Ride Leader

July 1, 2017

So, one advantage of how slowly I cycle up the hill on my way home is that if the cows are standing at the gate at the field near the top then I can start talking to them as I approach and – because they are cows and are generally a bit bored and possibly hoping for tasty cow treats – when I then tell them to follow me as I pass …

hello cows

… they generally do.

This probably amuses me more than it should.


Sight for Sore Eyes

June 3, 2015

my own bike

After a fortnight on a borrowed bike, getting back to my own was almost as good as getting back to my own bed (in fact better, as it was so bloody freezing when I got into bed last night I found myself shivering uncontrollably even with a hot water bottle. Whose idiotic idea was it to turn off the Rayburn on the flimsy grounds that it would be June when we got back from the States?*). It felt a little skittery for the first few hundred yards – although whether that was the effect of switching from a weighty hybrid with knobbly tyres, or just general high spirits on the bike’s part after two weeks in a shed, I don’t know.

cows in the road

It was good to be back on the old papershop run too, even though the traffic was terrible (I adopted the correct procedure for allowing cows to pass me and with a bit of eye rolling they made it past), and ASBO buzzard did a few warning traverses as I crossed into its territory, although without actually attacking.

bluebell wood

Bluebells. Obviously they were about five times as lovely as they look here, but you’ll just have to imagine it

The bluebells are still going strong (the first rule of bluebell woods is you don’t try and take photographs of bluebell woods because you will be disappointed by the results but I couldn’t resist).

may / hawthorn flower

The may is out although it’s still a bit nippy for any over-enthusiastic clout casting.

And when I was riding home from Bigtown this evening I had to keep stopping to take photos because it was just so lovely.

road_home road_home_2 road_home_3

Oh all right, the fierce headwind might have had something to do with it as well…

Rather less lovely was the horrifically road-killed deer that’s festering half way down the road to the village. I did take a picture, but it’s too grim to post. Normally any deer get scooped up for venison pretty quick but this was clearly too mangled. Drivers, please slow down on rural roads, even if you don’t care about me you surely don’t want to hit Bambi…

* Mine

Aint Nobody Here but us Cattle…

September 28, 2013

Cycling back from the papershop yesterday, I noticed a big stone lying in the middle of the road that definitely hadn’t been there on the way down. And looking over the stone dyke which now had a big-stone-shaped gap in the top, these innocent-looking characters.

cows looking nonchalant

If cows could whistle in an unconcerned sort of way, that’s what they would have been doing. Nothing to see here, move along. We’re not demolishing the wall piece by piece, oh no, not at all. Who us? It just came apart in our hands. A big cow did it and ran away. It wisnae us.

It will be interesting to see how much wall is left when I go by on Monday…

Muddy Hell…

February 14, 2013

snow covered gardenWe had another ‘snow event’ yesterday – there was snow on the ground when we woke up and it then proceeded to snow all day until about mid afternoon when it switched seamlessly into rain. This seems to be the pattern for this winter – we’ve never seen so much snow, but it’s mostly been pretty fleeting. I didn’t get the chance to get out in it yesterday because I was insanely busy but today things eased off a bit and when the sun came out I couldn’t resist the temptation to sneak out for a walk in a rapidly thawing world…

road running with water

The road outside our house is now basically a stream bed.

cow in mud

It drains into the field opposite which is currently home to some rather depressed looking cattle. I don’t think they’ve had dry feet since they’ve been turned out there – and some of the calves probably don’t know what ‘dry’ means, poor things.

sheep on higher ground

The sheep, meanwhile, were sticking to the higher ground

hens on higher ground

As were the hens (and one duck. Go figure)

ford without depth gauge

I stopped to take the traditional but now pointless record of the ford. Presumably if I had the photoshop skills and could be bothered, I could photoshop back in the depth gauge, but I can’t. The other half did spot the torn off depth gauge lurking in the undergrowth on the other side of the river so I might have to go on a rescue mission and ‘photoshop’ it back in real life.

And then, because it was Valentine’s day and I hadn’t remembered to buy a card, I made my beloved some coconut macaroons instead.

coconut macaroons

They did get semi-dipped in chocolate but didn’t survive long enough to be photographed…

Herd Instinct

April 13, 2012

Just as I was wheeling my last barrowload of muck down towards the veg plot I had the distinct impression I was being watched…

Mostly the cows ignore the humans, but a human with a barrow is potentially interesting in case the barrow might possibly contain food. I thought I’d have a go with a handful of fresh grass to see if I could tempt them to come and say hello …

And after a few minutes and much nudging of each other to make someone else go first they came pretty close – close enough to see the whites of their eyes…

But nobody was brave enough to taste the grass and when I made a wrong move (cows don’t respond to clicking like horses do) the all turned tail and fled.

Cows are really very simple creatures, I thought to myself as I wheeled my barrow away. And it was only later that it occurred to me that – given I’d just amused myself for the last ten minutes trying to make friends with them – so was I.

Happiness is a Field of Grass

April 23, 2011

It’s been a long hard winter and the recent arrival of warmth and unseasonable sunshine has been greeted with a certain amount of caution in the Town Mouse household. Nobody wants to alert the weather gods to their mistake, but on the other hand, nobody wants to waste what may very well turn out to be our summer. For the last week it’s been absolutely glorious – something I can now reveal, as this morning we woke to fog, followed by drizzle.*

So it’s probably completely the wrong time to be posting this – the now traditional (well, I did it last year – much later in the season I note) annual celebration of the turning out of the cows after the confines of the winter. But you know what? I couldn’t resist.

(you can read the full story here)

Enjoy, and do a little happy cow hop at the end of winter (provisional, pending full analysis when May Be Out). And please do refrain if you can from telling me in the comments how HOT it is elsewhere and how you could do with some RAIN.


*Somebody recklessly washed the car. What was he thinking? Possibly he was worried I might plant something on it if he left it any longer…

Clout Casting, now with Extra Cows

May 29, 2010

I told you it had been a long, hard winter.

This was exactly how we felt when it ended…

(Of course I do realise that this post is still possibly a bit premature, especially with the Rayburn being off and everything)