We just did what we consider a milestone of summer: We let the cattle onto an adjacent piece of property for extra grazing.
Every summer we lease this 20 acres for grazing purposes from a neighbor. It has beautiful trees and a wonderful stock pond, and it's a handy and excellent place to expand our pasture rotation. Everyone refers to this parcel, cleverly, as "the pond property."
But before we could let the cattle on it, we have to walk the fence line to make sure the beasties couldn't escape. So, armed with pliers, nippers, wire, and Lydia, we set off to walk the perimeter.
The first thing Lydia did was find a bone, which she carried for half the excursion before finally deciding it wasn't tasty and dropped it.
But until she dropped it, she was very pleased with herself. It looks like she's smiling.
The fences were mostly in good shape, but we noticed some loose wire in what had evidently been an attempt at a hot wire. We tightened up and secured this wire so it wouldn't trap or tangle anyone.
It's always nice to get a different perspective of our region.
The next day -- quietly, without fuss or fanfare -- Don and I walked down to open the connecting gate. Brit, our horse (who, by the way, is free to a good home if anyone wants her!) was already near the gate. She knew precisely what was up.
Once the gate was open, we gave our universal cattle call: "Bossy bossy bossy bossy BOSSY!!!" (Bossy was our very first cow.) Oh my, that got their attention!
Within seconds, the entire herd stampeded our way -- the older cows because they knew what was up, and the babies because they were following along, having a fine time running.
They poured through the gate. (Those are our neighbor's horses in the back, watching enviously.)
They instantly buried their heads in the tall grass, eating.
With one pathetic little exception. There's always one calf who gets a little turned around and can't figure out what a gate is.
We call this the "puppy-stupid" stage of life, when they can't "see" the ten-foot-wide gap in the fence and instead stand around in bewilderment, wondering where mama and the rest of the herd went.
In the past we've tried scooting these stray calves through the gate, and know from experience it doesn't work. They just panic and run away from the gate. So, trusting his mama would eventually figure out her baby was missing, we left him all alone in the big empty field.
Meanwhile the younger cows and calves were literally kicking up their heels with joy in their new digs, racing around and having a blast.
And that was that. Everyone settled down. The calf found his way through the gate. All was quiet and peaceful.
Two days later, the whole gang moseyed back toward the house for a bit, seeking the salt block. Here's Matilda with three of the calves.
Polly nursed little Pixie.
Everybody hung around for awhile, then they all filed back to the pond property. Ah summer.