Come along as this Texan farm couple share their sweet Dexter milk cows, Taffy and Ginger with us. They story draws us in so we can experience the sights and sounds that surround them as they do the evening chores on their farm. Though the photos they share were taken in daylight, they invite us to join them in a Texan moonlight milking time with two of their sweet Dexter cows.
The cloak of an early autumn evening gently envelops the ranch at the end of a lively day full of sweet Dexters, playful chickens and a bountiful garden. Many tasks have been completed, but daylight has fled before we’ve had time for milking.
As the rush of the day fades along with the dwindling twilight, I gather my supplies in preparation for a few final moments with Ginger and Taffy, our sweet Dexter milk cows that are currently providing us with milk now that their calves have been weaned and have gone on to new loving homes. I take with me a bucket of warm water, several clean wash cloths, and a few generous scoops of organic alfalfa pellets mixed with hay as a treat to keep the girls busy.
As I make my way across the evening pasture, my footsteps are guided by the blush of a waxing crescent moon that hangs brightly overhead and frosts the corral before me with a soft, celestial radiance. Its gates and fences cast deepening shadows, and darkness grows in the corners of its two shelters. Grasses part around me as I wade through tall waves of luminous seed heads glowing in the moonlight, and all is silent except for the sigh of tenuous breezes bringing with them the first hints of cooler days ahead.
As I arrive at the corral, I gaze up at the quilting of stars shining down upon me so brightly, like a fantasy of twinkling lights strung across the vastness of the heavens to cheer away the chill of their fathomless depths. Their gladsome spirit is joined by an ensemble of crickets singing a ballad from hidden places beneath the grasses, and the seasonal fragrance of fallen leaves and evergreen cedars drifts across the pasture from the forest’s edge, evoking memories of raking huge piles of orange, red and yellow leaves from beneath the oaks and elms of my childhood home.
Wrapped in the cool of the evening, I organize my supplies and begin the process with which our sweet Dexter milk cows are now so familiar. Taffy and Ginger eagerly wait at the gate behind me, each wanting to be first to receive a treat along with my encouraging praises. I pour half of the alfalfa pellets into the feed stand against the wall, and then work the gates to separate Ginger into the second pen while Taffy rushes in and enthusiastically begins the hunt for alfalfa pellets hidden among the hay.
I reach down to wash and dry her udder with my soft cloths, and then after another quick word of encouragement, the milk begins to flow. I work her udder and the milk makes a merry tune as it streams into the bucket. Taffy stands calmly, peacefully munching in the silence and stillness of the evening. Cheerful praises inspire her to give me just a little bit more as she finishes her treat, and then it’s time to lead her out.
Ginger, who has been longingly awaiting her turn, excitedly prances in as I open her gate. She trots quickly over to the feed stand, looking to me with soft eyes so sweet that they sparkle despite the darkness. I pour her share of the treat into the feed stand, then give her a tender pat and a few hearty praises, and as I gently work with her, she begins adding to my bucket. Ginger is a delight to milk, and my efforts are rewarded as she stands perfectly and shares her creamy goodness.
Before I leave, I pause to once again look into the heavens, and to marvel at the glory and grace of the vast, limitless beauty that surrounds me. The melody of the milk, the twinkle of the distant stars, the blanket of pale moonlight, the soft breathing of our sweet Dexter milk cows, the swish of a tail, the singing of the crickets, and the safety and comfort of the pasture combine to ignite my spirit and delight my senses, bringing a divine joy and satisfaction to the end of the day that only the miracles of creation can provide. I open my soul to the peace and tranquility of the moment, thoroughly immersed in the wondrous blessing of it all.
Then as Taffy and Ginger disappear into the night, I turn toward the lights of home in thankfulness for the love that guides my footsteps through the darkness, and knowing with gratitude that all is well.
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