Progress at the river pasture.
Sunrise: 04.46 Sunset: 09.33
The cattle were let into the riverside pasture to eat the Himalayan balsam on Tuesday of this week. When I visited on Wednesday evening they were lolling about at the Hoo Brook gate sunning themselves, and the calves rolled about on the ground with their legs in the air. I wasn’t impressed with their progress, if I am honest. I had strong words with the head cow and told her that I would be back the following evening to check on their progress, and that I expected better results.
I arrived at the Hoo Brook gate around 5.45 pm on Thursday. The cattle were nowhere to be seen. The amount eaten in the area around the gate had not changed much, and the balsam was now tall enough to hide the herd.
There isn’t standing water on the river pasture, so Hoo Brook gate is left open to allow the cattle to drink in the swamp. The problem with the open gate is that the cows access North Pond through the swamp, and they are likely to wander off up there, picking at little delicacies along the way, enjoying the air, and generally not working at their main task. We need to erect a temporary fence to stop them moving beyond the watering hole.
I walked along the river bank towards North Pond and found the cattle at the southern end of the river pasture; all ten of them busily chomping away and doing all expected of them. I bet they had lolled about at the south gate until they saw my hat bobbing along the tops of the stinging nettles.
I followed them along the pasture for 45 minutes, and I have to say that they didn’t put a foot wrong. If I were to credit the cattle with more sense than was due, I would be thinking that they were so well-behaved just because I was there with them.
Anyway, the cattle are eating the juicy tops of the balsam and stinging nettle leaves, and then moving on; they are coming back later to eat the balsam stalks. All is good!