Someone roped shut the gates, trapping the cattle in the fully fenced North Riverside Pasture today; 31 degrees on the hottest day of the year so far, without water. Why would someone do this? A cow was missing: Buttercup. I drove the herd into the south end of the Swamp and on to North Pasture, which is also located along the riverbank. The herd drank from North Pond and I went to look for the missing Buttercup.
The riverside bank is covered in two to three metre high Himalayan balsam. At the point where the swamp waters empty into the river, I heard a strange grunting noise, and saw much rustling and movement from within a dense stand of tall balsam, on the river side of the stock fence. With a massive flourish and a sigh of great relief, Buttercup pushed her head through the balsam and, without hesitation, swung one wet front leg over the top strand of the barbed wire stock fence, deftly followed by the other. Her back legs followed suit in what seemed a well practiced manoeuvre. She must have waded up the river from the North Riverside Pasture. This fence hopping skill of Buttercup’s is probably the cause of the three broken barbed wire fences I’ve repaired lately. I blamed Wayne. The problem is, now that Buttercup knows that she can do it, potentially, there isn’t a fence on the marsh capable of holding her if she has a mind to escape.
I snapped the image of Buttercup emerging from the balsam with my 150-500mm lens, but had to move quickly out her way, because she was in a big hurry to re-join her calf.