Here’s looking at you, kid. Bluebelle and I are thinking the same thing, I’m sure of it.
Bluebelle is my favourite cow in all the world. She’s 16 years old and the matriarch of our herd. As you would guess, she was a poddy. My parents bought her as a weaner heifer who had been hand reared by students at Scone High School.
She needs a drench now but Bluebelle usually looks magnificent. This is because she had one calf and then decided motherhood was not for her. So she’s not subject to the demands of pregnacy, birth and feeding calves. If my Dad had been a hard-nosed grazier, he would have sold her when it became clear she was infertile. But he didn’t, because she was special to my late Mum and special to him. So a sentimental decision then, but the right one.
She has a very calming influence on the herd. We usually put her with the heifers, who can be flighty things sometimes, and she sets them a fine example. She’s a great asset when we move the herd, she leads the way and everyone follows. For me, she’s a living link to my parents, someone they knew and who knew them. She loves to be patted and stroked and she lets me give her a hug.
Here is Bluebelle with my late Dad and my sister-in-law. This picture is 10 years old, taken in the drought. It reminds me of how Bluebelle could lift 50kg wrapped hay bales out of the back of the mule with her teeth.
Same vehicle, same paddock. Last Sunday’s photos were taken just a little further along the fence line, at the spot framed by the left hand side of the load barrier.