Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Day of Hope


The days between Christmas and New Year have been pretty wild here. Violent storms, 80mph gusts, drenching squalls have been the way of it. Fiona's calf was due to be born on the worst of the days. We have been stationed at the windows, binoculars at the ready, constantly - obsessively watching her for signs of imminent labour. Every time she lay down or moved slightly apart from the herd, had us calling out to each other in rising panic. Not only was it Fiona's first calf - it was ours too, and we were pretty nervous. Fiona, however, seemed oblivious to our silly alarums. She sailed about the field as gracefully as ever, finding sheltered places - enduring the elements in the way cows do. The rest of the herd were with her, of course. Was it our imagination, or were they just a bit more attentive to her? During the worst of the gales, the older cows lay down at her back, bearing the brunt of the blasts from the West. I am convinced they were protecting her. 




 But the days and nights wore on with no let up in the weather or change in Fiona's condition.





Hogmanay, though, was a beautifully calm night. The herd, conveniently, lay down on the grassy plateau outside our bedroom window, basking in the still moonlight. We went to bed early, although we were up several times checking her by torchlight - thankful that we only had to open the window and look out.




And then - by first light of the New Year's morn, we thought we saw... could it be - was that a shadow, or a ...?




Yes - it was a tiny little black calf. A wee beauty!





We kept back, - watching anxiously, as the dawn grew pink, but they knew what to do!



And, of course, all the Aunties had to visit first.




But, it was bitterly cold, the ground was soaking wet and there were a few ravens hovering around, so we decided to bring them into the big trailer we had ready - just for a day or so.




Well done Fiona - are you going to introduce your baby?




She is a beautiful black Dexter heifer calf. 



Her name is Hope.

New Year - New Life - A Wonderful Beginning.


Sending you all wishes of Hope for the year ahead. xxx


Linking in with Friday's Nature Table.

51 comments:

  1. How wonderful cows are..... this is such wonderful news and her name is just perfect... bless your heart dear wee "Hope"
    Wishing you all a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!
    Love and Best Wishes, Jane xxx

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  2. What a lovely way to start the year and so glad Hope is safe and well through your awfully bad weather. I hope your year continues to be as successful as your first couple of days.
    Best wishes. Chel x

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  3. Well done to everyone. Great start to the year.

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  4. How lovely!

    A new Year and a new born!

    I love the name!

    Happy New Year!

    Love

    Claire
    X x x

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your new addition. It must have been very anxious indeed but what a sweetie! Hope it's a great New Year for you x

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  6. Such a wonderful gift to start the New Year with. xxx

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  7. Many congratulations to you all and Fiona of course, beautiful name x

    All the best for you all and the croft in the new year xxx

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  8. Congratulations, Hope is beautiful x

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  9. A beautiful story - beautifully told in words and pictures.

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  10. Just found your beautiful, inspirational space via Lori, lovely to start the New Year with you, Jo xx

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    1. Hi Jo - how nice of you to drop by. I will look you up too xx

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  11. She's a beauty. Congratulations!

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  12. Just Perfect. Bought tears to my eyes, how amazing nature is, if only we would learn the lessons it gives us.
    Enjoy sharing her life. K x

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  13. this quite honestly made my day!

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  14. This is the most amazing symbol of good luck in a new year that I can think of and a perfect name ! Hope is adorable, and much needed ! Heifer even !!!!

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  15. Oh my that's made me well up xx Joy x

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  16. Gosh, I'm surprised at how touched and excited I am feeling over the birth of your new little calf. Congratulations and Bliadhna Mhath Ùr! A lovely story.

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  17. so tiny and so perfect! I love the photos :) Happy new year to you!!

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  18. I love new calves. I have fond( and some stressful) memories of assisting in births growing up on my parents cow-calf farm. we would have anywhere from 40-60 calves each spring, most uneventful but a few needing assistance.Our own farm now has only horses and cat so I don't see many calf births anymore.Thanks for sharing the birth of Hope.

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  19. Oh I loved this post so much! Wishing you all a wonderful new year! xx

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  20. What a wonderful start to the year for you all, beautiful photos.

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  21. She is gorgeous. I love cows, they are such beautiful creatures.
    Wishing all the very best for you in 2013.x

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  22. My heart grew while reading this. What a gorgeous and precious little creature. Welcome, Hope :) Happy new year to you and your family on the croft.

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  23. That was so beautiful to read and view! My husband grew up on a farm and tells me stories of being woken in the night to assist a cow giving birth. He had the thinnest arms in the family. I don't think he appreciated that, though. Hope is so beautiful.

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    1. Oh that made me laugh, Lois. I can just imagine it xx

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  24. Absolutely lovely. A new life and a great start to 2013. Bright blessings

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  25. Oh, what a wonderful start to the New Year. May the rest of your year be as blessed.

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  26. OH congratulations to you all! What a beautiful new baby.

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  27. i had a little tear at the end of that story. so incredibly beautiful. what a perfect name for your wonderful gift. may your little calf be a sign of what's to come for all of us this year. happy new year and congratulations!

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  28. Oh! She's beautiful! What a sweet face. And what a perfect way to start the new year...with Hope. Congrats! I hope 2013 continues to bless you and yours!

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  29. Thanks you all for your good wishes and welcoming comments on the birth of Hope. I really appreciate you taking the time xxx

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  30. What an beautiful post and I am so happy to meet Hope. It's going to be a wonderful year on your croft, oh yes it is!

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  31. Beautiful calf, beautiful name! Happy 2013!

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  32. This post had me sitting smiling at my screen.Happy New Year and lang may yur lumb reek !

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  33. I just love this. I was trying to settle on one word to guide me through 2013 and was pretty sure it was going to be 'hope'. Then I saw your absolutely lovely photos and had no more doubts at all! I really like your blog by the way. Kind of consoles me for Scotland being so far away from where I live!

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    1. Glad it chimed with your thoughts, Joanna - it seemed such a fitting name for her. Thanks you for such a kind and lovely comment. xxx

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  34. Beautiful arrival, a name of sharing, Hope, a symbol of 2013. Thank you!
    Fee

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  35. Thanks you all for your lovely comments. I have loved sharing Hope with you all xx

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  36. Just beautiful! what a great name : ) here's to 2013!

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  37. I love your photo's - so atmospheric. Especially loves the cattle in the dim light :-) And baby hope, so lovely and what a beautiful name, I hope you and your family have a wonderful year x

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  38. Wow!!! Amazing photos of amazing moments :)

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  39. Belated Happy New Year and Happy New Hope to you Jacqui! A fantastic post.

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  40. Just the perfect, hopeful beginning to a new year!

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  41. Perfect name for a perfect creature...thanks for taking us along on the journey Jacqui, your post was like being there xx

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  42. Oh, I loved this post.. So precious...
    I know I would love your wind, too.. smile..

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  43. Welcome to the world, little Hope :)

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  44. How wonderful! Birth is the most life-affirming act there is, and it never ceases to amaze me. Happy New Year to you and your family from this reader in California.

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  45. Just catching up. What a wonderful start to the new year, hope this is the start to a very prosperous new year for you all.

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  46. Congratulations on welcoming this new life to your croft! And thank you for sharing such beautiful photos... just delightful.

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