Cows: Our Noisy, Nosy and Photogenic Country Neighbours
Escape to the Country
Three years ago, we escaped from the hustle and bustle of a busy town and moved to a quiet country lane in the WyeValley. We now live in a part of the English Countryside that is known as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”, or AONB.
We chose the property for its beautiful location. We live in our own “little world” here. Our kitchen looks out onto an old apple orchard.
It is quiet, peaceful and private; that is, most of the time. We soon found that the apple orchard is where our new neighbours hang out. That’s where the peace and quiet ends.
Don't Underestimate Cows!
I’ve never really thought much about cows before, but it would seem that they are easy to underestimate. At the least, they seem to be excellent time-keepers and above all are very sociable.
We have got 12 cows in the orchard for 5 months of the year. The cows seem to miraculously appear at the beginning of May and then disappear at the end of September.
Apparently, the farmer has to move the cows when they eat the apples in the orchard because it gives them sore tummies! I prefer not to think about where they go when they leave the orchard…
Now, I could be fooling myself when I say that the same cows return in May, but I am pretty sure that Patch and Pirate are out there again (okay, yes I have given a couple of them pet names).
When we first moved here we had a huge shed in front of the kitchen window, blocking our view of the orchard. After we moved in we demolished it with gusto, and that’s when we discovered our cows and they discovered us. We were not sure who was more surprised or excited: them or us!
As soon as they spotted us standing at the wall watching them, they all started walking towards us. It was like an excerpt from the film “The Magnificent 7”.
I ran indoors and grabbed the camera and started clicking away.
These cows were naturals! I’m sure they were posing for the camera; they seemed to lap up the attention. My sister was here at the time with her camera, and we were all laughing and clicking away!
The next day at precisely the same time as the previous days photo shoot, we were sat in the living room and heard the cows mooing. When we went to the kitchen window, there they all were lined up at the wall and it would seem that they were “calling us”.
Hmm, methinks it might be best just to ignore them…
They were quite persistent in their mooing for at least 15 minutes. Attention seekers or what? They had obviously enjoyed all that attention and photo taking the day before. Eventually they gave up and wandered off.
They don’t give up easily though. Because our kitchen window is only a few feet away from the orchard wall, we do have to be careful.
If they happen to be passing and one of them spots us in the kitchen, they pass the message on to the others.
Many times I’ve been preparing dinner, to turn round to see them all lined up at the wall. Uh, oh - I’ve been spotted!
I’m sure there is an expression of sheer delight on the cow’s faces, when they discover that they’ve been noticed. It makes me wonder - do cows get lonely?
Now, I have to be firm; I know it’s fatal to make eye contact, because they will stay there for hours. They never seem to tire of just standing there, staring, perhaps in anticipation that I will get the camera out again.
Sometimes, I have to creep away from the kitchen window to give the cows the impression that I’m not around anymore. Then, I’ll watch the window from around the door and when the coast is clear I can get back to cooking the dinner!
Our cows might be a bit noisy and sometimes a bit nosy but our neighbours are certainly very photogenic and will always be a talking point in our house.
I can definitely conclude that the cow is an animal with feeling, character and personality!
For all of those who've ever wondered what cows were doing when not chewing their cud, this book offers the viewer entree into the very busy lives of these seemingly placid creatures. The photo illustrations are perfectly executed, the text is very funny and more importantly you'll spend a lot of time smiling even after the book has been closed.
The book includes a checklist of breeds so the die-hard cow watcher can keep track of sightings, a list of essential garb and gear for cow watching, a glossary of terms, a listing of breeder associations, and more. Fascinating cow trivia is interspersed throughout.