Posted on May 24, 2021 Posted by John Scalzi 22 Comments
I’m easing back into the habit of walking regularly in the early evening, and one of the things I enjoy as I go for my walks is passing by these neighbors. They are often curious about me, which makes sense as statistically speaking, where I live it’s far more likely to see a cow walking about than an actual human. This is, literally, a bucolic scene. It’s nice to have, and also a decent way to head into the night.
Tranquil bovine picnics. Slow chewing and thoughtful contemplation of the infinite.
From one of my favorite books!
My nearest neighbors are also cows. The dog goes between ignoring them and feeling that cows are an aberration and a violation of the natural order. Tonight they are to be ignored.
Bucolic is from the Latin word bucolicus, which is from the Greek word βουκολικός (boukolikós), meaning literally a cowherd. Originally in English it referred only to places where cattle and sheep grazed, but gradually its meaning expanded to mean rural in general.
These appear to be young Holstein calves, a breed known to be one of the best milk producing cows, so it’s likely this is a dairy farm.
I worry about writers walking on rural roads that do not have sidewalks. Be safe.
May you always have cows around
Bring a uke and play them a tune tomorrow night and I bet they all walk over to the fence to listen.
Having grown up with and around cows, I will state categorically that they are evil. No fence they won’t tear down at 2AM so you can chase the stupid things down the road. No clean walkway they won’t drop pie on. No place they won’t happily knock you down.
Filthy, dumb, brutish beasts. That they are the precursors to cheese and the only know source of steak in the universe are their only redeeming values.
On occasion, the comments become the best part of the post. Now I know that should some Stetson head ever say to me, “May you always have cows…”, it is not a benediction.
Cows kill more people than bears do every year.
The last time I saw a cow in Brooklyn was…never, of course. We used to come across herds of them driving around rural Britain on book hunting trips, and my wife freaked out more than once when they “surrounded” our car (on the way home to be milked, I should add).
According to a notice on Enlightened ice cream bars, cows have best friends. Just a little FYI.
The small city where I live has a farm within the city limits and it’s very close to where I live. Most days I drive past the cows and the hay fields, and it’s a nice view.
As someone who’s lived and walked in both rural and urban areas, those rural roads are usually safer than city sidewalks. Can’t get hit if there’s no traffic.
Ever seen a herd decide to seriously take objection to something existing? Saw one try their best to obliterate a pig that happened to wander too close, one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen. Cows are a lot faster than most people ever realize. Fortunately for the pig, they are too.
I may have posted this one before on one of your other “Cow” pics, but just in case I have not….here are “The Suburbs”. Enjoy!
@leonsl701, your words are a reminder that people have been killed by cows.
I was always surprised when our cow, so slow and lumbering, broke into a run as when someone briefly left the cornfield unguarded. Finally I latched onto the word “stampede” to always remember cows can run.
…I suppose Thomas was thinking of Stephen King being struck on a rural road, and narrowly surviving.
As for Holstein, and Holstein- F… (I can’t spell it, it sounds like Frezen) those two islands are off the coast of Holland, possibly diked in by now. Nearby, among the Channel Islands, are the isle of Jersey (the brown cow in the chocolate bar) and Guernsey, the red cow.
Oh yes. I’ve seen cows do just about every mean thing you can think of.
And don’t get me started on pigs…
Do the cows recognize you? Are they friendly? Do they come greet you?
I once was hiking through a cow pasture in the Pyrénées with a friend and one of them came running towards me (yes as another commenter said, they run, it’s scary). Suddenly, my backpack became a lot lighter. It’s impressive what adrenaline does to your body.
Anyway, the cow was just curious, it stopped next to me and just wanted to have a smell. Then it left us alone.
They don’t just eat grass.
As a glider pilot who’s occasionally had to land in pastures, I can attest that they’ll sometimes do their best to eat a $50,000 sailplane…or at least chomp on it until they decide they don’t like the taste.
Figures I left Ohio 34 years ago and now live somewhere flat and full of cows.
I miss the cows that used to be on my way to work. Now they’re apartment buildings and a grocery store. :/
When I first moved here, there were cows in walking distance, but now that’s another subdivision.
Glad you are back to walking every day. It is good mental health maintenance.
Have you consider wearing a back pack and gradually increasing the weight in the pack?
Farming is hard work. You can never take a day off. No matter how sick. Every day the animals need to be feed, watered, milked, mucked out.
I wonder if the rural farmers have some sort of emergency system, if one farmer breaks a leg, the others do the chores.
We used to keep a dairy cow, a Holstein, who was pretty nice.
Then one evening instead of walking up beside her stall to put the hay into her manger, I walked up beside her, in her stall. Put the hay in, then she leaned over against me, pressing me into the stall wall! I could not inhale!
I had a flashlight in the other hand, and started pounding on her hipbone with it. Once I broke it to have sharp edges, I was able to provoke her to lean away from me by gouging at her with the pointy bits of the broken flashlight, thus saving my life.
Cows can be dangerous just by virtue of their huge weight. She didn’t mean to kill me, it was just going to happen.
ETA, she gave great milk, cream floating on top, by the gallons.