Summer is shaping up to be remembered as hot and a little bit crazy.
Most of my time is spent cutting and weed whacking an acre or two of lawn. What is unusual about that is the tremendous growth rate this year. I think the past long, hard and cold winter tricked Mother Nature into mass production of grass in case there is another wicked brumal season.
When I am not riding the lawn mower the furry herd demands attention along with all the other summer fix-it projects. But all that activity gets plenty of interruptions of the pleasant variety.
About 4 a.m. the dog wants to go outside to begin his morning shift of doing what a watchdog does – watch. As I open the door a deer is munching in my pasture and Bob lets out a medium sized woof. The deer takes notice, but isn’t worried and meanders to find a good spot to vault the fence.
I pitter-patter down the hall to catch a few more winks and then the day begins.
Morning feeding inside the house for myself and part of the furry herd.
Outside critters on the Catillac Ranchette are lazing on the deck waiting for breakfast. I load up all the food and make my way to their feeding stations. Rounding the corner I spot a large amount of black and white. Eight neighbouring Holstein heifers are loafing in my yard. On either side of the Catillac Ranchette is pasture belonging to my neighbour. The girls were originally in the pasture to the south. They were temporarily moved to the north side pasture to accommodate silage harvesters driving in and out of the adjacent crop field.
After 24 hours on the north side the girls were antsy to get back to the south side and found the weakest link. One of the north side pasture gates opens to my driveway. A bit of pressure and down it went. I called in the cow wranglers who were still at morning chores a few miles away. I might be a cow whisperer to a couple of heifers, but eight was above my pay grade.
Four decided to go back through the open gate, which was flat on the ground, and hang around the north pasture while the other four went on a leisurely county tour.
Soon two quads rolled up and parked nearby while the riders dismounted and began their search for the missing four.
Three hours later and all of the ladies were back inside the south pasture, hanging around the water cooler while chatting about their great escape.
Later that night I do roll call and the entire furry herd along with the Rock dove are accounted for and Bob is ready for bed. Counting cows sounded like this: two, three, five, seven, eight, nine…wait a minute…seven, eight, nine. Need my zoom lens. Out come the binoculars and whoa – the neighbour’s beef bull is in the pasture. I know there won’t be any hanky panky between the only male with eight females because the heifers are all bred. But, if he can get in, they can get out. Mr. beefcake spent the night and his owner rounded him up and fixed the breach in the fence. Now I want to point out that Bob only barked at the deer and not the heifers in the yard or the bull visiting
I thought that was enough excitement for 24 hours, but more was on the way.
The next day I was getting ready to hang a load of laundry on the outside line when I heard that familiar woof –“there’s something that needs your attention”.
Up the driveway trots a beautiful horse with a halter and a long lead shank attached and dragging on the ground.
It was obvious that he didn’t want much to do with me and instead decided to inspect the Catillac Ranchette.
I have a bit of horse experience, but that was with my own. I had to draw upon a few television lessons from the horse whisperer Monty Roberts to get the equine into my fenced pasture until I could find his owner.
A direct approach by grabbing the lead was not going to work. Instead I did a little trick by turning my back on him and looked towards the ground. Well son of a gun it worked. He walked right up to me as if we were long lost friends.
Just as I managed to grasp the lead a white truck slowly drove into my yard.
It was the owner. She explained that “Mouse” had travelled a considerable distance.
Watching her slowly drive the truck with horse in tow, I wondered why so many escaped animals have arrived in my yard over the years when there were several other places along the way to visit. And then it hit me. Animals have their own social networking and I must be on their “like” and “must see” list.