Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Tracks Across Fields

    On the old American cowboy films that I like watching, they always seem to have an Indian tracker, to follow the hoof prints from which they seem to know, how many horses, which direction they are going and how long ago they passed that way, and even if one horse is carrying two people.

 My self watching these movies I always notice the horses themselves, how they move, the "gait" , or if one is lame, and always wonder how all the bullets only seem to hit the riders and rarely ever the horse.  How when a rider is shot and the horses head is brought round sharply, it falls to the ground without ever being hurt. 

The cattle stampede for miles and miles, when in fact they tire after only half a mile, then slow down, and when moving a large herd you could not expect them to do any more than three miles per hour. As in every herd there are always leaders, as long as they are pointed in the right direction the others follow by instinct.
Just a few of our April born calves picture taken end of September

This is our "leader", she is a Simmental cross Frisian cow, the cross bred suckler cow has a tendency to produce more milk than the pure bred beef breed. Her Hereford calf  as you see came out a  pale red colour. I have always noted the width of her muzzle, almost as wide as her eyes.   

The wagons used in films when they are in a wagon train, how rusty and dull the iron hooped wheels are, from my own experience of iron tyred wagons used at harvest time they are bright and shiny metal, but then I am only being picky, the film wagon trains perhaps will only do a few hundred yards while shooting takes place then parked up to continue going rusty again.

Back at home here in the middle of the UK I have become a tracker, just by default. If an odd one of the cattle get out of their field and onto the road, the first thing they do in a strange place is to lift their tail and let go some droppings as they walk, and from that and the hoof prints on the grass or in the mud you can see whitch way they went and what size of animal you are looking for, or if more than one how many. In our case if an animal gets out its either just one , who maybe in season, or if more than one, it most likely all of then get out on the herd instinct they seem to possess. 

Its the same with tyre marks that have recently driven out of our yard, in wet weather its fresh wet marks down a drying road or its dusty tryes marking the road, I can tell if some one has driven up my yard and how long ago and can recognize the tyre prints of most of my friends and neighbours vehicles and tractors.
In the fresh snow its the easiest first thing in a morning, all the small animals and bird that burrow and roost all looking in vein for food.           

                                                             Tracks Across Fields
Tracks across the fields, and tracks off down the lanes,
In the snow in the mud, fresh tracks still it rains,
Paws, feet, hooves n’ boots, wheels with grippe tyres,
Big and small, heavy and light, not long then they expire.

Every print has a tale to tell, on who has crossed your path,
See the direction that they went, and if they’re causing wrath,
Follow to see where they go, and if they came back that way,
Intruders can see, up to no good, or if they’re out to play.

All the prints tell a tale, the pattern they leave behind,
The claws on paws and the gait of the stride aligned,
There’s webbed feet and long toes, belong to who knows,
And there’s birds that land, and take off like the crows.

There’s cows and there’s calves, and horses with shoes,
See how many have passed, that way from the clues,
Tyres leave prints be it bikes or cars, tractors and all,
Speeding and skidding, or getting stuck when they stall.

You can read every where, who’s has been up that way,
Prints and tracks tell a tale all every day,
You may be alone, but someone’s been up there,
A crossing of tracks in the lane be aware.

Owd Fred

One who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints.