Cowzy d’oaks

Although I had to stand still and pant several times and I certainly couldn’t walk uphill and talk, at least the unaccustomed uphill exercise last week gave my lungs sufficient workout that I could play the clarinet con brio this morning – sight-reading as well, I hadn’t got around to practising – having hardly touched it for nearly two months.

This afternoon, mate with chainsaw arrived and first took down the apple boughs that were leaning on the roof of the outbuildings, then went to tackle the oak while I wheelbarrowed the logs round to the front porch.  The tree having been dead for a while, we can use them this winter.

The next three hours were spent cutting, barrowing and stacking.  Mate with chainsaw reckons the best part of two tons of wood are contained in that branch.  He cut up the smaller boughs and I stacked them against a wall.

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I will have to think of somewhere else to put the rest of the logs, once the big pieces have been split – see the rot in the last picture, you can see where the weakness lay – but the small ones can dry out over the next couple of years.  We still have plenty of wood for now.

The obscure title of the post results from a discovery I made this afternoon, though apparently it’s well known to country folks: that is, cows love to eat oak leaves.  I took a number of the end branches over the drive to them and learned a certain amount of Cow as I did so – I was returning with the empty barrow, having taken a load of logs, and Scarlet gave an excited little moo that certainly said “Look! She’s coming back!”  I took them some more leaves and a few minutes later, still loading wood, a peremptory moo gave sharp instruction that those had been eaten and they were ready for more, and maybe I’d jump to it as they were waiting.  I tried eating a leaf myself, but I have to admit that I can’t quite see the attraction.  It didn’t seem that much more tasty than plain grass. IMG_2670

7 comments on “Cowzy d’oaks

  1. Mike Horner

    And dozy doats and little lambsy divy.

    Although the above words will only mean anything to anyone over a certain age! So I’m rather surprized that you are aware of such expressions, Z.

    Reply
  2. Z Post author

    I’m afraid you’ve probably both had the song running through your head, Mike and Tim, sorry.

    They liked them even more than apples, Nick, and that’s saying a lot.

    Indeed not, Kippy, we still haven’t used all the wood from when the dead oak fell down. Though I have offered to keep Phil and Weeza stocked too.

    Reply
    1. Mike Horner

      Odd thing. We found, when we kept and bred goats, that they could be tempted to go wherever we wanted them to, by offering them walnut leaves. As we had two fine walnut trees this was easy. We even found in winter that if we offered them walnut twigs we got much the same cooperation from them. Never heard of cows liking oak leaves though.

      Reply
  3. Z Post author

    I can understand that, walnut leaves have a lovely scent. I was impressed when I found that our donkey actually did like eating thistles, which probably have quite a piquant tang. And I know that oak trees carry more species of wildlife than any other British plant, so there are plenty of other creatures that like the leaves too.

    Reply

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