Saturday, May 07, 2011

Out standing in the field

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Taking its cue from April’s record-setting warmth and lack of rain, May is rolling out one long dry day after another. The activity around the farm has been centred on fence-building so that the cattle can be  productively cycled through available pasture. Since I’ve been mostly indoors sneezing out the last of the cypress pollen, I can only watch from a distance and listen to the rumble of the tractor and hay making machinery.

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Brent invited me out into one of the closer paddocks to see the new calves that have been arriving in fits and starts. The salers have been here for nearly two months and I’ve not been up close with them since they left the corral for life outdoors. With the mirandaises, the herd has been a set of white and brown blobs moving lazily across my puffy-eyed horizon.

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The last time I was in a field with cows was when I was evading their curious attention as Bondi and I traversed Hadrian’s Wall path a few years ago. I wasn’t going out there with Munson but I was still a bit nervous. After sliding under the lower wire of the electric fence, I followed Brent out to where the newest calf, a black male saler, was being suckled. Foolishly I was under-dressed for the long grasses – no sneezes but the blades quickly irritated the skin on my legs.

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