Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mending Fences And Moving Cattle - Part 1

Several times each year, but especially in the springtime, I take the tractor out into both fields and drive the fence lines to eliminate shorts which would reduce the effectiveness of the electric high-tensile fence. This dead grass, for instance. I simply grabbed it with my hands and pulled it up so it no longer touched the wires. I turn off the electricity first, of course:

I bring along a bucket full of tools, a chainsaw and an empty bucket for garbage I find along the way:

Yes, garbage. This old window screen had been buried for many years and probably for many decades, but the frost gradually brings such things to the surface. Also, people throw out litter and I pick up as much as I can:

This green plastic had been buried for many years and was rising up out of the earth, but not sufficiently for me to get all of it without a shovel. Maybe I'll get the rest of it next year:

And there are wire tighteners at various intervals. Apparently the wire stretches, for I have to tighten the lines each year, and sometimes more often that that:

Also, the cedar fence posts have been shedding their bark, a little more each year, and it comes off in strips which hang on the live wires and cause shorts. I peel off the shedding strips of bark and simply throw them on the ground to rot naturally:

Of course tree branches sometimes fall across the fence, causing major shorts. Sometimes entire trees land on the wires although that didn't happen this year. Surprisingly, even the trees did not break the wires, though they sure did stretch them:

When I was working in the south field with the animals, Remy and Blue followed me every inch of the way, raiding the tractor bucket whenever I turned my back. Their greatest mischief was when Remy stole my hat from the bucket and ran away with it, playing a game of keep-away with me and with his partner in crime, Blue:

They raced back and forth across the field, chasing and kicking each other in a contest for my hat. They eventually tired of the game and dropped it at the far end of the field, distant enough that I drove the tractor to retrieve it. I'll post Part 2 of my annual fence mending exercise tomorrow:

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