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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Menace from above.


It was a beautifully calm 60 degrees today. We've only had light frosts so the trees are looking lovely in their Autumn glory and the grass is still growing and very green. That's my English oak on the left and the birch on the right. I'm loving this weather!

I haven't been blogging because for some reason when I'm not doing well health wise I hate to write. I think if I was to blog it would end up nothing but me complaining about my ailments, lol. I'm controlling pain and fatigue better now and so I will try to catch up.

Attack of the Air Heads.

A few Sundays ago Brad had just come in from fixing fence and walking the cows up to the circle and so we were having a relaxing afternoon at home. The 'circle' is our center pivot irrigation system that is about a mile away from the house. Shortly after getting in Brad was surprised to see the cows were already back. I looked out and sure enough they were not only home again but running around in a panic. Wildairo was running in circles in the corral where Brad had put him so the cows could go out without him preventing them. None of them settled down and when I saw Dandylyons running I knew something was very wrong because she's old and hasn't ran for a few years.

I went outside and I immediately saw what was terrorizing everybody. Coming towards us, up the draw and at a low altitude, was a hot air balloon. It had chased the cattle all the way home. Then I remembered Echo was alone in the horse pasture directly in the path of this thing! Brad and I jumped in the Jeep and raced over to his pasture. There were two 'chase' vehicles there. One was parked in the drive and it's occupants seemed to be trying to calm Echo. Echo was in a low earth orbit (high headed panic) but staying in the part of the pasture where the people were. I was scared to death because we have an inner fence that's electric but some parts of the pasture there's an outer fence of barbed wire. Normally he can't get near it but if he blew through the electric fence he could get into the barbed wire. Around here there's miles of barbed wire because it's cattle country. I wasn't worried about Wildairo because he was in a very secure corral.

I called Echo once and he came, not at a trot or a canter, but a flat out gallop. Boy was he glad to see us. We took him into the pen and made an Echo sandwich of him as that balloon was directly over us. I could see right up in to the inside of the balloon as they turned up the burners to gain some altitude. Echo watched that thing with great big eyes as we calmed him with our arms over his neck. I gave those airheads a piece of my mind and my language was as colorful as that balloon.

Because they were so low they must have launched it near town which is about a mile and a half from where we were. More than likely they used our field like they did years ago...without informing us. They were floating towards our neighbour's who has over a thousand calves they're weaning. They have loudspeakers blasting music 24/7 to calm the calves and here was this huge low altitude balloon coming towards them!!! Luckily they started to drift north before they got to them. What the hell were these idiots thinking? If they had launched the balloon just north of the town they could have floated 50 miles before they saw any livestock.

I found this web site that had tips for hot air balloon people.

It seems they are very aware of the danger to horses and cattle and I think they should make a better effort to avoid them. I suppose if they did manage kill Echo they'd only be out $125! I'd hate to be riding and see a low altitude balloon coming at me! Some horses might be impossible to hang on to if you dismounted. I find it safer to stay on a frightened horse so if he does bolt you can at least steer him away from danger until he's under control again. Poor Dandylyons spent a few days by herself sitting down a lot recovering from the ordeal.

These selfish people were having a peaceful and tranquil float-about while down below them, on the ground they are creating chaos. At least I managed to have a good cuss at them. The only good thing was that I found out that Echo now considers humans his protectors!


Kara said...

I love how you tell your stories, Arlene. You live quite the adventure out there.

Linda said...

Who would have thought--a hot air balloon!?! Amazing. I don't have to worry about it since I live so near the airport and the military base. Glad none of your animals were hurt.