Upstate New Yorkers are used to seeing livestock every day and almost everywhere. Even amid the economic crisis in local agriculture, the Leatherstocking region is rich in farms and farm animals. Take a 10-minute drive in any direction from Cooperstown or Oneonta and you will encounter horses, dairy cattle, beefers, sheep, goats, hogs, llamas, alpacas, and more, usually idling peacefully within the fences, barns, and pastures of their hard working owners.
Sometimes we forget that the livestock are actually “live” and have minds of their own. Such was the case when seven cows went missing about a month ago from a family farm on County Highway 22 in Exeter. Three of them were soon recovered; two adults have been sighted in the vacant fields on Truman Road, and two of the other freedom-loving heifers continued to roam the badlands off Taylor Road, leaving their distinctive tracks and fertilizer patties in their wake.
Early this spring, my reigning rooster, Geezbrook, who fathered almost all of this year’s egg-laying rookies, was challenged and defeated by one of his sons.
When I arrived on the scene, the old man was cowering in a corner with his back facing his attacker.
I scooted them out into the yard and they went at it again, Geezbrook seeming to have new heart against his son, who got down like an alligator coming through a fan of feathers.
They both drew blood with the old man losing the fight until I slapped them both several times with my red plastic shovel.
Distracted, they headed for cover in a hedgerow.
When I went back to the coop to gather eggs, I noticed that several of the hens had bald spots on their backs caused, no doubt, by the roosters practicing their dominance.
Luckily, Pee Wee, my favorite chicken, hadn’t suffered any damage or I would have gone after the bullies with hatchet in hand. Instead, I tried to catch them, which was no easy task after they had had a taste of the shovel.
5K RACE – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Oneonta Outlaws Race to benefit the Oneonta YMCA. Damaschke Field, James Georgeson Ave., Oneonta. Call 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/
DISCUSSION – 5 p.m. New York Center for Agricultural Medicine & Health leads discussion with the 4-H Junior Livestock Show on safe spaces on the farm. Followed by awards for best posters displayed in visitors tent. Iroquois Farm Showgrounds, 1659 Co. Hwy. 33, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1452 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org/Junior-Livestock-Show
LECTURE SERIES – 6-8 p.m. Go ‘Up The Creek’ with Dr. Orzetti. Learn stream ecology, collect water quality & critter samples. Learn about a new program starting this fall. Mohican Farm, 7207 St. Rt. 80, Cooperstown. Call (607) 547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/save-date-informed-lecture-series/
BLOOD DRIVE – 1-6 p.m. Help save patients in the hospital. Donate blood and platelets at Main Street Baptist Church, 33 Main St., Oneonta. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org
THEATER – 2 p.m. High School musical, “Into the Woods.” Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave, Cooperstown. Info, cooperstowncs.org
ART EXHIBIT – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Drawings “Life on the Family Farm in the 40s & 50s” by Lavern Kelly. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. Info, (607)547-5327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the FACEBOOK page.
SOUP! – 11 a.m.-2 p.m., “Second Sunday Soup,” serving homemade hot soup every 2nd Sunday of month. Takeout available. All welcome, donations appreciated. At the Polly House (next to the Fire House), Schuyler Lake. More info at lollywinne.wix.com/littlewhitechurch
FILM SERIES – 9:30 a.m.-Noon. “ Brunch and Discussion with Peter Rutkoff, “The Language You Cry In.” Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Info, glimmerglassfilmdays.org/films-events.
THEATER – 7 p.m. High School musical, “Into the Woods.” Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info, cooperstowncs.org
SYMPHONY – 7:30 p.m. Catskill Symphony presents Concert II: Featuring Tenor Jon Frederic West performing Wagner and Vaughan Williams. Symphony also performs Brahms Symphony No. 2. Tickets $30, free admission for veterans, children and the adults who bring them. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Info, tickets, (607) 436-2670, www.catskillsymphony.net
CHINESE AUCTION – 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Milford Central School District 42 W. Main St., Milford. Info, web.milfordcentral.org
HOLIDAY BAZAAR – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Includes lunch and new Children’s Ornament Build $5..The Major’s Inn, 12 Marion Ave, Gilbertsville, Info, (607)783-2393 or (607)783-2967 or visit www.themajorsinn.com
HOLIDAY MARKET AND CRAFT SHOW – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunnycrest Orchards Cidermill Gift Shop, 7869 NY-10, Sharon Springs. For more info visit www.sunnycrestorchards.com