Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Forest creatures

The valley is deceptive at the best of times, it's a lot further to the head of the gully than it looks. So those white animals in the forest on the first inspection tour this morning could not possibly be sheep. This is a good thing, as we have sheep. It may be a bad thing for next door, who keep cows.

More of this type of creature, captured here wondering why this tree didn't provide the same shade as the other trees. It was a good scratching post anyway.

This was a neighbour's young steer, in with about 30 others. The storms lately have had us all out checking fences, checking trees, checking no trees had fallen on fences, but mostly checking no animals had got out through the gaps caused by said trees falling on aforementioned fences. By some miracle we have escaped this event so far. Still, there they were, a group of rather large four footed animals where no domesticated animals have ever been sighted before.

The forest is approximately 100 acres giving it the rather appropriate nickname of the 100 Acre Wood. It belongs to people who live on another road entirely about 3 km around by road. There's no other direct access to their property. This means losing stock in there is problematic. Losing anything in there entails a lot of walking - or rather - thrashing through underbrush so thick you can't see more than about 10 metres. It's wild. Eagles live there, and foxes. Probably fairy tale donkeys, bears and piglets too. Actually the donkeys and pigs are quite possible, they're both feral animals in Australia. Kangaroos certainly do, and Rabbit and all of Rabbit's friends and relations. But I didn't know of any cows.

The usual phone tree operated and it was determined that these were probably not the nearest neighbour's wayward Murray Grey bovine group, but belonged to the owners of the 100 Acre Wood. They must have been driven in there by the storm. With various work, school and other commitments, no-one was home to do anything about it anyway. We won't really know to whom they belong until someone musters their lot and counts a few short, by which time the mysterious white cows will have long since melted into the undergrowth.