If the adage about good fences making good neighbors is true, then we may have a problem. Actually, the fences around this place are very well constructed. They're just four feet high. After all, goats don't get very tall, and I've never read any stories about goats winning any high jump events. I have, however, heard about goats scaling cars and standing atop the roof---simply because the roof was there.
Jolene told me of just an occasional goat migration to the neighbors during their eight years here. I think her success in keeping them home had something to do with the electric fence surrounding this entire place and dividing it up into seven different pastures. Since moving here last week, I've talked to three neighbors, and Bill has talked to one.
The subject of fences has come up in two conversations. The Meserves (Stan and Geneva) to the north assured me within one minute of sitting down to a visit at their table that we wouldn't have to worry about barbwire because there's a buffer zone between our four foot high fences and the barbwire stretches designed to keep Bert Wood's cows in. I guess there's a little electricity flowing over there too because the feuding bulls from opposite pastures dig holes while telling each other off but never cross that line in the dirt because of the good jolt awaiting their intrusion.
Another neighbor over on Selle Road has Yaks. His property runs along our southwest end. He flagged Bill down one day last week and asked about the electric fence. He said Jeff Stewart was always good about letting him know when the wire was running hot so he could keep his kids away from it. Bill assured him it would be a while before he had to worry.
After all, we can't even get our fence charger to send its juice to the pasture near the barn where we've raised the top wire to almost five feet. Thank goodness Rambo and Casey are civilized critters who have so much grass to eat, they won't have time to think about visiting the neighbors' bellering Angus bulls.
This morning seemed to be Casey's first real recognition of the bovine species. Two white faces stood between the blue spruce in Meserve's field and eyed him while he pranced around with nostrils flaring. Judging from his reaction to the cows, I think he'll probably avoid any encounters on the north fence.
We've got lots to do with the fencing to make sure our horses stay in and don't go wandering the neighborhood. In the meantime, we're having a good time meeting the new neighbors and talking about fences, barking dogs, bellering bulls and train whistles off in the distance. So far, we've met a neighbor a day. Last night it was the Caubles, who live just south of us. They've got Dobermans, so I think we won't have to worry about the horses violating their fenceline either.
Regardless of our fence situation, I think we're going to enjoy all of our new neighbors---as long as we go do the visiting and not our critters.