Did a field visit the other day to survey for a watering system for a field being grazed by long horn cattle. They have those in Iowa... who knew! Anyway, about 3/4 through the survey, we came upon a mama cow with a brand new baby calf. We did not see the birth of the calf but within minutes we were there and aware of this very good momma cow. She was cleaning her calf up and very protective as she watched our every move and we made sure to keep our distance. It was so fun to watch the first few minutes of life for the baby calf. We watched her try to stand multiple times before she finally succeeded, all the while the momma cow licking her and keeping watch. What a cool thing to see!
Oh and I must mention other fun details of the survey. Our summer student tore her jeans on the barbed wire fence as we crossed into the pasture. Also, half way through the survey, it hit me that we should have left a truck at the bottom of the hill. For those who've heard Iowa is flat, don't be deceived. This hill was by no means flat!!! Yes, it would have made sense for me to go back at that point and get the truck but I didn't. Instead, I volunteered to walk all the way back up when we were done surveying. I wish I had the measurements but I'm guessing it was at least 20% slope (think really steep road in the mountains) and 500 yards. I started out jogging, that didn't last long! I walked forward a while till my calves burned and then backwards a while till my thighs burned. I was sore from working out the day before so I continued up the hill, panting, until I got to the top. Oh how glorious! I quenched my dry mouth with water and drove down to pick up my coworkers. As I drove back up the hill to drop off the rest of the crew at their truck, I saw a guy running down the hill and was quite humbled when I recalled seeing him run up it while we surveyed. Whew, it was a lot of work to walk up the hill, let alone RUN.