Karen wrote and said she was not sure she would have liked seeing a minutes old calf. I responded:
Oh no, you would have loved the newborn calf. It was wonderful and heart warming to see him come to life. He was so in awe of the new world. Sort of stunned. Within a few minutes of being born he (or she, we hadn't found out yet) was sitting up and looking around. Mother was nuzzling and licking him. He was sort of dazed. Well, who wouldn't be?
Within a few minutes more he was trying to get up. He got his front feet under him but then toppled over. Mother licked him some more.We left before he was on his feet, but we could see he was ready to rise and nurse. I recently learned that the term for that innate behavior is genomic. It is behavior in the genes, just like physical traits are in genes, eye color and such. I had said that I was sorry I hadn't taken a camera. Maybe it was better just to watch and appreciate the process. Photographing it would have been superfluous and put a gap between me and what was going on. Other species have genomes too. The baby swallows, in their eggs, under the bridge on La Paloma Road in Merced, have a genome in them that tells the baby swallows to learn to fly, and on September 6th (or some such exact date) to fly to a certain bridge or building in SOUTH AMERICA and build a nest, etc. Incredible. And they do it without maps or calendars.