Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Adrenaline Walk

Alex & Colton ready for our walk, sporting new hats and new boots. 
I'm going to make this short as I am exhausted and have another big day planned for tomorrow. But here is the much anticipated story of our normal walk experienced turned adventuresome.  
(Please excuse the lack of pictures - I wasn't going to stop to take too many snap shots. Also please excuse poor spelling, grammar and punctuation, because as I said, I'm tired and it never has been my strong suit.)

It was a beautiful morning, over cast, and not too hot. The boys and I got around in record time and headed out for our daily jaunt.

Now, I should back track because there was a change made over the weekend.
On Saturday we had moved the little replacement heifer calves to a new pasture. Not so much because they were out of grass but because the cows were, and since we were running solo, it was easier to move 45 calves a couple pastures over than 180 cows. 
Anyway, in the pasture behind our house are all of the cows. We have forgone our walks for Sunday & Monday to let them settle, but by today we were all getting stir crazy so it was time to head out.
Now, thankfully these cows are pretty used to people being around, and are generally respectful. Looking out in the pasture they were well spread out and contentedly grazing. Yes, the coast was clear...I thought.

As we came through the gate all seemed well. Some heads lifted and chewing paused as they watched this lady and two small people one inside a cart of some sort begin walking slowly across their pasture. And we did try and move slowly but consistently along the path. And all was looking well until we rounded the first bend and right in front of us appeared a cow. We both paused and sized up the situation. Colton was close and Alex in the stroller.  It was a stale mate for a while and then we opted to make the first move.  We slowly began to edge our way toward the cow, hugging the tree line in hopes she would move off easily to the large open space on our left. And while the logic was good I did not anticipate the speed at which she would make her exit. Which did turn out to be a full run.

Now, all would be well if none of the other cows had noticed her bolt away from us. But apparently 179 other pairs of eyes were watching us. And all simultaneously decided it was time to move very quickly. I should point out we were kind of at the point of no return. 1/2 the herd behind and the other half in front. My instinct was to flee as cows ran around us, but I forced my feet to stop and Colton bravely followed suit. When we stopped so did the cows. We decided to edge our way very slowly ahead, but every time we moved 180 bodies began to run. some toward us out of curiosity. Who knows, they probably thought we had mineral or something. And some toward our next gate and point of exit. These cows anticipating being moved to another pasture.
Now, one should not worry, and while they did attempt to crowd us a time or two a simple shooing did the trick. And all in all we made safely into the next pasture which has no animals in it.
(Insert deep sigh of relief here.)
Some of the Cows as we left them behind

We continued on our walk at a leisurely pace until we came to the dip by the creek. This used to be a favorite place to stop and throw rocks, but not of late because what we think is a water moccasin has taken up residence in the rocks down at the creeks edge (well off the path, but still a little close for comfort.)
Today was no different. As we all huddled to the middle of the path, with me scanning both banks for any sign of movement. Sure enough down in the rocks I see the brown and black body of a large snake retreating from view. He is retreating but, my heart still pounds a little. In case you are wondering a Water Moccasin (a.k.a. Cotton Mouth) is a large bodied snake (this one is about 2 1/2ft. long & 2 in. in diameter) and is very poisonous. They are very common down here and probably our largest personal threat IF PROVOKED. I do not wish to provoke him so we just move along. But, still coming in close proximity to such an animal does get my heart pumping. Especially when we encounter him again on the way home. This time fully in view warming himself on the rocks. Please excuse me for not pausing to take a picture. 

And yes, we returned to walk through the cows again on our way home. This time with less fanfare. But, surely an adventure.
Oh, I should mention that in all the in-between times our walk was quite enjoyable. Colton caught a grass hopper, we checked the progress of the tadpoles in the drinker. Had a lovely visit with daddy and Mr. Wayne & Mrs. Terrace freshly back from Nebraska, and enjoyed their many tales of their first real branding.
played with the dogs and returned home for some well earned Peach Pie.

I wonder how tomorrow will go...


  1. Thank you for sharing, Rita. Not that many people, especially young ones, get to have these kinds of real world experiences any more. You both are giving them precious gifts of such experiences and of examples of courage and adventure. Well done, but we'll also be praying that the snake(s) decide to move way down stream.

  2. Wow, sounds like an exciting walk! Glad you didn't get trampled or bitten! Thanks for the blog and pictures!!