Yesterday, as I was just beginning to make dinner, there was a knock at the door. The dog was going crazy, the kids were running around me as I opened the door a crack to stop Winnie bolting out and crashing into whomever was on the other side in a blur white floof and massive paws.
Our neighbour was there smiling at me and announced he had our cows with him! In a moment any worry or stress I’d had that day fell away in the excitement of it all (I also forgot I was on the phone to my Dad and had to call him back half an hour later) as we bolted outside to witness the unfurling of a long held dream.
The cows (who have been living on our neighbour’s farm since April) tottered down the ramp and out into the pasture with the air of people viewing a new house. They weren’t making any judgements, there were things they liked but they’d have to have a good look round before they could say for sure if it was ‘the one’. I held my breath, does our field have kerb appeal? Does it have the ‘wow factor’? After a good march about and an inspect of our newly finished fence they obviously decided it would do and got down to munching on the shoulder high grass.
I managed to snap a few pictures in between jumping up and down and hugging my embarrassed neighbour (he is as a god to our people), Huwyl took a couple more while running up and down the fence line with his brother as the cows took a stately stroll checking that the fence really did go all the way around.
Then suddenly we were alone with our cows, these great beasts who we are now solely responsible for. I was reminded of that moment when you are finally left alone with your first baby and you think “what do I do now?”. When Stephen got home to see the girls in the field he too was full of excitement and trepidation, we stood in the deepening rain and watched them until we could no longer justify the drenching. Then we stood a bit longer.
The project of building the cow pasture has been going on since May, Stephen built the cow barn in April and we bought our first cow in March yet it has taken all this time to finally get them here. With the wettest summer I can remember we’ve had to attempt patience as each phase of fence building was delayed further and further. Finally this weekend, with tractor and hammer and not a little swearing, we nailed the final staple in place and the pasture was done. Stephen hung the gate that he’d bought several months ago and voila, we had a cow pasture.
Despite my elation at finally having finished this project the pasture seemed so starkly empty, until yesterday that is. When those cows walked into the field that we had built the farm suddenly seemed complete. For the first time it felt like we had all the pieces in place and now we just have to put them in all the right places.
There will be many more pictures of our new arrivals in the near future, but for now please welcome Day Star Wanderer and Morag the Black to Fernwood Farm. Now if you’ll excuse me, I really need to go and look at my cows.