Thursday, 25 October 2012

Elise, yes. Blacksy & co, no.

After a bit of pushing and shoving, Elise is now in her new quarters in the Tall Barn. 

We went and fetched her, or tried to. She can be devilish hard to catch when she has a mind to be and shows signs of stubbornness which may or may not evaporate as she gets older. She is a darling of a cow, but she is her own self. Sometimes she will be friendly, but other times she is aloof. 

We hope that her and us can bond better. After all, in two or three years time, we shall be intimately involved with her udders, so we need to be friends. 

There is something quite delicious about hearing her talking. The Tall Barn works like an echo chamber, so that when she gives voice to let us know that we ought to be paying attention to her, the sound resonates. She doesn't talk much though, so she must be happy in her new accommodation. She would soon let us know if things were not to her liking. 

The plan was for her to share this space with Blacksy & co, so after we had pushed, shoved, and coaxed Lisey into the Tall Barn, finally managing to get her in there by keeping her so pre-occupied with the food bucket, which we kept inches away from her nose, that she didn't know where she was going, we then went back to the Sheep Paddock to fetch the goats. It went well, apart from the little goatling who is less tame than her mum and the other two. 

Blacksy was easy. Came to hand in the Paddock. Walked easily into the Tall Barn. Moved gracefully into the enclosure. Looked interestedly at the wall around her. And quite clearly we could see that she was sizing it up to see if was jumpable. With intent she moved towards the wall, which had been built five block bricks high. Clearly, to her mind, it was not much of an obstacle. Lester and I looked at each other. 
"I said we should have built it higher", said he, leaving me in charge of the wall while he went to fetch the other goats. 

Blacksy paced around. In her head she wanted to jump that wall. I could see it in her stance, the way she stayed bunched up. Lisey, meanwhile, carried on munching on the hay. I patrolled the wall, waving my arms about, carrying on with the guarding of the wall as per instructions from Hubs. 

In came the other goats. No probs. Straight away their heads went into the food trough. There was a clashing of horns as each jostled the other for the best titbits. Elise also joined in the affray, not wanting to be left out. Meanwhile, Blacksy paced. 

We stood and observed them all. And realised that the enclosure was not going to work for both cow and goats. It was too small a space. 

So then we took the goats back out into the Paddock, leaving Elise her space. This will stay as is now. There is now a race on to get another enclosure made to take over the rest of the floor space in the Tall Barn. This is a surprise project. Not to worry. We'll get it done. 

The wood for the ceilings of the house was supposed to be arriving yesterday. It didn't. The van broke down. Today then. I need some man muscles. Apparently the wood is to be off loaded out on the drive. It can't stay there. Needs to be brought under cover. It will be heavy. As I say, I could do with some man muscles. I am, however, starting to get some firmness of the upper arms as I start the very long task of digging the veg plot over ready for next spring. I have purchased a mattock. It is heavy even though it was the lightest one they had in the shop. I can only make twenty thwacks at the soil with it before I run out of puff. But it does do the job. It does chomp into the soil very efficiently. Shame that my lack of physical stamina does not allow it to do more. Not to worry. I did manage to get to thirty thwacks before I had to stop for a breather. And I did manage to get some garlic in. And I have promised the garlic bulbs that I will do my best to look after them. I do tend to put things into the soil then forget about them, then get irritated with myself when they don't grow as well they could. Oh well, not to worry. I am, after all, still a trainee smallholder!


Horst in Edmonton said...

What is a Mattock?

rusty duck said...

You will get stronger Vera. This summer I was lifting heavy oak railway sleepers to put over the new water treatment plant. At first, it was a real struggle. But now I'm amazed at what I can do.

The problem, I suppose, is that it will all waste away again over the winter and I will be starting from scratch come spring.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Elise is such a beautiful little calf, nice to see that she has a good place to sleep at night. Read your newest post that she is now being a good little calf and letting you lead her into her stall, so great to hear.

Vera said...

Horst, Elise is very comfy in her new space. I would not go so far as to say she is a 'good' girl, but she is very sweet whatever the mood she is in!

And a mattock is a like a spade but goes at right angles to the handle. Will post a photo for you as I don't think I have explained it very well.

Vera said...

Jessica, like you I have become fitter over the summer with scything, and also, like you, was concerned lest I become less fit during the winter. Ah well, hopefully we will keep a reasonable level of fitness. We both have veg plots so that should keep us occupied when the days are sunny and dry.