Left behind, making friends

calf and elk goodBarbara Lawlor, Boulder County. Last fall, when it was time to round up the Reynolds Ranch Open Space herd of cattle on Magnolia Road, one obstinate black calf chose not to go along with the herd. After repeated efforts to capture her, the ranch hands left with the rest of the herd, taking them to their winter home. The calf became extremely elusive, evading later attempts to catch her.

Worried that she was too young to be out on her own and might starve to death, a stock trailer was parked near the meadow and food brought in over the winter.

Neighbors posted calf sightings and residents worried about her chances of survival, being all alone. But after the worst of the winter storms were over and the snow melted, the calf spent more time in the Giggey meadow, enjoying the spring grass. And then, one day, a bunch of yearling elk, having been kicked out of the nest by their moms ready for a new batch of kids, showed up at their annual feeding grounds and befriended the lone calf.

Soon, the black calf’s herd will show up for the summer and then it will be time for the young cow to decide if she wants to join the herd this time. Or she might discover that hanging out with a herd of elk is more fun.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.

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