In 2016 we made one of the best decisions of our lives. We MOVED from California to Arizona where we purchased 10 acres of pristine land (strewn with volcanic rock, see 2 Posts back) that has a Well on one of America’s best aquifers, Coconino, and a perfect house with a covered porch that we turned into our new Greenhouse.
Being the City Slickers that we were, little did we know at the time that the two Road Signs separated by about 50 yards on the road that goes by our house were trying to tell us something important. The first sign read OPEN RANGE and the second one had a Cow sillouette on it.
If you put the two Signs together, you are being told that in this Rural Arizona world, Cattle Ranchers are allowed to range their cattle wherever they please, and if your property is not fenced or your gate is open, that means on your private land. It also means you need to expect to see them on your road so don’t hit one or you’ll pay for a very expensive cow without the benefit of eating the beef.
So it wasn’t long before we awoke to a yard full of cattle complete with calves and bulls all bumping up against our Garage and Greenhouse while heading for the bales of hay we had just arranged to serve as our Archery Arrow catch.
Our property was fenced but we needed to be able to control the gate, so our solution was to get an expensive electric gate closer/opener to work the gate from inside the house or on the Road. That worked great until one of those extreme Arizona Monsoon Storms hit complete with Lightning that struck the mechanism that was controlling the gate and destroyed it.
We fixed the Gate and were free of cow invasions for three years UNTIL TODAY when about 25 beautiful Black Angus took advantage of our gate still being open after an Estes Truck had just picked up one of our STEM Teaching & Food Growing Systems.
So here they are happily munching on the thick green grass that surrounds our Septic Leach Line.
And yes, we ran out with flailing brooms to try to get them to leave, but we might as well have been a couple of flies because they had no fear of us at all beyond our being a bit pesty. The danger was that pristine land I mentioned that is strewn with lava rock is under the grass covered landscape so you can’t see what you’re stepping on, and Oliver and I were lucky we didn’t break one or more of our four legs before realizing getting them off our property was a futile act.
So for the time being, we have a partial herd of happy cows exploring their new home. And we have once again been reminded when a Black Angus herd is practically in our Living Room, that we live on OPEN RANGE LAND.
Oh, and here’s the gang that just discovered the Hay Bales. Now they think they’re our pets. We surrender to being faux Black Angus Ranchers of OPC’s (Other People’s Cows), and bless their gentle Bovine hearts.