Our springtime activities can seem confusing. Around the house, barns, corrals, and gates we use frequently, we spray weeds. Though the grass species are essentially the same on either side of the barbed wire, the fence arbitrarily determines what are weeds and what is feed for cattle. It seems a bit sacrilegious, even to me, to be spraying weeds in a business dependent on grass.
Routine for so many years, I have become obsessed with the distasteful job of clearing the grasses that can hide rattlesnakes where we work and live, or make the difference of losing a barn full of hay to a fire. I am relieved when the job is done—and confess to enjoying watching the weeds die along clear lines of green and blond.
The grass was high in the small pasture in front of our house, so we let our second-calf heifers in to mow it down. Robbin and I enjoy having the cattle close, watching the calves grow and play. At first, they’re nervous, but after a couple of days they come into the pasture, morning and night, as part of their grazing routine. Checking-in, they seem to enjoy our company.
Readers may remember the planter we built last year to start our bare root raspberries. It looked a lot like a feeder for cattle. With so much grass, I didn’t think that our thorny raspberries would interest cattle, but the calves have become addicted, bucking straight through the gate for the raspberries’ new growth. But we seem to have hurt their feelings, bunched at the gates last night, confused with why the gates were closed.