Of predators and the unexpected.

 A few weeks ago,  the Boy was out doing, what boys of their early twenties do of a Saturday evening and had taken his car to a local watering hole so the view to the Northwest was uninterrupted for a short distance. Whilst he was gone, the sheep went rushing up the road from the wood and on hearing the sound of hurrying hooves, one of the girls looked out into the dusk in case there was an errant dog on the loose. She certainly did not expect to see a wild boar, giving chase. She called to me and we went to see if the boar was still around. Alas no, so the next morning we went to wander in the woods to see if there were any traces of it’s meanderings. Still nothing. Only by chance had she seen it. Normally a car would be parked blocking the view.

 Now, I have long since been aware of sightings of these creatures and many have got very close to them, even families of them. I have witnessed the turfs on roadside verges , turned over, but as yet I have not witnessed a boar at large. However the fact that they are obviously here in the hamlet means, come lambing, a greater level of vigilance will be required.

 Lots of areas have a “beast” at large, mostly being members of the big cat family. Hereabouts we have two or more.

Many years ago I was driving to get some homebrew supplies and there, in the bracken at the side of the road was a big black cat, heading into the undergrowth. A few yards on, were a group of sheep grazing as if there was nothing untoward at all. I was so shocked that I had to stop the car to decide if I was seeing things.

 I realised that the animal I had seen was exactly what I had thought. It was around the height of the sheep and the tail was long and carried down, following the line of the rear legs with the last few inches carried parallel to the ground.

 There have been many sightings of both this cat and a brown “tabby” coloured one over the years and a handful of photographs taken, one being a close up image taken as someone walked along a forest track, camera poised to shoot another image. Unbeknown to both, the two beings were so close that they shocked each other the person regaining enough composure to snap the camera shutter closed as the feline snarled. 

 Obviously there are birds of prey, mainly buzzards and owls, though other hawks and falcons nest here too. Herons and Egrets, haunt the streams and ponds.  

 Then there was the White Stag. It was spotted from time to time and occasionally photographed before it “came to hart”, when it was at its’ prime with a full set of antlers. It haunted the woods to the north of the land, quite close to here and was seen quite regularly even becoming caught in a tennis net at one time. Before it matured there were sightings of a white doe to the south.

 Then a year after it was at its most magnificent it was killed on the road. I drove out one morning and saw the top of its head and antlers emerging from one of the deep drainage ditches. There was no mistaking which deer it was or that it was dead.  Gradually word got around and the whole story was recorded.

He was hit and killed about 3 miles away from here at a juntion. The body then disappeared for a while during which time I saw it, before turning up near the center of the woods several miles away, minus the head which had been hacked off for a trophy to grace someones wall no doubt.

 A great numbness was felt by lots of folk as the animal had been a sign of light energy coming back to this area of  heavy dark energy. Other sightings were told of white deer around the land but within a year all reports seemed to have ceased.

 I cannot say if these animals are indeed still around but I hope there will again be a white stag born to give hope for the area in the not too distant future.

Published in: on Monday October 26th, 2009 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

The mini moos

 Life is very exciting at the moment.

I managed to track down a friend from long ago, who used to breed dexters and had a few jerseys there who belonged to a friend of his.

 I was hoping he would know a jersey breeder who might sell me a calf.  He did know someone who had some in calf heifers but before I got around to ringing the man my friend phoned to say they had all been sold, however he had a nice heifer that might suit me and he could put her to a bull and keep her to check that she did not “return” at her next season. We agreed a price and he would sort me a steer to keep her company until after she calves next May. It then became a waiting game, counting down the days until she was ready to come to live here. A few days before my imposed 60 day closure was due to come to an end, I had a letter from Deathra to say that the cow number UK****** *******had grown positive samples for TB. This confirmed that she was a reactor.

 Here we go again, just the one cow?  I rang to speak to the person named on the letter to ask about the results of the other cow, only to be told that the results were not due to be read until later that day FOR THE FIRST COW and the  samples from the other cow would not be read until a few days later. He could not answer how I had received the results by post before the results were read. Predictibly the second set of samples were positive too. Now why was that not a surprise?

 Anyway moving on, Holly arrived with her friend the steer and a short time spent catching up on the many years of life since we last met whilst we watched the two being overwhelmed by the amount of grass for them to tackle. So much in fact that they did not attempt the tour of the boundries which is usual for cattle when they find themselves somewhere new to them. We admired the views and the cows and I have to say that the previous night I began to panic a bit as I realised that I had in fact bought my new cow unseen and what if she was really ugly or nasty in some way. Did I really want a heifer so old and of a different breed when I had actually decided that what I needed was a Jersy calf.

I need not have worried though, they are both really pretty, a bit timid but a winter of regular visits and feeding will sort that out. She has to have a different name as we have a dog named Holly so she is Tulip and he is Sid, which suits him, I think anyway. By next winter he will be in my freezer and we will be playing in the dairy again. Heifer calf please Tulip. Did I say that he has horns that are useful for a variety of things?

 So now the TB nosode is whisked into the water regularly to hopefully give an immunity to my new cattle and protect them and us from the horrors of the last few months. My grazing is slowly coming back under control and life includes the trips to and from the field on the edge of the village,  sitting watching the cattle and looking  down into the valley and beyond the river into another land.

Published in: on Tuesday October 6th, 2009 at 10:32 am  Leave a Comment