Since the last e-newsletter in April much has happened. The new barn was completed, we moved into the new ISCOWP center (still putting things away and organizing), and Balabhadra (president of ISCOWP) had open heart surgery two weeks ago.
Balabhadra’s heart problem was not clogged arteries but a heart murmur that he has had for years and it came to the point that his heart had to pump very hard for him to carry on with his regular activities. The doctors told us it would take two months for him to heal. He is doing very well and is in the new ISCOWP center recuperating. He needs a lot of quiet and rest for his sternum to heal. His surgeon told us we should see a big difference in his ability to “make more hay” when he is healed. Since he was released from the hospital four days early and is a bit ahead of the healing schedule we have every reason to be optimistic.
Part of moving into the new ISCOWP center is landscaping around the building and yard. We now have many sweet smelling, butterfly and hummingbird attracting plants growing in raised beds directly around the house. While Balabhadra was being released from the hospital a small tornado came through our property and blew over two trees and many branches. The mobile home that we had just moved out of was greatly damaged when some branches fell on its roof. Previous to this event we had planned to level the compound and seed it. Now the first priority is to clean up the wind damage.
Since the last e-newsletter spring has come and is almost gone. Please view the videos of the cows in springtime and the photos of the new barn and gardens.
Cow Pastimes in Spring
The herd enjoys the beginning of spring, Arati and treats.
Abhay, Akshobhya and Lila were among the eight calves rescued from the auction barn in 2014. They arrived at ISCOWP as sickly calves and are now healthy young cows.
Abhay has a gentle quiet personality. You can see him in this video trying to get acquainted with Shyamy the resident cat. Instead of chasing Shyamy he gently sniffs the cat almost as if he would like to make friends. Shyamy is not quite sure what to make of it as most all the other cows chase her away.
Akshobhya was once the leader of the eight calves. As they all grew Akshobhya found out he did not have any horns while the others were growing their horns each day. This put him at disadvantage while positioning for leadership. Some breeds have been “messed with” or genetically modified to have no horns. Akshobhya is from such a breed. As a result, he has become quiet and reflective. Actually, he is quite pleasant to be around.
Lila is also gentle and sweet. She has pointed horns, (little ones now) and we saw her use them in a shuffle with Akshobhya. Akshobhya backed off. It is nice when a girl knows how to defend herself. She has a beautiful sleek black coat with a white bow on her forehead.
Some of the video is taken in early spring when there is still some brown grass to later in spring when the grass is beginning to grow. You can see the cattle egrets accompanying the cows. They are a great blessing as the cattle egret’s major prey is active insects which are disturbed by the grazing activities of the cattle egret’s host animals, the cows. They eat mostly grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, flies, frogs, and noctuid moths. Hence they help keep the fly population down. Some ranchers rely on cattle egrets for fly control more than they do pesticides.
Abhay, Akshobhya and Lila are doing well.
Priya, Sri and Amrita came to the ISCOWP farm together and are related. They are registered Brahmans. Priya is the herd headman, Sri is the overall nice guy and Amrita is the herd diva.
In this video, we see the three of them in early spring and later on as spring progresses we see the grass turning from brown to green.
Although the headman, Priya is very tolerant of Balaji’s affection. In one picture you can see Amrita holding court with everyone at her feet. And Sri, a friend to all, is friends with even the smallest member of the herd, Padmaganda.
They are all doing well.