When you regularly ride the same route, there comes a point when you put away the camera. How many photos of the mountains, the palm trees, myself (which always turn out bad, anyway) can one take? So I unfortunately did not have my camera at hand when I saw these things:
A white poodle riding on the back of a Vespa-type scooter.
A large hawk sitting perfectly still on a fence as we rode by.
A field full of wild daisies.
Two big fields of freshly mowed alfalfa (it smelled so good!).
Palm Trees heavy with dates (months from being ripe).
Grapevines empty of grapes.
We got to the turn around point of our 42 mile ride and I thought, to heck with that, and pulled out my camera. For the rest of the ride, I wore it around my wrist, hoping for another hawk, or something else photo-worthy.
To say I got what I wanted would be an understatement. When we were about 10 miles from home, with the weather just starting to get warm, we turned down Olivia Road, named (by us) for the dog we rescued there two years ago. Alan was ahead of me, and out in front of him (almost exactly where we found Olivia) I could see a calf outside the fence, just a few feet from the road.
We quickly stopped and got off our bikes. While not a busy street, there is some traffic, so we hoped that we could somehow get him back inside the fences. We could hear what was probably his mother calling from the field to our left. He’d respond by calling back, but couldn’t figure how to get back to her.
I stood by while Alan rode back to a house we had just passed so ask if they were the owners. It was the same place he’d ridden to ask about Olivia two years ago, and he received the same answer. No, the cows didn’t belong to them. So we were on our own.
Since the gate to the field was closed, we couldn’t see where the calf had escaped from. We could see that there was an open gate to the field across the street, so Alan told me to stand back past the gate, while he rode to try to herd the calf, who had by now actually turned the corner and was out of sight, toward me.
When he was finally close, I wondered how we were going to get him into the empty field when he so obviously wanted to get back to his mother. Alan tried to open the other gate, but as he was doing that, the calf started walking toward me. I backed off, still blocking the street so he (hopefully) couldn’t get by me. Camera in hand, I managed to switch to video mode.
We were so happy that we had got the calf off the street. Then when I went to pull the gate closed, I realized that it wouldn’t close properly, leaving an 18″ gap and would fall over with nothing to attach it to the other part of the gate. Alan lugged a barb-wired covered post over and we used it to prop the gate up and closed. Hopefully it would hold our little guy in.
While I’d been waiting, I had heard some men’s voices coming from somewhere past the field. We got back on our bikes and rode that way, where fortunately, the men we found seemed to be the ones responsible for the cows. We left, feeling like we’d done all that we could.
Of course, what we really would have liked to do was to take that calf home with us, so we wouldn’t doom him to a life where he would eventually be someone’s dinner, but that being impossible, I feel like we at least saved him from death under the wheels of an automobile.
Our adventure had probably added a half hour to our ride, so we were really lucky this morning that it is a beautiful day. It was 91 degrees when we got home at 10:00, hot, yes, but we were done with our ride and we had a story to tell. Oh, and I did manage to get a picture of my riding partner and one of myself that I don’t hate.
Just another day in the life of the Dog, er, Calf Rescuer.