This stretch of warm weather has been good for the grass hayfields nearing harvest and for vegetation growing around the hayfields that the cattle have been grazing on. The water level in the river has also dropped which is an indicator that we need to get the fences shored up so the cows don’t go wandering away from the farm.
We reinstall barriers each year since the winter water levels wipe out the fencing. The trails of wire extend down stream where the current sucked it downstream. Each spring we wade out there and reconnect the wire to strong anchor posts on opposite banks of the river and shore up the fence enough to discourage the cows.
At this crossing, looking across the river, we can see that the elk herds have a nice path down the steep embankment from where they cross the county road. The 15 foot drop shows foot prints going up and sliding down so we know the elk are using this as a designated through-way. The path leads right down into the river where the crossing is used by the wildlife on their way to graze in our 6 acre hayfield. The fence we put in is just upstream from this crossing and will not deter the deer or elk from their natural paths even though I would not mind if they found greener pastures elsewhere away from our hayfields.
Earlier this spring we had started the fences at the rivers edge but stopped at the water line because the cows were not yet interested in sneaking off the property. Now that more of the rock bars are exposed, we needed to get the completed fence across the expanse. The slippery rocks make for treacherous walking back and forth but at least three trips across are needed with the wires to make enough of a barrier to keep the cattle where they belong.
It took most of one day to complete two of the three crossings. The 80 degree weather had us sweating while still having cold extremities from the chilly water and it seemed like every muscle got a workout to keep from falling.