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.
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!
And, of course, all the Aunties had to visit first.
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.
Linking in with Friday's Nature Table.