I’ve been floating around here in the bush for 2.8 years now. I’ve been learning about cows and farms and grass and country stuff but I have never loved a mob of cows by myself before. A friend suggested I do this as he was going to sew pasture. I couldn’t help with that. I’d been sick with a serious cold and needed to move. I was excited about this new challenge. Being an ex-city chick, often I’m not trusted doing anything solo. I feel I am being protected from myself and potential dangers. When I travel I live on the more wild and dangerous side of the track so sometimes I have really wanted opportunities that would be a challenge.
Here was an opportunity! I was so excited.
My “boss” gave me instruction. “Open that gate then start at the stockyards. Bring them through those 2 paddocks, then those 2 then into that one. Make sure you keep looking back to make sure you haven’t left any calves behind. Check all the gates in the destination paddock to see they are closed. I’m down near the water pump. See you down there when you’ve finished. Bye.”
I was on my own. I reversed the instructions and checked the gates first as it was latish afternoon and I don’t know this paddock. There are lots of rocks so I wanted to tackle them for the first time with less shadows.
I checked all the gates, loving the scenery and freedom and wind in my hair and jacket as I went. Roos everywhere.
The cows were spread all over a quillion hectares. It was hard to know where or how to start. I fairly quickly managed to get them all together except one cow who was obviously the crèche mother for the day. She had 6 calves with her.
My dilemma what to do? Gather these 7 back to the group or drive the main mob forward?
I decided to gather them together which was a cue for the mums whose calves were in the crèche to break away too. So I ended up with cows spread everywhere again. Surprisingly it didn’t take too long. We all regrouped quickly. Mothers reunited with calves. THen it was off up the fence line in the second paddock.
Actually I will tell the tale with photos – it was such a wonderful afternoon. I would like to share how nice it was with you – and how gorgeous the cows are.
Here’s our journey in photos:
First job was to check all the gates in the paddock were closed.
There were lots of roos. This property is surrounded by National Park so it supports lots of day visitors as it has good pasture. Kangaroos, wild deer, feral goats and pigs by the literal hundreds pass through – or stay for a while.
It was so nice quad biking riding around such a beautiful property. This is me on the move – loving the freedom and the country side.
Cows everywhere. To the left, the front, the right, behind. Where to start rounding them up and pointing them in the right direction?
The crowd gradually congregating.
Katrina (my riding instructor) said it’s great to explore the the world through the ears of a horse (see previous posts about riding!). I agree but I also think its loads of fun through the handle bars of a quad. Both new experiences for me.
Everyone nosing on up the paddock. Constant steady pace. All was well and peaceful in the world – including me by now!
Second gate closed only 3 to go!
Everyone was off to the pub and leaving me way behind!! All staying together and heading in the right direction.
It was almost a pub crawl. Three pubs….. this is the first one.
Isn’t she so cute! Mega litre sucker!
Following along after all these lovely cows. So much less stressful than trying to get a deadline file to transmit through a slow Telstra uncooperative dial up multimedia internet line. Definitely a much more agreeable workplace.
And the second pub…….
Doing this job was fun and SO beautiful. What an iconic Australian scene. Tall, majestic ribbon gum with healthy, fat cows wandering passed in the setting sun. Life is perfect – someone has to live it. Fortunately I volunteered!! I so love being in the bush.
Up through the tree (top right) there is the open gate. I’d just been through a gate though where they went left and straight and right and to the third pub!! Here we had just regrouped and now the end was in sight. I was getting excited
The ultimate goal is clearly in sight – the open gate! Yaahhhoooo!!
It was similar to watching that elusive pool table ball rolling towards the pocket. The first cow heading towards the gate. I knew I’d clinched it!! YES!
Some missed the gate. Quick whizz to the other side to contain them as if they went too far there was a steep hill with lots of rocks. Not easy on the quad.
Some cows were enjoying the feed on the wrong side of the fence. They needed to be encouraged through the gate.
Gone!! YES!! Last cow through!! WHAT a great feeling! Total elation!
Mission accomplished! Gate closed behind the mob. Correct mob. Correct paddock! All achieved by cowgirl Fiona!!
Driving off into the setting to find “The Boss”. I felt SO content. I had moved a mob of cows and calves all my myself. And it transpired that I didn’t leave any calves behind – which is not so hard to do apparently. Maybe there’s hope yet for this city chick to become a country chick! I’m loving the conversion process. City chick in conversion!
(Pre posted before I went to Mongolia!!)