Thunderstorms, Birthing Cows, School Presentations, Oh My!

Yesterday, after a spontaneous appearance/performance at St. George’s Catholic Church in Assinaboia, we had our second concert of the tour at the Shurniak Art Gallery, which was accompanied by a lovely thunderstorm in the second half of the show. Luckily for us the lights stayed on, but the thunder was sometimes difficult to compete with, although it did add some drama to our Dvorak Quartet. It was really wonderful to meet the people of Assinaboia, and especially to get to meet Bill Shurniak, the founder and president of the Shurniak Art Gallery, as well as the sponsor of the concerto competition Jessie and I placed in last February.

Today, we trekked up to the Queen City and slowly made our way to St. Joan of Arc School, feeling rather nervous and excited to do our first two school presentations of the tour. There was no reason to be nervous; the kids were great, and seemed to enjoy themselves, as did we. It was also nice to see Mr. Buchanan, a teacher from my elementary school from a long, long time ago.

After spending a leisurely afternoon shoe shopping downtown and getting distracted by the sale racks at Lululemon (poor Alvin!), we ventured back to the Sproule farm, only to be immediately distracted by the promise of seeing the birth of a calf! How can you say no to that, even with the challenges of the constant pestering of mosquitoes, avoiding suspicious stares of onlooking cows, and an obstacle course of manure, which can be a treacherous venture without the protection of rubber boots.

Once we made our way through the pasture of cow pies, which were almost all avoided (poor Alvin again!), we waited, and waited, and waited. The pregnant cow just wandered around the field, as though she knew we were watching and intentionally took an extra long time to give birth. The sun went down, a sliver of moon appeared and the stars came out, when finally she gave birth! It was quite dark out by then, and as the newborn calf was as black as black can be, we named it Twilight. Had only it been red, we would’ve had a mascot for our quartet! It was a beautiful calf, eyes wide with trepidation, wondering what sort of world it just entered. The mother cow’s maternal instinct took over while she mooed comfortingly to her new babe, as coyotes howled in the not-so-far distance. Audrey has seen her fair share of calf births, but for the rest of us, this will probably be the first and last time we see the likes of this.

Well, time to look for ticks. Until tomorrow, Gravelbourg!

Musically yours,