If there is one thing I don’t enjoy on the farm, it’s pulling down old fences. It’s hard, and by the time I had finished on Wednesday, the palms of my hands had tiny punctures wounds all over them from the barbed wire.
Gloves you say? Well if I’d had warning that was the job I was going to be doing, I would have made sure I had some on hand – pardon the pun.
Fences are made for a purpose – keep the stock inside the farm and yes, nice new shiny fences are preferable because there should never be any escapees. That’s why Tom is smoothing out the fence line in the front-end loader, and between him and me, we have rolled up 800 metres of old fence.
However, I can’t help but think there is so much character in the old fences. The rusty barbed wire and broken strands of ringlock must have many stories to tell. Perhaps they go like this:
The bull paced along the fence for days, calling to the cows, telling them he was ‘their man’ before finally getting the courage to jump over find the cows himself. That’s why the top barb, next to the third post from the strainer, is broken. Or the kangaroo wriggled under the fence to nibble the green, fresh tips of the barley crop. In doing so, it made the hole so large that five or six sheep could crawl under and soon there was an entire mob chewing and causing havoc through the barley.
Whatever the stories this fence held are now rolled up and will be heading to the tip. Soon we will have a nice new fence between the neighbours and us.
Some cowslips orchids we found while walking the fenceline
and a comfy tree to lean against while we had lunch.
I reckon RM Williams did an Outback story on old fences and “heritage wire” at some stage. It might be called “don’t fence me in”. Will see if I can dig it out.
Sounds interesting, Kathy. Would love read it! Heritage wire sounds about right!