Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Four-legged Explorers

Events of great consequences often spring from trifling circumstances.

Oh, how I love to see our cows and calves happy. They know what they want and need, and sometimes they know it before we do.

It had stopped raining for a bit and there was so much to do. My Hero while busy with farm mechanic duties works hard. I decided that I would cut the lawn while he played with his wrenches. That turned out to reveal something I would never have thought possible.

The lawn was more like a hay field with all the rain that we had been blessed with. The motor on the lawn tractor kept dying down, to remind me to slow down and that I did. Under our black walnut trees were many branches lying around. I parked the lawn tractor and hopped off to pick the biggest ones up.

That was when my foot clad in my shoe suddenly felt squishy and slipped a little. My first thought was that one of our cows had broken out the night before. They probably had a little stroll to check out the green grass and then hopped back over the fence before morning. It has been very obvious to me. Every day they lined up behind that fence and stared at me. That whole, “grass is greener” on the other side thing is true.

I looked down. Well, I am not a scat (poop) expert but I recognized this pile. It was not cow manure. Oh yes, this I had come across before, usually in the bush at the back of the farm.

Bear scat. Behind my house, under my black walnut tree not twenty feet from my kitchen window. Instinct had me look up the tree. Of course, there was no bear but now  that I knew it had been there, I had to check.
Every night since that day, I have stood at the kitchen window at all different hours to look up that tree and see if it was back. This bear had apparently been out to explore the neighbourhood.

There seems to be a lot of exploring going on.

Early Friday morning, we noticed cows, on both sides of the fence. Not a good sign. There were about six cows on the other side of the closed gate of our neighbours property. Those cows were all Moms, and the calves were on our side bawling. We have no idea how long they had been over there, nor how they arrived there.

Of course, we had a very important appointment in town that we could not miss in about two hours.  What does a farmer do? Well, I pulled on my boots and ran. I locked our cows out of the field behind our house. They were not happy about that. I then ran over and opened up the gate from the neighbours.
Sandy, one of our older cows came home right away. Her calf bawled in our laneway the loudest. The other escaped cows stood in tall green grass up to their bellies and would have no part of ending this adventure. The fact that their calves were bawling made no difference to them.

There was only one thing to do. We do know it was probably Sandy who had led the breakout she always has been an explorer. I let Sandy back with her calf. Now we had to figure out where they had broken fence in the bush. No problem, we had an hour or so.

My Hero grabbed wire and fence pliers and we hopped into the tractor. He found one rail low so we stopped to fix it. I walked the fence line and found where it looked like a parade of cows had trudged through the mud for hours, back and forth. There was hair stuck to the top rail. They had not broken any fence they had just hopped over a low spot in the fence. Smart cows they are. It was lucky only six had figured that out. My Hero drove down to where I was, and we wired it up and put more rails on it.

Now was the time to run to our appointment. We had half an hour left. We would deal with the fence and let the cows over to the neighbours pasture when we returned. In our experience now that they have explored and found treasure there was nothing going to stop them.

We did make that appointment. I apologized for my attire “There was a cow event.”

In the end, our cows were let over to the neighbours pasture. As you can see it all worked out for them. I wish I knew where the bear went.



  1. Cows have got a beautiful greenery place to spend their time:)

  2. No wonder they wanted to be in that tall grass. My neighbor's cows sometime come over here to visit. I always enjoy it. I haven't seen any sign of bears for several years. I think too many people are living up in the hills now. Hopefully, your visitor was just passing through.

  3. If the bears didn't leave scat we'd seldom know they were about exploring. They avoid us as much as we avoid them. Still gives one a chill to think about a large carnivore snooping around our home. Laughing at the exploring cows. They're like kids and seem to know when we big people want to be in a rush.

  4. Your photos show such affection between the cows...that's scary to have a bear so curious and so near...I'm glad everything worked out!

  5. A cow event and a bear event? You do lead an exciting life.
    And a very, very beautiful one.

  6. It would be comforting to know where that bear is. So nice to see the calves.
    Have a great week,

  7. Our cows do the same thing sometimes. I can so relate being late for church because of the cows, lol.
    Now the bear being so close is kind of nerving.
    I hope the bears didn't find any honey or berries close bay.

    Take care and thanks for the great story.
    Hugs, Julia

  8. So do you think the bear stampeded your cows?

    1. No I do not Red they have been sharing the same apartment for years :)

  9. I'm a little concerned about the bear too, I suppose you have no way of knowing how big a bear it was.
    I knew the cows would be fine. did you change shoes before the appointment? :)

    1. Yes I did River but not new pants:) Slapped on deodorant and a hat too so I figured I was good. Hug

  10. Those silly cows seem to leave more questions than answers, and they're pretty good at keeping their secrets! Kind of glad you haven't seen the bear again. I don't imagine that would be a good thing to have around cows and calves.

  11. These cows seemed a bit silly, bears are big and scary and bears and cows don't mix I reckon

  12. What an eventful day! I especially love the top picture - so many captions could be placed over that scene!

  13. A farmer's job is never done or dull. I wonder where the bear is too.Take care.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.