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Capturing the Miracle of Birth

1Dusti Berry.jpg
Dusti Berry
Dusti Berry
This photo is one in a series Philip cattle producer, Dusti Berry, captured during calving season 2022.

During calving, Dusti Berry spends her days and nights checking on cows to make sure they don’t need any assistance. And although this makes for long days with little sleep, the fourth-generation cattle producer says she never tires of welcoming new life into the world. In this Take A Moment segment, Berry shares about capturing calving moment with her camera.

“That old camera is the one I take with me everywhere, so it gets bounced around and its all dirty and dusty, but it still does a great job so I don’t worry or feel bad about dragging it through the dirt when we are feeding or whatever.

Oh, gosh, calving is absolutely my favorite, favorite time of year. I get out to my parent’s place, I do help on the family ranch as much as I can, especially during calving. And that day in particular, I always carry my camera, always, I knew this cow, I could see her all afternoon, and I thought, “oh she is going to calve.” So, I was piddling around, helping my dad feed, and I saw her start to calve. I just walked over and sat down so I was not bothering her and I got to watch it all happen. And that’s been a photographer’s dream of mine for a long time – to capture a whole birth. I actually have the whole sequence in photos. I have wanted to do that forever and that day I got to make it happen. That’s one of my days, when I’m like, “gosh, I will never forget this.”

I’m on Instagram. I don’t update it a lot, but I do some, they call it, “agvocating.” And I had a bunch of people ask me about calving and process and everything and I thought it would be really cool to capture the whole sequence and put together a post or something. So, when I was able to do it, it went huge, I mean not viral or anything like that. It was just really cool for people to see that.

It is such an intimate thing to witness. I call it an everyday miracle. It gives me shivers every time I see it.”

You can watch Berry’s calving sequence, just follow her on Instagram, CreekSideReflections

Lura Roti is a freelance reporter working with SDPB.