Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tending the Fall Field

We got word that strays were getting into our fall pasture, so Jesse and Mark and I loaded up the 4-wheeler with fencing supplies and two horses, Sly, the veteran, and Jane, the newbie, to straighten things out.

It was the first time for me riding Jane. She’s a sweetheart, walks out and gets the work done without complaint. That is until a mule deer jumped out of the thicket and scared her right good. She was tensed up and blowing through her nostrils. I thought she would calm if I sat quietly and stroked her neck, but no. I finally got off and lead her awhile to calm her nerves (and mine).

We picked up strays from two different pastures, the last few pairs lounging along the stream, tickled to find such lush grass. It’s risky business saving fall pasture amongst summering cattle on two sides of us. Plus, someone left a gate open and once the cattle found out the great pickings on our side of the fence they determined to get back in. Cattle are okay if kept out to begin with, but if they get in once they can be tough to keep out.

It got dark with one more fence line to check and one more group of strays to dispatch. Jesse and Sly got the cattle while Jane and I rode along the fence, the moonlight providing just enough illumination to spot a possible short in the line. Finally done, the quickest way out was over a rocky bluff. Jane was hesitant and scared, but luckily Sly was in the lead. He picked his way through the rocks carefully and Jane followed. Jesse visited and whistled despite the darkness and the two hours' drive away from his wife and kids.

It's always been thus. We start out with good intentions of getting home in decent time, but the day wanes and it turns into one more late night. Good thing we tied our jackets on the saddle.  

good fall feed

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