Week of May 10, 2015
It never fails! No matter how much I plan, farming never seems to happen at a leisurely pace! You spend all winter preparing, all spring dodging rain storms and waiting for the ground to dry out, and then when it does, inevitably it is either Easter or Mother’s day weekend! The nerve! One would think that “mother nature” could time the farming season to be a little more hospitable.
Actually, nature has a lot more things going on than farming. Spring time is an amazingly long season from crocuses to daffodils to lilac and apple blossoms. Nature has to provide a lot of food and shelter for all the other critters in our local communities and the Klesick Farm is as a welcome and hospitable place as they come. One of our friends just told me he saw a river otter traveling across the road by our farm! I’m thinking that this could explain why Bandit, our collie/lab puppy, has been hanging around the river more lately.
The other day when I was coming out of the house I about tripped over Chungo, the older lab, and Sapphire, the kitten, who were lounging around in the sun on the front porch! Now I always make the mental note of how many animals are out in the yard, so I start counting: 1, 2…where is Bandit? I start my usual whistle and call and wait. No Bandit. Usually, no Bandit means only one thing: MISCHIEF! A little more whistling and a little more calling and walking and as I turn the corner around the house, 3 football fields away I saw him! He was running in circles around all 30 COWS! The cows had been here for a few weeks and today he finally discovered them.
Stephen and I head out to the cows to get Bandit. Oh boy was he ever happy to see us: tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping. The next day I turned Bandit out in the morning and headed out myself an hour later. I started counting: Chungo, Sapphire, and…where’s Bandit? This time I skipped the whistling and calling and walked to the back of the house (Bandit is not the only one learning new tricks around here). As sure as my name is Tristan, I saw him 300 yards away. This time all the cows had moved to the upper part of the pasture; Bandit had 29 all balled up and there was one rogue noncompliant cow about 40 yards off the herd. Bandit was equally positioned between them with his head switching back and forth, back and forth looking from the 29 to the one.
All of the sudden, he bolted towards the noncompliant cow, moved him toward the herd, and then moved them all back to where they were the last night! That is some serious natural instincts. This time I get the breakfast bowls and start clanging them together. And Bandit comes bounding home, tail a-wagging and tongue a-flopping.