I managed to get the marsh herd to the safety of North Pasture this evening, two to three hours before the big storm is due to arrive. The cattle didn’t go willingly, though. They fought me almost every step of the way through the gates to the Tenant Farmer’s Field Corridor and North Pasture.
River Stour water levels can rise from low to flooding the marsh in a matter of a few hours in storm conditions, so it’s better to be safe than sorry where the cattle are concerned.
The reluctant beasts probably realised that they had spent most of this year grazing the north marsh and were not at all keen on returning here so soon. I pushed half the herd through the corridor gate and all the beasts through North Pasture gate.
There is a video of the chaotic episode here for those interested.
I trudged the length of the Reserve this evening, north to south, from Falling Sands to Wilden. I planned to take the herd on the second leg of its journey north, from South Riverside Pasture to North Pasture. The cattle were at the wrong end of the South Riverside Pasture when I arrived, but they responded well to my calls. I walked them north into the Tenant Farmer’s Field. Wayne Galloway was late as usual, so I was not able to close the Tenant Farmer’s Field gate. Wayne caught up before we arrived at the gate to the Tenant Farmer’s Field Corridor. I thanked my lucky stars as the cattle entered the corridor, but the Cow With No Name panicked and spooked the rest of the animals. Wholesale panicked ensued, and they all turned tail and rushed back into the Tenant Farmer’s Field. So close yet so far! They are probably back in the South Riverside Pasture now. I left the gates open in the hope that they might wander over to North Pasture under their own steam. We have a storm forecast for Thursday night/ Friday, and I was hoping to get the cattle to higher ground before it arrives.
The herd got the better of me this evening.
Does he see me? Red Dog stares intently through my camera lens directly into my eyes. When he eventually turns calmly away, I realise he does not. A voice in my head cautions: “Remember, things are not always as they seem.”