Hippy "Cows" at Masset

Hippy Cows roamed several areas of Graham Island in the QCI's eventually
being replaced by Hereford cattle

During the construction of the Wollenweber antenna at CFS Masset, radial wires were laid on the ground to act as an electrical ground for the antenna.

The wires were covered slightly with the locally available sand. Unfortunately, the wind blew the sand away and exposed the copper wires to the salt air. It was anticipated that the exposure would eventually cause the wires to deteriorate and reduce the effectiveness of the antenna.

The Construction Engineers came up with a way to stabilize the sand. Grow grass! They developed a mixture of a light tar substance, fertilizer and grass seed. The idea of the tar was to hold the sand in place until the grass seed sprouted. (Anyone who ever had a paved driveway knows just how powerful a grass sprout can be). The mixture was poured over the sand and eventually the grass sprouted through the tar. Success!

At the same time there was a herd of Highland cattle, referred to locally as the Hippy Cows, freely wandering the area. They were not under any control and I never did learn who owned them, although I believe that the town eventually penned them and sold them.

I digress.

It seems that the cows were quite smart because they waited until the grass burst through and then proceeded to eat the grass. When they walked on the tar cover, their hooves broke through the tar, exposed the sand to the air and the wind blew the sand away, eventually exposing the radial ground wires.

At this point the story circles back on itself. I believe that eventually the cows were restricted and grass did grow.

Submitted by Bill Dyke

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