Today I had a plan. I believe I explained how days with plans go in A short day. Nothings ever goes as planned. But regardless, I had a plan. It was simple. Fix 2 insulators, raise the bottom wire, hook up the fencer, and move the cows to the front of the Jungle. Ok.
I start out early, because once done, I can work at home. Yup that’s what I am going to do. The job started off uneventful enough.
I started by lifting the fence a little to keep the bottom wire off the ground. Then I tightened the 3 cranks on each stretch of fence. All is well.
Next, can you spot the problem here? While Brother and I were string trimming under the fence the other day, we found two places missing an insulator. This can cause a short in the fence if the wire touches the post. Easy fix.
Better. One day, I will have to take all the yellow ones off and replace them with black ones. Those yellow ones are old and do not hold up as well as the newer model black ones. Done here.
Oops, one I didn’t get the other day. Multiflora Rose, yuck. Well, let’s get that out of here.
Fencing pliers are such useful tools. Grab ahold and twist and the nasty weed is gone.
That is much better. Now the post is clear and the weed won’t tangle the fence until next year. Should have brought Tordon. Oh well, I will be back. On to the next thing.
It’s quite a stretch of fence. I started over that hill at the far trees. Now I just have to reattach the jumper wire and check to make sure it’s working.
Once the jumper wire is reconnected, you have to check and make sure there is a good spark. Again, out come the fencing pliers. Yes! A good spark! Ok. It’s about 9 am, all I have to do is move the cows.
You can clearly see the difference in the grass on the two sides of the fence. It’s definitely down on the middle side.
When my search started with one cow, I should have known this wasn’t going to be the 10 minute job I had planned. But I was still hopeful.
I walked to the top of the hill and started to call. I was thankfully immediately answered by variously located moos. Great. They aren’t anywhere together.
I got my trusty notebook out. I keep this with me all the time when checking cows. Sometimes I have to rewrite them because I have checked them off to many times. I usually can just count everyone, but if I don’t have everyone this is an easy way to figure out who is missing. It is especially handy when there are calves in the pasture. There technically aren’t any in the Jungle. This is our fall calving herd.
As they start coming to me, I check off their number. Making progress.
Here is the young handsome bull. My SIL picked him out. I think she choose very well. I am anxious to see what he throws. But, back to the task at hand. By the time he showed up, I was short 6 cows and a calf.
Now remember a little bit ago when I said there aren’t technically supposed to be any calves out here? Well, we don’t have any calves out here. The farmer neighbor to the south does. He happens to be my Cousin. We had some water gap issues earlier in the summer. Big Nephew and I checked all over to make sure there were none of his cows or calves in our pasture before we fixed the gap. Apparently not well enough because 2 days after we fixed it, we found this…
You know that song from Seasame Street, One of these things doesn’t belong here (or something like that). Anyway, I didn’t recognize that cow with her head up looking worried about me. I really didn’t recognize the yellow calf. Dang.
So, back to today. I am now currently missing 5 of Brothers cows, which are fairly used to me and this cow and calf who do not like the looks of me at all. Great.
Off I go through the Jungle, have I told you why we call it the Jungle. Use you imagination. It’s not that bad, only in spots, but it can be tricky to find a cow.
Lucky for me, I found the cow and the calf first. They bolted. I lost them. While walking down the hill they ran off, I found one of Brothers cows. She and I started walking in the general direction the cow/calf. On our way, we picked up 2 more of Brothers cows in the creek. As we came out of the creek we found the cow/calf. Yay! So I now have 3 of the 5 of Brothers cows I need and the cow and the calf with a group. I am thinking this is going well.
Off we go, not exactly the direction I wanted to go but they seem like they would really like to go this way, so maybe the others are around?
Yup, you can’t see them but way up ahead two cows just walked out of the creek! Sweet. This is working. Now I just have to get them from the West side of the pasture to the East side. No problem.
Only one complaint I have back here in the back gals. Maybe the one that doesn’t belong in this pasture shouldn’t be in the lead? Maybe, just maybe one of you girls that has been here before and knows where the herd is waiting should lead? Please?
NO. They would not lead, and even if they had tried, this particular cow is not a follower. As she is leading and we get into more difficult terrain, I quit taking pictures. I had to keep trying to keep everyone together. Which does not work well when you have one that doesn’t care where any one else is, and keeps turning the wrong direction trying to get away from the person who happens to be trying to show her the way.
It wasn’t long before I lost Brothers 5 cows. I eventually lost the cow and calf. Then I found them. And lost them. And found them. And lost them. And, well you get the point. This went on for about 3 hours. Let me tell you, if I hadn’t been on every inch of that pasture before, I have been now. By this time I am very frustrated but trying to be calm because cows who are terrified of you do not respond well to you being all kinds of crazy yourself. The last time I lost them and walked for almost 20 minutes without even a glimpse of them I thought ‘Oh forget it! I am moving Brothers cows and we will figure out what to do about her later’.
So back to the top of the hill where the herd is waiting on me. Well, so I thought.
They had gone in search of me. (Hey, it’s my story, let me tell it how I want) But these old girls will follow me anywhere, mostly when they think there is a chance I am going to let them in that green grass, but again, it’s my story! Unfortunately I am still missing the 5 cows of Brothers. So I start calling again. Lucky for me, this time I hear an answer. Please be all 5! It would be really super if the cow and calf were there also.
Nope, just Brothers 5 show up. I call a little longer incase the cow of the cow/calf pair has decided maybe I am not the enemy and I have something she would like. You know like all her companions? Nothing. I am disappointed and text Brother that I didn’t get her but I am moving his cows. I open the gate. They run in.
They are happy. I am unhappy. But Wait!! What is that sound behind me? That crafty old cow doubled back on me and is walking along the fence towards where I am standing. This time I bolt. Down the hill. I am trying to hide, get away so she can’t see me and turn around. It is hard for someone like me who is clumsy and out of shape and exhausted from chasing the very cow I am now trying to hide from to be quiet running down a hill covered in branches and multiflora rose. I made it to the bottom, but not before she notices me and stops. Now what?
I cross the creek and trying to keep an eye on her double back on her. Surely if she sees the other cows, or maybe the grass she will continue through? I wait and watch them. They wait and watch me. UGH! Would you just walk over there already? No. That is not what she is going to do. So now I have to try to sneak back up a hill to get behind them. Thankfully it isn’t terribly muddy so I went up while trying to keep an eye on her. She turns and watches me. Seriously do not run, do not run, do not run. She runs. but her calf turns runs the other way. So she turns and runs with him, right into the front part of the pasture! Success!! So not even 10 minutes after I text Brother I didn’t get her I had to retext him that I did.
I tell you, nothing feels better than being exhausted but actually accomplishing what you set out to do!
I ended up with some minor scraps, no doubt a few bruises, my hair was completely pulled out of my ponytail, but I got the job done. It’s all worth it in the end. I am heading home to shower!