It’s that time of year again. I’ve shown the annual turning out of cows to pasture before (See ‘A Stampede of Cows’) but as it is such a big event in my calendar (party invites having dried up somewhat), I’ll share it with you once more.
Margaret warns me when the release is imminent and I drop what I’m doing in the garden and walk up through the fields to the farm.
I stand on my favoured spot
– a tree stump behind a small hedge –
from where my 300mm lens suggests I’m far, far braver than the reality.
This is the one day of the year when I see these hefty animals
galloping at full pelt
and hurtling straight towards me.
Except for a handful, who don’t.
And this is the moment when I seriously doubt the wisdom
of standing behind thin,
insubstantial bits of hawthorn.
(At the last moment, the herd always swerves to one side and passes though an opened gate on my right. So far).
The calves, born inside the sheds, haven’t been outside before, and after a quick glance back at their mothers,
hare off to explore a whole new world, as I would.
I’ve suggested to Margaret that she sell tickets.
She had a team of helpers this year
to enjoy the fun; round-up stragglers;
and herd them into the next field.
With Margaret leading the way, we urged them on and across the Priory drive (with pickets posted to stop them bolting up the drive to the village or down to the Priory gardens) and through to another field beyond. Job done.
The daffodils are over but the cows are back. It’s almost summer.