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Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Walk on the Hill to Check the Cattle

The rain appears to have gone for the moment and we need to check one final herd of cattle for the neighbour. 20 cows, 21 calves and a bull. A nice steady walk up the hill and back before coffee and scones. The dogs love these walks even though afterwards they lay around feeling knackered. We enjoy the exercise as well as the opportunity to look down on the Williams Valley and our place from a different perspective.

Looking down on HHF

This herd has access to a number of paddocks. The owner (neighbour) decided to save us having to move the them by opening a few areas. They have chosen to be on the highest paddock. Within sight but just far enough away that the undulations hide some of them and we need to get closer to perform a reliable count.

A few black dots on the ridge line are what we want to count
This is some of them but not enough, a closer look required.

We plod along getting closer. At this point we split up with Jean heading towards them while I go down the hill and wait just above the fence line. We expect them to see us and not worry but the sight of the dogs will make them move and the best route will be along the fence line I'm above. It should be easy for me to count as they step past.

Despite repeated counts we come up short. It's not easy counting them at 100 metres away because black on black is black. Binoculars help but in the end we are two animals short. Looks like a much longer walk is required to check all the accessible paddocks.

And here comes the first of the missing animals

But before we wander off in what would have been the wrong direction a cow comes into view on the horizon shortly followed by another and we have a full count. Seems easy.

In the mean time the dogs have been running about chasing rabbits and having a ball. It's hot work and plunging in the dam is the next activity despite what seems to us to be a cold event.


Run, get hot, swim, get cool, run again. They never pace themselves. It's just flat out all the time, then they're buggered and sleep well. Hopefully not too sore.

We get back home in the late morning to enjoy that coffee with scones, butter and honey. The rest of the day the dogs lounge in their nests while we get on with the usual much needed weeding in the vegetable beds.


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