| A few months ago a new very large family moved in across the street. There are two properties that they can live in there. For the first month they lived in the residence behind the row of large old cottonwood trees and near the pond at the base of the trees.
During the time they lived behind the cottonwoods the caretakers, a husband and wife along with their 2 kids, worked to get the residence in front of the trees and near the street ready for them to move into. It did not need very much work but since it is larger it took a few weeks to complete the preparations.
The caretakers have a 4 wheeler that they use on the farm land and a very precocious Australian Sheppard who has claimed the front seat by the driver. The four wheeler rarely goes anywhere without the co-pilot in the front seat. If any of the kids go along they have to sit in the back.
The precocious Sheppard is usually the first one in when there is a ride to be had. He rides with them when they go down the long drive from the caretaker’s house to Monroe to get the mail or when they are checking to see if there are any new gopher mounds in the ditch. He will sometimes race down the long drive to meet the kids when they get off the school bus.
During the time the large family lived behind the trees in the smaller residence an electric fence was put around the property and just behind the white vinyl fence by the road. In the CRP grass it is almost invisible unless you know it is there. Once it was up the last change had been made to the front residence. The new residents could move into their new larger home.
The day they were allowed into the larger residence they were like a bunch of kids being turned loose for recess at school. They came charging from behind the cottonwood trees fanning out and racing each other across their new home. Some were kicking up their heels and seemed to be very excited to have a larger home.
They raced up to the electric fence, just behind the white vinyl fence, put on their brakes and slid to a stop just inches from the wire. After the first frolic in their larger home they have been more sedate in their movements.
There are 18 females and one very vocal leader that live in the pasture across the road from us now. I have named the male leader of the group Elvis, his real name is Sandman, because of his black hair and good looks and he is able to hit the high notes when he sings.
The leader has a very eclectic harem of females. Most of them have black hair; one has a white streak in front. Two have reddish brown hair and two with white hair. I think the group has 9 teenagers with them; they don’t stand still long enough for me to get a good count.
We have never had cows across the street in the pasture and it has been fun to watch the family of Angus and Charolais as they make their way around the pasture feeding. Sometimes they fan out in a line and move in unison like a giant lawn mower across the tall grass.
They have been there almost a month and are still working on the daunting task of stunting the CRP growth. By the time they get back around to the place they started eating it is back up tall again. The CRP grass can get as tall as the calves in the field.
A lot of the grass in the field forms tickle grass. We are looking forward to them getting a handle on that. Even though the pasture used to be baled once a year it was early in the summer and by fall the tickle grass had set on and we were buried in it when the winds changed and blew out of the north.
The Angus cows will have many happy years of picnics in the field and maybe this winter when it quits growing they can get it mowed down and under control, ready to take off again next spring and give them new grass to enjoy.
The patriarch of the large family in the pasture leads them out from behind the trees every morning and into the larger pasture for their breakfast. In the heat of the heat of the day he escorts them to the shade by the pond under the trees. But as soon as it cools off a little, they are back out in their larger home.
It has been interesting to watch the bull and one of the white heifers keep trespassers out of the pasture. If staring them down when they trespass doesn’t work they will charge them. The trespassers come from an addition across the street that has a leash law but they ignore it.
We’ve been rooting for the Angus family when the stand offs occur. We are hoping our new neighbors in the pasture across the street will finally impress on the trespassers, one way or another, that they are not welcome in their home. To contact Sandy: [email protected]