Today was Back paddock mustering day. Five hours later the cattle arrived at the main homestead yards. To say it was an ordeal was an understatement! Our back country has been under water since late November. Some of you may recall the flood pics I took from the chopper (see below). I have to say that three months later it hasn’t changed much since then. There is still water lying over a good third of it.

The cows that have been out there since March last year were fortunate to be on good feed and a lot of it. To the extent that when we hit a dry spell mid 2011 – yes that would be between the two floods!  We left them out there. By September we were cut off from them by a Whalan Creek banker and then of course the major floodings of November through to mid- February 2012 hit us.

Just imagine if you hadn’t been near another human being for eleven months. You’d probably find it a little difficult to fit in again with the crowd. Throw in some strange looking animals with only two legs and large hats, add the old ‘herd’ mentality and some wily calves over due by a good four months for branding and you’ve got some seriously over-protective cattle and some wild juniors. The bush version of helicopter mums and feral kids. Mustering is one thing. Trying to get them to walk through  water for a couple of kilometres before reaching a dry track, with attitudes redolent of a black snake and you soon get the idea what a happy mob they were.

I lost my phone mid-air – it was found and stuffed in the quads tool compartment for safety. I lost my hat after my bike got wedged between two belah saplings – don’t ask. And we have a strainer length of fence lying on the ground which the boys are currently out repairing in this afternoon’s balmy 38 degrees and 80% humidity!

After much horn honking, cajoling and some riding reminiscient of Clancy of the Overflow – We did wheel them to the right. Quite a few times actually (insert bad swear word). We finally got the mob in the yards. Ten points to Bill and Rosie. I think they thought we’d have to bring in reinforcements. Like Rosie said, ‘it were a terrible time.’

In actual fact the real fun starts tomorrow-saturday. Now they have to be drafted up and branded.