Today was beautiful– a deep blue sky, and towering white clouds which had not yet had a chance to form thunderheads, luckily for me because I decided to go out on a bike tour while the weather was good. I headed for the area just north of Howell Branch Road and south of Red Bug Road, in the vicinity of Dike and Dodd Roads. There are farms up in there, just a few minutes away from our house, and I never cease to be amazed when I see cows grazing, lapping water from the tiny ponds, and basically just standing under trees and doing nothing. (Something I aspire to.)
Today I wanted to get up close and personal to these cows, so as I was biking north on Dodd Road I stopped and took some pictures. They were doing their cow-like things in leafy glades, close to high grass– and the road. Amazing! Flimsy-looking barbed wire fences were all that separated these cows from the traffic.
I continued on up to Dike Road and eventually came to the San Pedro Retreat Center. The Diocese leases its pasture to an agribusiness that brings its cows there to graze– it certainly cuts down on mowing! Here, the cows were REALLY close– I actually felt like I might be intruding on their “space” even though we were staring at one another across a barbed wire fence. All sorts of thoughts entered my mind, by now made light by the hot sun:
- We all know cows can jump over the moon, but can they jump over a fence?
- We’ve seen the running of the bulls in Pamplona (at least on television), so it’s quite possible that one of these cows could decide to break through the fence and chase me down.
- Do cows bite? I wondered… I’ve never heard of such a thing; I know they occasionally kick over milk pails, bringing no end of distress to those eight Maids, and they chew a lot. I could probably stand a little chewing, but not biting.
- For as long as I stood there, I heard not a single “moo.” Cows also apparently “low,” but I heard no lowing either. And what, exactly, is a “low?” A basso profundo moo?
- Cows give us lots of products: meatballs; shoes; upholstery; and milk. Do you drink a lot of milk? If I do, I experience intestinal woe.
And here’s a bovine bonus for my neighbors: up on Howell Branch Road is the Winter Park Dairy, which keeps its own herd of cows and produces its own brand of blue cheese. The latest batch is due out this month, and I anxiously await the eMail letting me know when I can come claim my share.
So there you have it: when I need to escape the four walls of my existence, I can always get on my bike and visit with the cows. I highly recommend it.