After doing morning chores, Dad decided it was THEE day to fix/build the fence up in a certain cell in the pasture--the one that is really hard to fence. The reason it's so hard to keep cows in that part is that there is a large body of water in the cell that continues out into the neighbors' alfalfa field. Last year was the first time we had our cows in that part of the pasture and we had fun trying to keep them in for the week they were in there. Now they need to stay in that one for 2 weeks, so we knew we had to do something better for fencing!
My dad figured out a good plan--fence the water out. The cows need some water to drink though, so we couldn't fence the lake out completely. After looking things over, my dad found a place where we could fence over one of the fingers of the lake so the cows can drink there. Once the plan was made, he and we children worked on accomplishing the large task of going all around 3 sides of the lake with electric wire. The grass was very tall, so Andrew went around the water with the mower first.
Then he sat in the back of the Ram--holding a roll of wire while I drove ahead slowly, following the path he had made in the grass. Dad and Jacob came behind with posts and put the wire in the clips.
Everything went well and we eventually made it to the place where we had to string the wire across the water. Andrew worked on whacking off reeds, while my dad and I made our way around the water and, once reaching the other side, we pulled the wire tight by wrapping it around the ball of the Ram and driving ahead. My dad was able to pull it by hand towards the end, but then it seemed like it was stuck on something and it wouldn't pull tight across the water. Andrew had a solution to the problem...It took him a while to dry off afterwards though!
We finally got to our destination at 2:00, but we had not figured on needing so many tall, steel posts and were short in several places. We knew we'd have to go home to get some more, so we decided to all head back and eat our lunch then.
After we dined on cheese sandwiches and broccoli (fresh from the garden) soup, the guys loaded up more posts and we headed back up to the pasture. My dad really wanted to get some more cultivating done in our sunflowers, so he decided to help us move cows and then to go home while we finished up on the fence.
There was a newborn who wasn't strong enough to make the journey, so we helped him out a little.
Once the cows were in their new home, Dad left for our home on his dirt bike and we four (3 people and 1 calf) headed for the herd to find baby's mommy. After looking for a while, we found her and gave her a little black present.
Jacob took this picture of a family of ducks we saw...
We then headed for the end of the electric wire and set up the fencer there. Before turning it on however, we had to pound some tall posts in some of the corners that the fence made in winding around the water and we had to put some very tall posts out in the water so that the wire wouldn't short out. As we don't have a boat, our only option was to go back in the water on foot. As it was a hot day, the water sounded inviting to us all, so Andrew took the posts in and Jacob & I followed close behind (this time we took our boots and socks off though!). After the fence was up, we all went for a swim. It had been six years since I'd been in water that was deep enough to swim in and it brought back so many memories of fun times we'd had when we lived by a creek on our other farm. Jacob didn't remember the water, so he wore a life jacket and needed a little help in feeling comfortable, but by the time we decided to get out, he was saying how very fun the water was. :)
After we got out of the water, we rang the water out of our clothes and sat on top of the Ram for a little while to warm up. Then we turned drove to the fencer, turned it on, and headed back to the pasture the cows were in before to pick up a calf that wasn't doing well for some reason so that we could bring her home and take better care of her. It was 7:00 (chores time) when we pulled into our driveway, so we made and drank a milk shake and went out to the barn.
I should say here that Mother was busy at home all day, keeping things ticking. :)
After chores were done, the guys worked on making some pointy sticks to roast hot dogs on while Mother and I prepared the food and we had a delightful time around our first campfire of the year. Once it was dark, the boys put on a great show for the rest of us...