From Pipi’s Pasture: What a difference a year makes — Part 2
A year ago I wrote a column about how remarkably easy it was to move the cattle across the road from the first summer pasture to the second one. “Moving them across the road” sounds easy, but the first pasture is covered with heavy brush, and sometimes, especially when the weather is hot, it isn’t so easy to find the cattle, let alone get them rounded up. Anyway, last year we found them right beside a pond, called them, opened the gate, trailed them down the road, and put them in the second pasture. We were back home by noon. What a difference a year makes!
We usually make the move around July 1, because by then the pond water is pretty well gone. This year, because of all the winter snow, both water and feed has been plentiful. So we decided to leave the cattle in the first pasture for a couple weeks longer. The cattle, some of which have been going to the same pasture for a long time, apparently decided to move across the road on their own.
My brother, Duane Osborn, called one evening to report that “five or six” of the cattle had been seen on the county road. So the next morning Lyle and I drove up to Morapos. Sure enough, when we got there, several of the cattle had already made it down the road where the gate was open and were entering the second pasture all by themselves.
Lyle and I left them and drove up the road. We couldn’t find a fence down or a gate open on the first pasture side. We couldn’t see the rest of the cattle, either. So we drove up in the pasture on a not-so-good road and looked around. No cattle. Lyle got out a time or two and walked the pasture. No cows. He called them. No luck.
We didn’t have much choice. To escape the heat the cattle had holed themselves up in the brush, and it was so thick we couldn’t find them. We drove back to the county road where we left the gate open so the cattle could come down on their own. There is a cattle guard on one end of the road. We also left the gate open to the new pasture, too.
The next morning we drove back up Morapos. Because we hadn’t intended to move the cattle quite yet, the fences hadn’t been checked. There were gates separating pasture parcels to close. As we drove along, we had difficulty locating irrigation ditches in the tall grass. Just after we had closed some gates and headed out of the hay meadow it happened. We hit a ditch with the pickup truck — more like a gully than a ditch — and we were a long way from the county road.
Wouldn’t you know that we didn’t have cell service? So I volunteered to walk down out of the meadow to get help. Walking wasn’t so bad, except that my feet kept getting tangled in the morning glory plants hidden in the tall grass. To make a long story short, when I got to the road I met up with neighbor Justin Forbes who gave me a ride to my brother Duane’s house, and he pulled us out of the ditch. We saw the rest of the cattle in the new pasture, closed up the gates, and went home for another day.
What a difference a year makes!