Just to prove that one never knows how animals will react to certain stimuli, this evening we had a covey of hot air balloons land on a farm (with the farmer's permission, as I took the time to find out) a few miles away. Melissa and I were in the back finishing up chores in the Big Boy's Field and we watched the whole show. The balloons weren't close and as far as our horses go, they never even noticed; one or two lifted their heads momentarily while the rest just kept grazing, completely unperturbed. But the whole non-incident got me to thinking about just how out of touch with rural reality some people have become.
Mostly, our immediate neighbours do a pretty good job of not treading on our property rights and in that respect we are pretty lucky. What many in our community don't get any more is that the pretty cows and horses out in our fields actually do more than enhance the landscape...they are how I earn my living. This is a working landscape filled with working farms. It is NOT a public park. Our fenced fields full of livestock are most certainly NOT somewhere we want you walking, riding your bicycle, drinking, landing balloons, hunting without our permission, etc. When something, someone or some nearby activity has the potential to seriously disturb my animals, I take it as a direct threat to my ability to continue to provide a living for my family and I promise that when I confront someone involved in doing any of these things, I react very strongly to it.
There is truth to the Robert Frost poem, "Good Fences Make Good Neighbours". Many of the folks in this neck of the woods that farm for a living (me included) keep excellent, sturdy boundary fences, if for no other reason than we can't afford to have our livestock running amok over the neighbourhood and/or up and down the road. I take boundary fencing so seriously that checking fence is the first job I impress upon ALL of our help, and all of our boundary fence at both farms is checked, and repaired if necessary, each and every day. Just as I don't want the neighbours using my farm as their unauthorized personal park, I don't want my horses and livestock dallying in their geraniums if I can help it.
Hope everyone is having a good week. I am sure enjoying spending my days at the new farm. With as much work as we have to do down there to continue building and finishing it out, I ought not to complain very much about being bored in the next little while ! :)
2 days ago