters garden: brocolli, kale, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower. I don't know why! You'd think the heat would have offed them all by now. We like to make kale chips in the over with olive oil and parmesan. Tasty and healthy.

The zucchini is coming in. It's always amazing to me how you can turn your back on the zukes for a day and end up with gigantic monster squash. They too, remind me of the garden in Phoenix. My mom would slice the giant zukes thinly, batter and fry them. Mmmm. I think I'll do that with the one I picked today!