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Like a Bad Penny

December 30, 2012

The blog is back. It’s been over 22 months since my last post. Twenty-two months of writer’s block, crazy busy, in and out of drought, and a number of changes. I’ve missed writing from time to time, but with the advent of the new year almost here, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. I apologize for the absence, and I promise to be reasonably regular with postings through 2013.

A few days ago, I tooled out to the pasture in the afternoon to find this:

GordianMess

Well, not *exactly* this, because somewhere in the middle of this Gordian mess was one of the rams, Knoxville. He had managed to escape the bachelor pad he shares with three other rams. To get from there to the spot in this photo right outside the sorority house (ewe’s pen), he had to walk a few hundred yards across two pastures. He hadn’t been there in the morning, so this apparently was a daylight panty raid. When he stuck his head through the electronet, he managed to free all the ewes. He also managed to tangle himself up so badly that he didn’t get to chase any skirts. I found him tethered to the little pecan tree, plaintively bahhhing at the ewes grazing nearby. Don’t worry, he was not being shocked. The wind (or a deer) had blown off/torn loose the insulated wire that connects the hot line from the barn to the pasture electronet. I managed to free him within a few minutes, threw him over the gas tank on the 4-wheeler, and gave him a ride back to his pen. Draping him over the gas tank doesn’t let him get a foothold with either front or back feet, so he has to ride somewhat passively.

Once Knoxie was safely stowed away and a new t-post was driven to block his previous exit, I went back to tackle the tangles. Each section of electronet costs around $175 with shipping, so I was not about to abandon this one without a fight. As with any knot, I just had to find the ends, and as with many problems, it looked worse in the beginning than it turned out to be. Less than an hour later, I had it untangled and reinstalled. I didn’t even have to go all Alexander on it and cut the net.

You’ll notice one other thing from this picture. It is really, really DRY. If you raise sheep and you use electronet, I guarantee you will see this situation sooner or later, especially when it’s dry, because in dry conditions, the sheep aren’t well grounded, and even when the fence is carrying a good charge, it won’t ‘transfer’ to the sheep. We just observed the driest July – November period on record in the state of Oklahoma. If we don’t get a substantial amount of rain over the next three to four months, we’re in for a worse drought than the one we experienced in 2011. Pray for rain, y’all, please? Otherwise, you might see my sheep trying to graze the ditches on Highway 18.

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