Bull Pen

After the water and electric lines were done, it was time to finish the bullpen.

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The utility lines run right down the middle of the new bullpen, so those had to be done first. And now on to fencing!

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And by now you know the fencing drill. Lay out the fence and pull strings.  Dig post holes in lots of rocks . . .

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. . .set posts along the string and cement them in . . .

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. . . and yes, I added decorations to the cement. I think the fall leaves are a nice touch don’t you? If you must spend your time cementing in fence posts, you should at least have fun with it – that’s my philosophy.

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After the cemented posts are set, install braces for the corners. Molly and Grizzly watch (or nap) as usual.

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And then it was time to move the feed trough into position. The feed trough was used across the road temporarily last year because we didn’t get the bullpen done, so using our favorite neighbor’s tractor Rick just had to lift the feed trough up . . .

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. . . and over the fence . . .

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. . . across the road and maneuver it around the posts and carefully position it in the slot under the roof . . .

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. . . and set it in place on the gravel. You have probably noticed they never ask me to drive the tractor when doing something very exacting or precise, and with good reason. I can drive the tractor and I can make the bucket go up and down – eventually. I do sometimes have to try a time or two to remember which way to move the stick to make it go which way. Much better for Rick to drive the tractor and me to take pictures.

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And the feeding station for the bulls is done.

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Now, we just have to finish the rest of the bullpen fence. Ox the bull needs to be moved to his new home.


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Waterline – Done!

In case you missed the first installment of the waterline, the guys were halfway through with installing the water line and electrical conduit from the new “North 40” pasture to the bullpen.

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There is still another long stretch after that, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They got the ditch dug out, sanded, the lines installed, sanded on top to protect the lines, the ditches backfilled and you should be done. However, with our rocky soil – did you know the area where they are working used to be the bank of the Skagit River? At least a hundred years ago, before they built the dams above us to control the river – not all the rocks that came out of the ditch go back into it and you are left with this.

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There must be some technical geological name for this “not all the rocks fit back into the hole” phenomena, but if there is I don’t know it. So, these rocks have to be cleaned up to make a safe pasture for the cattle. Which means someone has to pick the rocks up and smooth it all by hand, back-breaking labor let me assure you, or . . . Rick gets out his tractor and implements and does the job. First with the rock bucket to scoop up all the rocks he can.

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Then with the rock rake to get all the rest of the rocks into a pile so he can pick them up and dump them out of the way.

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The rock take doesn’t get every single rock out, but it does a pretty good job of smoothing the ground.

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And voila! The ground is smooth enough to be seeded for pasture. You can see on of the (many) piles of rocks over to the right below, which will be outside of the new fence line.

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So, with the water and electrical lines in and the ground smoothed up what comes next? More fencing!  Which includes digging more post holes.

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And cutting posts.

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But we are making good progress! And it is not snowing – yet.